TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale of the Tape: LeBron James’ Next Decision

Miami
Another NBA Team
2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
Teammates
The “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.
Winner 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 Office
Winner Erik 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.
Leverage
LeBron 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.
Winner 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.
Money
Winner If 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 Win
Winner This 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.

The Winner Is

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
Winner Miami
3 out of 5

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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

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  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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