Alright, here we go. LeBron James has allowed everyone to press the play button and continue to what they were doing before refreshing Twitter.
The King returns to his hometown, going from perceived villian to hero was part of the process. He called Miami his college-like years where he became a better player and a better man. Now attention turns to Minnesota’s Kevin Love. If this deal goes down, expect #1 pick Andrew Wiggins to be the center of the package for the all star forward. The Cavs have three first round picks in next year’s draft, expect two if not all three to be included. Guard Dion Waiters had some issues with the team last season, I would presume he is included as well. Then perhaps a forward to replace Love, say Anthony Bennett and Tristin Thomspon. For the record, Love stated he would sign an extension if traded to Cleveland.
Some players to follow? Shooters Ray Allen and Mike Miller. Allen has a basketball relationship with James, Miller has a basketball and personal relationship with James. Both would be turning down more money for a chance at winning a championship with James in Cleveland. A feeling al three have experienced together before.
Carmelo Anthony is the perfect fit and I believe this has been the place he’s been mulling over the entire process. Melo met with them for nine hours, his agent is friends with coach Tom Thibodeau and wants him to go to the Bulls. The market is huge, when you think about it, you see more OKC Kevin Durant commercials than NY Carmelo Anthony commercials. I think Melo is Chicago-bound with Pau Gasol having a tough decision to make. Gasol expressed interest in the Bulls last season, the Bulls have reached out to him twice this off-season, and Rose even expressed interest in the big man last season.
Don’t think everyone is going home like Drake however, Dwyane Wade is a lifer in Miami with father-figure, Pat Riley.
If the Bulls had to part ways with some of their core via sign & trade, say Taj Gibson or Jimmy Butler, they prefer to include Carlos Boozer. If they amnesty Boozer, they lose both exceptions which would be used to sign two players.
New York Knicks
I think the longer it takes, the fact that Melo communicated with Thibodeau and not Phil Jackson, well the writing is on the wall. What they do have going for them, the fact that LeBron went where his heart was could weight on Melo’s mind. He does love the Big Apple, his family is comfortable there, but passing up on a contending roster with an elite coach is eating at him right now.
At age 30, I don’t think Anthony wants to burn another year or two in hopes of adding a star or two. He supposedly wants to win and stamp his name in the history of the NBA, winning championships is the way to go about that. Believing in Jackson is one thing, he doesn’t have the time to wait for a first time president and coach to make it happen. Eventually, expect the Knicks to cave to a sign & trade with the Bulls so they add pieces to soften the blow. Taking on Boozer’s contract would give the Knicks $16 more million free cap space next off-season.
So far they shipped Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton out of town in return for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, and Shane Larkin. Jackson also worked some magic to go to three picks in the draft after starting the night without one.
Chris Bosh is expected to join the Rockets as the offer has been on the table all week. Despite a recent attempt by Miami to keep him, it should be a smooth transition for him to pair up with Dwight Howard as the best frontcourt in the league. Chandler Parsons may have signed an offer sheet with the Mavericks, but the inner-state rival is expected to match the offer to hang onto the restricted free agent.
Houston ships Jeremy Lin’s contract to the Los Angeles Lakers to pay Bosh and Parsons. They are awaiting approval about the Omer Asik trade to the New Orleans Pelican as well.
Los Angeles Lakers
With only four players on the roster, the team is close to acquiring point guard Jeremy Lin. It has been reported that Lin gets traded with a future first round pick for the rights to an overseas player. Not sure that’s enough to keep Pau Gasol in the City of Angeles, but of course they are far from done. I just don’t see Gasol wanting to return to a team that didn’t land James or Anthony. Melo just ruled out the Lakers, never actually thought they were really in the hunt when it came down to it.
So the Black Mamba wants some help in his ladder years. Byron Scott is a familiar face that looks like the next head coach. As for who actually comes to town, think along the lines of re-signing a few players from last season like Nick Young and Jordan Hill.
Wings To Go
Aside from James and Anthony, there are some other coveted swingmen that will quickly get signed: Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, Shawn Marion, Paul Pierce, Gordon Hayward, Vince Carter, Evan Turner, and Lance Stephenson.
Expected Destinations (in order):
Lance Stephenson: Pacers, Lakers, Mavericks, Bulls, Celtics
Luol Deng: Suns, Mavericks, Lakers
Trevor Ariza: Wizards, Lakers, Mavericks
Shawn Marion: Heat, Mavericks, Bulls
Paul Pierce: Nets, Clippers, Mavericks, Bulls
Gordon Hayward: Jazz, Hornets
Vince Carter: Mavericks, Heat, Trail Blazers
Evan Turner: Timberwolves, Pacers