LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh.
Yes, they are all big-name free agents in this year’s NBA summer sweepstakes.
But they are also all human.
And they all deserve the same time and effort any of us would put into deciding on a future job and where one’s family and kids will grow up.
Like Wade told ESPN the other day, “This is not an easy decision to make and everyone thinks that it is.”
I agree with Wade. Regardless of the millions of dollars being thrown around this summer, putting proper effort into carefully considering all options on the table is imperative for these guys entering the prime of their careers.
And they will need TIME to make those critical choices.
Sure, places like New York and Chicago have got to be appealing to many of these guys.
But is that really where they want to spend the next five-plus years of their career?
Maybe, but then again—maybe not.
Also, just because fans, media, and management alike would like nothing more than to see a trio of stars align, it’s highly likely that won’t happen either.
All these guy are on different teams right now, and the same may ring true in the 2010-11 season as well.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be some guys swapping teams next season, but I highly doubt there will be anything like what occurred in Boston in 2008 happening again.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it WON’T happen—but I doubt it will.
However, I digress.
I do think, however, that ONE team out there is going to become immediate contenders with this off-season’s free agency by landing TWO stars (for example, say, Wade and Bosh).
Could that be Chicago? New York? Miami?
Really, all three landing spots are high possibilities, but it may be awhile before we know who’s going where—at least when referring to James, Wade, and Bosh.
Joe Johnson, for example, is most likely going to end up in Atlanta again after being offered a six-year contract worth $119 million.
The same could probably be said about Dirk Nowitzki, who has reportedly been offered a four-year contract worth $96 million.
Both Johnson’s and Nowitzki’s re-signings would be for a player’s maximum-allowed contract—and both will likely announce they’ll be returning to their former teams after briefly testing free agency waters.
The LeBron James story that is headlining this summer’s stories, though, is a completely different story.
Yes, where he goes people will follow. And where he goes, the King will land.
But if you want my guess, I really don’t see James leaving Cleveland.
The Cavaliers have a good team in place—where James is more than just a King reigning from his hometown in Akron, Ohio—and they recently named a new coach, and one I am sure James will be happy to work with.
So, what’s next?
First and foremost, give these guys time to decide.
But here’s how I see it playing out with the big three free agents: James will re-sign with Cleveland, while Wade and Bosh will join forces in Chicago.
And both the Bulls and the Cavaliers will be Eastern Conference title-contenders looking to dethrone the LA Lakers next season…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org