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

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

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  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

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