An Associated Press article was recently published about a potential Yao Ming to Cleveland move. As if the NBA rumor mill wasn't full enough of bogus talk, this certainly makes the list.
Though Yao Ming has been injured often, he has been a well-liked, mild-mannered figurehead in Houston with aspirations of winning a championship. Though the combination of Yao and teammate Tracy McGrady hasn't worked to this point and most likely won't, Yao still has a strong desire to be here and likes his chances of making it to the NBA Finals with the team that they currently have assembled.
Let's review my three reasons why Yao will not be going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the recent article, there was talk about the newly appointed minority ownership of a group of Chinese investors that would attract Yao to the Cavs and as a result bring a Chinese fan base to the Cleveland area to pair up with superstar LeBron James.
Houston is a large market team and has already attracted an extremely large Chinese fan base because of Yao's presence. Why would he go to Cleveland with the promise of a fan base that he already has? Yes, the chance to play with LeBron could be intriguing to anyone but I will get to that in a second.
I am sure that Yao would be commanding a pretty hefty salary to leave the only team he has ever known to come to Cleveland. With the "Year of Lebron" coming at the same time that Yao would be a free agent, I don't see the Cavs giving LeBron a max contract and having money left over to pay Yao his asking price. This would all be based on the assumption that they don't get any one of the free agents from the 2009 FA pool to entice LeBron to stay with the team long-term.
With Tracy McGrady being labeled as a failed investment and all but pushed out of Houston, the Rockets will let it be known that Yao Ming is their franchise player (As if he wasn't already). This ensures that the Rockets' organization will do everything that they can to keep Yao in Houston past 2010. When Yao is on the court, he demonstrates the ability to be a dominant force...his problem is staying on the court to be that force. If he drops the Chinese basketball team from his summer obligations, the sky will be the limit for Yao and his championship aspirations.
Yao has too much at stake here as a Rocket to consider going to another team to start over again. The team is his and he has put his stamp on it. The Rockets will see that Yao doesn't go to Cleveland, they will have the money to do it and will continue to build around Yao to make him an MVP caliber player.