Tale of the Tape: LeBron James’ Next Decision
- TeammatesThe “Big Three” often saw LeBron doing it all this year. Wade looked old in the Finals, and Bosh disappears at times. No supporting cast whatsoever, so they’ll need offseason help.James could pick where he goes, and thus quasi-decide who his teammates are. He could also repeat 2010 and convince someone to join him in another city.
- Front OfficeErik Spoelstra has to be considered one of the better NBA coaches. And no team president tops Pat Riley.There is a lot of incompetence in the NBA, and anyone with the cap room for LeBron has no one with the pedigree of Riley.
- LeverageLeBron holds the face cards, but Wade or Bosh each have an ace of their decks: if either opts into their contracts next year, any chance of signing a good free agent is gone.If LeBron becomes a free agent, he could go anywhere he wants for a max contract. Being the best player in the world has that perk.
- MoneyIf he wants to win another title in Miami, then Wade, Bosh & James all need to take less money to sign free agents. However, no state tax in Florida.Few places have no state tax. He could get a max deal, but would also take a pay cut if it meant signing another marquee name.
- Chance To WinThis year’s Heat team had major flaws, but still cruised through a very weak Eastern Conference. He could easily return to a 5th straight Finals.If he stays in the East, his team would automatically become favorites. The West? It’s so deep that he would be in a dogfight every round.
Final Verdict: Stay in Miami (3 of 5) It’s close, but if each of the Big Three takes pay cuts and they gain one or two pieces, they are championship favorites with San Antonio. Even if they do not get a big name, the Heat with James are still likely to run through the East. Staying put is the best option for now.