As the Heat come close to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, one question remains: will LeBron still be in Miami next season? James has the option to become a free agent at the end of this season, and he hasn’t said which way he was going to decide. Usually a player will just come out and say he wants to stay if that’s what he really wants, but James has deflected all questions thus far. King James has a big decision to make, and it might not even hinge on whether Miami makes it three in a row come June. He’ll almost certainly opt out, but he could always sign another contract with Miami afterwards. There are a few other options that stand out, so let’s outline them.
The Bulls make the most sense to me out of every team, as they’re set up to take on a big contract this offseason the same way they were in 2010 when James picked Miami. A strong point guard in Derrick Rose (if he ever plays a full season again) and a smart coach in Tom Thibodeau could help lure the game’s best player, and staying in the Eastern Conference is a smart move if you want a fairly easy path to the NBA Finals every season. If James and Rose can play on the same team, the Bulls can be better than the Heat have been the last few years.
Los Angeles Lakers
Unless the Lakers are willing to part with Kobe this summer, this doesn’t seem likely. Not that the financial aspect is impossible to work out, but Kobe doesn’t seem to keen on not being the star. Shaq was pushed out of L.A. due to his issues with Bryant, and you can bet the Black Mamba wants nothing to do with James being the face of the Lakers. My guess is the Lakers save their money for Kevin Love after next season.
Why not? The fans hate him, but they’ll get over it when he’s dropping 30, 8, and 6 a night and taking the Cavs back into the playoffs every season. This move actually does make sense for James, as he now has his championships and can move back to his home state and try one more time to get a title in Cleveland. Let’s be real, the fans would welcome him back. Would Dan Gilbert pursue James after all the disparaging remarks in 2010? Of course.
New York Knicks
This would all hinge on whether Carmelo Anthony is a Knicks player next season, and if he isn’t expect new General Manager Phil Jackson to go after James hard. Jackson, of all people, knows how much having that one star player can do for a team and franchise, and James would fit in will in New York City. If Phil wants to coach (it’s probably going to happen eventually) the three best players of the last 30 years, he’ll try his best to land the MVP. The Knicks already have the highest ticket demand for regular season games, and that would go through the roof if they got LeBron.