LeBron James Has Much to Consider in 2014 NBA Free Agency
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King James has had no shortness of the spotlight since joining the Miami Heat.
And he'll have no less in 2014.
James is still being vague about "Decision 2014" and if he'll stay or take his talents elsewhere—again.
This go-around, there probably won't be as much of a backlash should LBJ decide to head out of town since there are understandable factors he has to consider: The Heat roster will practically be vacated in free agency next year, and many of the team’s key players—Ray Allen, Shane Battier and superstar Dwyane Wade—are nearing their end.
While Wade is not as close to retirement as Battier or Allen, his style of aggressively attacking the basket has taken its toll on his body.
Since the 2008-09 season, the amount of games Wade has played has decreased each year, according to Basketball-Reference.com. In the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, out of 66 games, Wade missed 17 games with lingering injuries.
This past season, Wade’s body continued to show signs of decline. His game was off, and it appeared as though his style of play was finally catching up with him.
Father Time won't permit his style much longer.
Wade turns 32 in January and can't continue to take the thrashings he did when he entered the league. San Antonio Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili plays a similar style, and last season—especially the postseason—his game waned at age 35.
Yes, Wade has a different body than Ginobili, but this has not benefited him as far as injuries goes.
Should James stay with the Heat, he would have to consider shouldering more of the load offensively, and we watched as that harmed Miami’s game plan in the 2013 playoffs, as well as early in his career with Cleveland.
Another factor LeBron has to consider is who will shine alongside him.
Mario Chalmers and Bosh are both great options, but neither is a good alternative to what Wade can offer. Chalmers is more of a role player than a superstar, and Bosh would not bode well in replacing the likes of a D-Wade
That's not to discredit the big man.
Bosh’s averages are stellar for his role, and he does much more that doesn't go in the box score. However, it’s not easy to go from a low-key superstar, to a stellar performance being a nightly expectation—ask Joe Johnson.
Also, Bosh has become the "estranged" member of the Big Three who was constantly mentioned in trade rumors, so it isn’t a safe bet he’ll be there as long as James.
Unfair, but in the case of building around D-Wade and King James, understandable.
There’s no telling where King James' throne will be next season—L.A. Lakers, back home in Cleveland, Miami or elsewhere.
One thing is certain...
This makes for an interesting 2014 offseason.
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