This Week's Topic:
Looking forward to next year, where do you see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh playing next year?
Jeff/Tom of Damn Lies & Statistics
It is going to be a wild offseason as teams with cap room vie for the right to sign these three guys and a few others to max contracts. LeBron is in the driver’s seat and will set the tone for the rest of the free agent class to choose their destinations. My guess is that The King will remain in Cleveland as they A) can offer him the most and B) are proving, albeit clumsily at times, that they want to win. I’m not sure if LeBron will be more motivated to stay in Ohio if the Cavs do win it all vs. if they fall short again, and whenever someone tries to make the argument either way my head starts to hurt.
Here’s my take: Ohio is home, he can make any number he wants in endorsements no matter what team he plays for, and he can always get Danny Ferry to fetch whatever he thinks he needs on the court in the future.
The Knicks will be devastated if this happens, of course, but will push hard for Wade and Bosh. I think Wade and Bosh are likely to make a package deal, and if I had to guess, I think Wade would stay in Miami if he knew Bosh would join him there. Don’t underestimate that city, even if the fan support is lame. It will pick up if they contend again, and the weather, and the women…
So did I just depress all Knick fans? Probably. Consolation prizes of Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, or Amare Stoudemire will prove to be a huge waste of money with not much of a bump in ticket sales. But they have so much cap space and so few players that someone is going to get rich on the Knicks’ dime, even if it isn’t one of the top three guys available.
Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com
Sure LeBron could go elsewhere, but he appears to like NYC, and they have the cap space to potentially bring in another big name free agent (and then maybe also sign David Lee for a reasonable amount if he wants to play with LeBron).
After LeBron it gets more complicated because I feel like some of Wade and Bosh’s decisions will rest on what LeBron does. I’ve heard that Bosh wants to be The Man (see how well that worked out for Shawn Marion), and if that’s true, then he’s probably best just staying in Toronto and taking as much money as he can get from them (since I believe they can go over any supposed limits in order to properly shower him with greenbacks).
If Bosh does not, in fact, harbor the secret desire to run a team himself, then he’s a prime candidate to follow LeBron to a team that has the cap space for both of them.
I would think a logical second choice would be Chicago, who has the space now, and could still make him sort of The Man (alongside Derrick Rose, who could make Bosh look good while also helping him to be as successful as he was in Toronto while playing to a bigger market). Joakim Noah could then continue to play to his core strengths of defense and rebounding, and the Bulls could build a contender around those three.
Finally, Wade’s decisions also might have to wait to be made until LeBron does what he does. It seems more likely Wade would be willing to play with LeBron in NYC than perhaps Bosh would.
Another option would be for LeBron to join Wade in Miami. (mothers hide your daughters!). Since they both love to run up and down the court as fast as possible, Wade and LeBron seem like a much better pairing than LeBron and Bosh. Plus, NY would go nutzo over that pair. Their jerseys would blow up in Avatar-like proportions, and people would start mugging each other again for their shoes.
The Dark Horse in the Summer of 2010 is New Jersey. They’re already part-owned by LeBron’s bud Jay-Z and—like the Bulls—they haven’t given up every single talented player they have to clear cap space. When you add LeBron to Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Brook Lopez, you’ve got a much better looking team than anything the Knicks have under contract for next season.
Tommy of HoopsWorld.com
No, in all seriousness, I think there is a decent chance that Donnie Walsh
signs two big studs (as I discuss here:
http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15358), but if I had to bet
my mortgage on the future, I’d go with LeBron staying in Cleveland and D
Wade staying Miami. I think Bosh may be the only player that ends up
leaving; I’ll go out on a limb and say he signs with Chicago.
When all is said and done I think LeBron James stays put in Cleveland. The Cavs showed LeBron some good faith by adding Shaq and Antawn Jamison to the arsenal. King James wants everybody to woo him, but in the end I think he remains a hometown hero.
The same goes with Dwayne Wade. He will try his darndest to get LeBron to join forces with him in South Beach. While the powerhouse sounds like a great plan, in the end I’m not sure their egos could coexist. Wade has it good in Miami, and I don’t see him skipping town.
Chris Bosh, however, is a different story. As a member of one of the best draft classes in NBA history, Bosh is somewhat overlooked. It’s hard not to when you’re in the same class with LeBron, Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. Even more so when you play in Toronto. The Knicks are making moves to make a run at this free agent class. When the smoke clears, and LeBron and Wade are nowhere to be found, I think they’ll calm their fan base by signing Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson.
Also check out my responses on Chad Ridgeway's page regarding LeBron's 2010 home.