Free agency is here, and LeBron James is free to pick a new team, or stay steadfast and stick it out with the Miami Heat.
What are the chances of James taking his talents to the Golden State Warriors?
Well, let’s start with a scale. On this scale we will have the numbers 1-10, with one being the lowest (pipe dream), and 10 being the highest possibility.
However let’s start with the latest news.
Yesterday, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that James wants a max contract. If you screamed YIKES, no worries, you were not alone. James is well deserving of a max contract, but the Warriors simply cannot afford to pay James and expect to keep the current roster together. In fact they, would have to make moves to get rid of most of the current roster.
On this scale, I have the teams with cap space that can afford James, and teams that James is interested in, according to multiple reports. Remember, one is slim to none (pipe dream), and moving up the scale closer to 10 is a higher possibility.
1. Lakers, Mavericks, Jazz, 76ers, Magic
2. Suns, Bulls, Rockets
Now this may become a little complicated, but just stick with me and refer back to the scale above as I touch on just a few of the teams.
1. Consists of the slimmest chances possible of teams that James will play for. Just from my perspective alone, I just can’t see James playing with Kobe Bryant, and wearing a Lakers uniform. That defies all logic. Remember all the LeBron and Kobe commercials? This was Kobe’s league when James entered it, and the two were supposed to battle it out on the court to see who would reign supreme. This battle would never come to be.
Mavericks? Seriously? They beat the Heat in the Finals, only one of two teams to beat the Heat in the James era.
Jazz, 76ers, and Magic, are either too small, don’t have the surrounding talent, or not attractive enough to attract the right talent.
2. The Suns are enticing, but James hasn’t expressed any interest in them.
The Bulls — aw yes — Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Chicago is the team that has the talent to surround James, but a legacy that will always hover over James head: Michael Jordan. You think the comparisons are crazy now? If James goes to Chicago, the comparisons and criticism will skyrocket.
The Rockets seem like a good fit on paper, and a James-Howard combo would destroy teams. However the Rockets have a glaring problem. They don’t play defense! Harden sure doesn’t play defense, and not to mention he is a high volume shooter, often forgoing his open teammates.
5. The Cavaliers seem interesting. They have a roster full of lottery and other high draft picks. The Cavs are right in the middle. However, would James want to play for a rookie coach, and would James want to play for an owner who publicly criticized James?
7. The Heat. Four Finals appearances in four years, two championship titles and an organization that is looking to improve and not settle are looking to rearm, and win again.
Notice how I didn’t mention No. 3? Would James be willing to play for a rookie coach? Would James be willing to take slightly less than a max contract to play with Thompson, Curry, and Lee? No. 3 is close to being a pipe dream, and far from a high possibility.
However in 2010, No. 3 is exactly where I would’ve put the Miami Heat. In 2010, that was a pipe dream.