NBA Free Agency Update:
As everyone knows, I reported last week on my morning drive show on Fox Sports Radio that LeBron James would join Dwayne Wade in Miami and take Chris Bosh with him to join the Heat. At the moment, that is still very possible, but there’s been a potentially huge monkey wrench thrown into the equation — with (understandable) greed on the part of Bosh being the main culprit.
So listen up. Here’s the breakdown:
All along, Pat Riley’s plan as President of the Heat was to convince Wade to take a paycut and offer all three (Wade, LeBron and Bosh) deals averaging approximately $15.7 mil….with opt-outs after three years. But since Bosh wants the max at all cost (and he’s trying to get it in a sign-and-trade deal with Houston), it changed the game for everyone. Especially Miami and New York.
Suddenly, the Knicks jumped into the fray yesterday and offered the same options to Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudamire and LeBron. Despite expecting a max offer from the Atlanta Hawks, it’s believed Johnson is considering the Knicks just for the opportunity to play in New York with LeBron. Stoudamire will do the same if LeBron comes to NY, but both will settle for no less than max dollars if James elects NOT to come to NY — which brings us back to KING JAMES.
The good news for LeBron is that he has the option of choosing any team he wants to play for. The bad news is that D-Wade will be pushing for him to make a decision quickly. Otherwise D-Wade may make it for LeBron James, himself.
If D-Wade elects to stop waiting for LeBron to commit to Miami — or becomes convinced it’s not going to work out because of Bosh’ reluctance to settle for less than the Max — then he’ll have the choice of committing to Chicago (where his two children can be close to both parents, since Wade’s soon-to-be ex lives in Chicago) or head to New York.
Moreso, Wade can choose to leapfrog over Johnson and accept the deal in NY with LeBron and Stoudamire, join Johnson and Stoudamire in NY, or just head to the Bulls to play with Derrick Rose.
Either way, it creates an uncomfortable dilemma for James.
Even if The Chosen One wants to stay in Cleveland, how could he if D-Wade heads to NY with Stoudamire and possibly Johnson? Or if Wade elects to leave for Chicago, how could James stay in Cleveland with Wade/Rose/Joakim Noah in Chicago? Worse, how could James just stand pat knowing the NY Knicks would have Stoudamire and possibly Johnson — with a real possibility of getting Carmelo Anthony (who turned down a 3-year, $65-mil extension in Denver b/c he wants to come to NY next season) or Kevin Durant for the 2011 season?
Even better: How can LeBron turn down NY when he could join Johnson and Stoudamire there next season, knowing the Knicks will still be able to get Carmelo in 2011 once Eddy Curry comes off their salary cap?
LeBron may be the answer to everyone’s prayers, but he’s also the one with the biggest questions. Ironically, with all the moves being made, King James is the one individual in danger of making the wrong move, and paying dearly for it.
Afterll, it may be about the money with everyone else. With James, it’s about a title….and his legacy.