In the NBA this is the summer of free agency. The team to land Lebron James will make the biggest splash in the off season and will be an automatic front runner for the NBA Championship in 2011.
So what team is it going to be? Brobury Sports released odds on where all the big free agents will land this summer to include Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and of course--Lebron James. **NOTE** Odds have been adjusted with breaking news. All odds are updated from Brobury Sports.
Here is a look at the possible teams that will land Lebron James, the odds of it happening and the team I believe will sign the King.
It is not too outlandish to believe that Lebron James will stay in Cleveland. Cleveland have built a decent team around James and have been relativly successful.
He is from the area and staying would make him a hero in Cleveland for life and the money will be there. There are even a few analysts that believe leaving Cleveland would hurt his legacy since other mega superstars like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have won championships by staying with one team.
If Lebron James does not sign with Chicago it’s not for a lack of trying on the Bulls behalf. I beat the Bulls up pretty badly on draft night (calling them losers) , but if they snag Lebron they will quickly be graded winners of the free agent market. On draft day the main purpose of the Bulls was to dump players and not acquire any to clear up cap space. The telling move was trading Kirk Hinrich to the Washington Wizards on draft night and piling up cap space. They now have plenty of cap space to bring in two high profile free agents. If you believe World Wide Wes the deal is already done and Lebron is going to be a Bull. The big question is does Lebron want to play in the shadow of Michael Jordan?
**NOTE** Since writing this story news of an NBA executive stating that Lebron James and Chirs Bosh will sign with the Bulls has surfaced and the odds have changed. All I can say is don't believe everything you hear (or read).
The Knicks have brought out celebrity fire power to try and entice Lebron to come to the Big Apple. The problem is they can’t entice him with anyone on the current roster. The team has the cap room to sign more than one free agent but that would make only two star players on the roster with no depth around James. The only reason he will come to New York is to improve his marketability and be in the biggest city in the U.S. Donnie Walsh will give it a try as Lebron visits in the upcoming weeks but it’s not going to happen.
It’s surprising that odds-makers think there is a better chance of Lebron playing in New Jersey than Miami but maybe it is for good reason. Mikhail Prokhorov is a shrewd business man and he is not afraid to spend money. With this being said if he can entice Lebron into playing in New Jersey (or Brooklyn) he will surround James with everything that he could need or want and will always be a player in the free agent game.
Jay-Z will help with the recruiting process and make it much harder for Lebron to say no. In the end it won’t be enough. The Nets don’t have the talent that other teams have to offer and they don’t have the location.
Miami Heat: Odds of playing in Miami +1000
At 6-1 this looks pretty enticing but let’s face it there is one reason that it seems unlikely that Lebron James will play in Miami--Dwyane Wade. It is Wade’s team and it always will be (assuming he stays there) but the starting five would look pretty good with Wade, James, and another free agent like Boozer or Bosh. Not to mention that rumors are flying that Pat Riley will return to the heat sideline and that would give the Heat the best coach out of all the free agent teams trying to get Lebron.
LA has some great young talent that could play alongside James and he would be a true NBA icon if he could revive the struggling Clippers franchise. Let’s face it Lebron will not share a city with Kobe and does not want the curse of the Clippers franchise. This is not going to happen.
Free Agent Prediction: My prediction is that Lebron James will play in Miami. I know it’s a stretch but the Heat of $43 million dollars in cap space more than any other team and they have the best coach available that has proven that he can win championships. Miami gives James the things he wants off the court in fashion and high marketability and gives him what he wants on the court, a shot at a ring. Welcome to Miami Lebron James.
Lebron James to play in Miami is listed at 6-1 at Brobury Sports.
It is still a mystery on where Lebron James will end up, but all fans will be glued to media outlets starting July 1st .