LeBron James Wants an NBA Title, Will He Accept $15 Million To Get It?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IJuly 2, 2010

CHICAGO - MARCH 31:  Andres Nocioni #5 of the Chicago Bulls pressures LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 31, 2005 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Cavs 102-90 in overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I will be the first to admit the nuances of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement can be nearly impossible to follow, and the sliding-scale progression can read like a foreign language.

However, when ESPN recently reported that any combination of a proposed super team gathering in Miami would have to accept contracts for roughly 15 million dollars per year over a five year period, it was in a language I clearly understood.

ESPN made the statement in reference to a meeting between Amare Stoudemire and Pat Riley of the Heat, but the same rules would obviously apply if Chris Bosh was substituted for Stoudemire.

This revelation brings a different perspective into the conversation because it disspells the myth that the top tier players in free agency will get the same money regardless of where they sign.

Many people assume that Joe Johnson's contract offer of 19.8 million dollars over the course of six seasons would have no bearing on what decision a player like Bosh or LeBron makes, but 15 million is still less than 19.8

There is a gradual progression of salary as the life of the contract advances, but it's still relative to the total amount of the contract, which means a 75 million dollar contract can't end up being 119 million once it has reached maturity.

This is only one of the dilemmas facing the Heat or any other team with the dreams of signing three maximum deal free agents, but filling out the rest of the roster is the major issue.

If the Heat or any team did manage to pull off the proverbial trifecta it means the other 10 spots on the roster would have to be filled with second round picks and minimum wage players.

It's easy to think players would disregard salary for a chance to play with a super team, but the reality of the situation would give pause to any player thinking about getting on board.

In order for this super team to materialize it would take a few other players who may not be top tier players, but are not minimum wage players by any means.

These players would be forced to accept less than their estimated value, despite witnessing what the consequences of Johnson's contract offer with Atlanta has brought.

Johnson's ridiculous deal with the Hawks ensures that there will be a majority of players who will be grossly over-paid during free agency, so why pass up the chance at a huge payday for a much less certain title chase?

If you are James, who most consider to be the NBA's top player, is it in your best financial interest to play in Miami for less money than what you would make in Chicago or New York?

If the goal is to win championships, and become an international icon, then James' interests would be best served by possibly teaming with Bosh in Chicago, which is what most observers feel will happen.

We do live in a digital age so location may not be as important as it once was, but Chicago gives James the proper platform plus they already have a solid core of players established.

The Bulls have one of the NBA's premeir point guards in Derrick Rose, and they have a solid core of players surrounding him, which is a much easier transition than the make-shift roster James would find in Miami.

Additionally, Chicago could sign James and Bosh with relative ease, meaning they both would be a little closer to the top of the free agency maximum rather than being forced to accept 15 million per year.

A NBA super team could very still be in the works, but it may be more likely to find that roster forming in the windy city of Chicago, rather than the sunny beaches of Miami.


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