LeBron James Free Agency Saga: Where Will The King Take Up His Throne?
I've been hearing, reading, and watching all kinds of discussion about where LeBron James is going to go, and I thought that I would finally throw an article together about what I thought would happen. I'm going to give the top three options as far as the suitors and the chance that he goes to that city. So without further talk, let's get to the teams.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are still at the top of my list. They have the ability to offer two max contracts, and maybe a third depending, and it sounds like they are getting Boozer. James has always wanted to have a star point guard to run the team and is a willing passer as well, and Derrick Rose fits that description perfectly. Now, the question still remains, what other players will the Bulls bring in? So far they have a starting lineup of,
PG: Derrick Rose
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Joakim Noah/Taj Gibson
C: Taj Gibson/Joakim Noah
so they need both a shooting guard and probably another big man to allow the young Gibson to come off the bench. Like I said earlier, it's looking like Boozer will be signing in Chicago, so he and Noah will be interchangeable at the two big positions, while if James is signed, Deng would be traded. I'm not sure there is much of a trade market for Luol Deng, but I'm sure they could get a serviceable shooting guard in return, or maybe get one through free agency. The guy that could fill that two-guard role perfectly is Flip Murray. Sure, he's not the guy most people think of as an NBA starter, but he has a good past with LeBron and can also score the ball when needed.
The other option through free agency they could be interested in is Ray Allen. Allen would fit perfectly alongside James and Rose, and I've been hearing that he's been in contact with LeBron about playing with him. Other options include guys like Mike Miller and Randy Foye (although Foye probably isn't the best option).
Overall, Chicago is my number one option simply because they give him the best chance to win; also the basketball history that is in Chicago could be very attractive to LeBron. We all know that James loves Michael Jordan, and it is probably going to be hard for him to pass up the possibility of playing in front of the same crowd with the same type of love from the fans that Jordan received. I'd be very interested to see how he would handle the pressure to win as Jordan did.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
I have to say the Cavs are my number two choice, simply because it's his home team, and the fans love him so much. It's going to be a very hard decision to leave.
Like I mentioned, the love from the fans is something that LeBron is feeling throughout this whole free agency period, and the way they are almost begging him to stay is probably tearing him apart. Cleveland is a team that has had the talent to win the past few years, but just hasn't been able to get all the pieces to work together. James would fit well working with new head coach Byron Scott, and remember, Scott was very good friends with one of James' best friends, Chris Paul, which could have some kind of a say in this. One thing that LeBron wanted in his new coach was a former NBA player, and Thibodeau in Chicago doesn't fit that.
I think the fact that he's come so close to winning it all in Cleveland, and him knowing the organization is willing to do whatever it takes to win makes them the number two option in this race. The new GM of the Cavs has made it clear that he doesn't plan on wasting any time, and he wants to get right down to business and get this monkey off the Cavs' back.
Overall, Cleveland is the number two choice because of all the factors that he has going in his favor in Cleveland. Being close to family, the ability to go to his old highscool's football games on Friday nights, the fact that the fans love him, and all the other things I mentioned holding him to Cleveland might make it impossible for him to leave.
3. New Jersey Nets
This was the dark horse team to get LeBron from the very beginning. First, with the new Russian billionaire in control of the team, they will be able to do a lot of spending. Also, new head coach Avery Johnson also fits the mold of a former NBA player, and he also fits LeBron's up-tempo play style. New Jersey has a good core of young players with Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and Brook Lopez, and they too will have enough money to make another free agent splash, perhaps a Chris Bosh, if LeBron signs. If the Nets are somehow able to sign Bosh and James, then their starting lineup would look like,
PG: Devin Harris
SG: Terrence Williams
SF: LeBron James
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Brook Lopez
and they would have a little bit of extra cash to fill out the bench. That lineup looks pretty prominsing. Another contributing factor to playing with the Nets would be the fact that another one of his best friends, Jay-Z, is a partial owner of the team. I'm sure we all know that when our best friends are pushing us to do something, we usually consider it very seriously, and quite often we end up doing it.
Overall the Nets are the third choice, and probably right on the Cavaliers' trail because of the coaching style they have, the new owner's willingness to spend to get a championship, and also the fact that one of his best friends is a co-owner of the team. I think the Nets have a much better chance at getting LeBron than many NBA fans are giving them credit for.
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