For the past week, we've heard non stop talk on ESPN about one of the best (if not the best) free agency groups of all time. From time to time, ESPN analysts have led us on with false information, and also with information that seemed fair, but not verified. Less than seven days into the free agency bonanza, we've seen Amare Stoudemire make the first official move by a superstar player. We've seen many players such as Chris Duhon make a move, but nothing as highly publicized as the "Big 3". Dwayne Wade decided to stay in Miami, with Bosh coming to join him. Now only LeBron, arguably the best player in the NBA, is yet to make a decision.
With many anxious fans, LeBron has announced a one hour special to decide where he plays for the 2010-11 season and beyond.If LeBron does decide to stay in Cleveland, the whole one hour special and free agency media frenzy has been an overhyped waste of time.
Below, I weigh in on the six teams chances with The King. Their chances would be scaled from a one to ten.
LeBron James To The Clippers
The Clippers chances of luring LeBron James to LA may not be particularly good-but if there's any chance at all, you absolutely have to go for it.The Clippers are one team that cleared enough cap space at the trade deadline to make a run at LeBron James. They're noted as one of the darkhorses in the LeBron sweepstakes because they could surround LeBron with a nice core of Baron Davis, Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, and Chris Kaman. Isn't that what LeBron is looking for? A nice supporting cast of young players that need a leader in order to move on as playoff contenders.
But many would argue that LeBron would not want to share a stadium with Kobe, or even share the same city with Kobe, although that could spark up a new rivalry between these two LA teams. What the NBA is missing these days is nice rivalries. Who can forget about the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks feud? It seems as if the only feud that exists today is between the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers. All in all, Clippers are the underdogs in the race to LeBron. Their chances may be slim, but dont count them out.
Chances:5 out of 10
LeBron James To The Heats
LeBron James to Join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami? The Miami Heat have secured two of the three top free agents available on Wednesday. Already hearing that D-Wade and Chris Bosh have committed to the Heats have their fans thinking LeBron is bound to come down to South Beach. But would LeBron really want to head to the Heat to start a superteam? Think about it. LeBron's numbers would drastically be cut, and we all know no matter how players say stats don't matter, deep down they know it really does. LeBron would also take a big blow if he shares the spotlight with two other players.
Chances:6 out of 10
LeBron James To The Nets
Usually when The Nets are mentioned in NBA talk, they're the butt of every joke after their humiliating season. But as the offseason approaches, it seems as if the Nets could turn out to be big winners. The first change that has propelled the Nets into headlines is their new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov. This guys oozes money, and has shown every sign that he’s willing to spend that money to build the Nets into a championship contender.
Playing for the Nets can also help James expand his brand globally. For a guy like LeBron, who wants to build his own brand into an international powerhouse, the owner most capable of doing that for him is Prokhorov, not to mention LeBron’s friend Jay Z is part owner as well. With The Nets moving to Brooklyn in the next two years, he'll be a part of the largest market in the U.S.
The final reason LeBron would come to New Jersey is because of the people the organization has in place. They have a very good young core with Devin Harris at point guard and Brook Lopez at center, two building blocks that only the Bulls can match. Besides those two guys they have Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, and incoming rookie Derrick Favors to plug in around LeBron and whatever other free agent the Nets decide to bring in. Also in place is head coach Avery Johnson, who just wins. Johnson has a .735 winning percentage in his coaching career, and will instill a defensive-minded attitude into Nets basketball.
Chances:7 out of 10
LeBron James To The Bulls
It seemed as if LeBron to the Knicks was a certain lockup. That is, until the Bulls came into the picture. As Chicago cleared enough cap space to sign two free agents max contracts, LeBron seemed destined to sign there. Every sports analyst and journalist shared their opinion, and it all came up the same: LeBron James will be headed to the Chicago Bulls. If LeBron does decide to head off to the Bulls, his supporting cast is strong.
He would be in a bigger market and join what is an already strong team, consisting of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah, and the newly acquired Carlos Boozer. But does LeBron really wanna share the same city that Michael Jordan has already established a legacy in? If LeBron does in fact go to the Bulls, he'll have to win seven championships. But this doesn't seem impossible, looking at the great players around him.
Chances:9 out of 10
LeBron James To The Knicks
The Knicks have spent two years unloading bad contracts, and shipping off many of their players, just for this day. Many people talk about the Knicks' bad supporting cast, but if you really watched Knicks' games, or even knew about their roster, you'll know that their supporting cast is just as good as any other of the teams on this list (except the Bulls). Danilo Gallinari is a superb three point shooter, as well as Al Harrington, who is a good sixth man.The addition of Amare is certain to woo Lebron to New York. The only thing that may be a concern for LeBron is a need for a center and experienced point guard.
If LeBron were to sign with the Knicks he would instantly be looked at as a savior, a man who resurrected the Knicks and made them beyond respectable. If LeBron could land in NYC, the revenue generated would be insane. It’s only right that the League’s biggest seed play in the Big Apple. Is Lebron Square Garden in the works?
Chances:9 out of 10
LeBron James Returns To The Cavaliers!
If this does happen, many fans would see all this hype surrounding LeBron as such a big waste. Many people (such as myself) have stayed home for the past few days simply searching the internet every second for every new detail on the free agents (plus a heat wave in NYC). Why run an hour special to announce your re-signing with your current team? Even though it makes no sense, this could well happen. LeBron is building hype, and fooling all of our minds, as we buy into the cheap news, and the false reports we are fed by these "sources".
Although many may argue that Cleveland is not the place to win titles,LeBron would have to find out the hard way. He grew up right outside of Cleveland, and most of all his family and friends hail from there. Why would LeBron let down his fans that have been with him since his St.Virginia-St.Mary days? After a week that felt like months, LeBron will be headed back with the Cavs.
Chances:10 out of 10
My Personal Favorite Picks
1-New York Knicks
3-New Jersey Nets