In the latest Sports Illustrated and just released, King James shares his passion for growing up in Ohio and returning home. This is official breaking news and he is accepting the challenge to return home and bring a championship(s). The magnitude of winning in Cleveland, after making the business decision and winning titles that cemented his legacy, it would mean the world to LeBron and Ohio. He joins an elite point guard and clutch scorer Kyrie Irving and a handful of lottery picks. His meetings with Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade were goodbyes, and sharing an appreciation for the greatness they have achieved. Now, LeBron perhaps wins a lot of his doubters over, or back. This is fantastic as a basketball fan, it is confirmed via Sports Illustrated and “he’s coming home.”
Now the world and NBA can move on. So shall we discuss something else now that we’re all satisfied with the first domino to fall?
Everybody that follows the league can see how perfect a situation between the Bulls and Anthony appears to be. All along this has been the prediction I have made and held onto, I prefer not to change my mind because you can’t decipher reports with unnamed sources and unknown agendas. If the Knicks really want Melo to take less than a max contract, well then he has very little reason to stay aside from uprooting the family. If it’s about getting max money and competing, the better bet is the one presented by Los Angeles, trying to rekindle the Lake Show.
It seems as if Anthony is on his way out the door, but after watching LeBron carry the load because Dwyane Wade is aging, it might not even be worth the risk to join the Black Mamba. Most would agree that Kobe Bryant has a couple strong years left, but then raises the question if one ball is enough for the high-volume scorers? The deep Western Conference, if you check the standings they show 9 teams with at least 48 wins (7 teams with 50+ wins) and the Lakers with the second worst record. Bring the Bulls back to the forefront and you have: a contending team already in place with a strong supporting cast, Coach of the Year (Tom Thibodeau), MVP (Derrick Rose), Defensive Player of the Year (Joakim Noah), two honorable mentions for All Defensive team (Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler), Sixth Man of the Year runner-up (Taj Gibson), nearly $80 million with another big market (you don’t see many Melo commercials out the Big Apple, yet Kevin Durant plays in OKC and he’s all you see).
Don’t worry, this article will touch on the dominating storylines of free agency. Highlighted by the second coming of King James, and Melo decision on which big city to play for. The NBA die-hard fan in me wants to look around the league and just talk basketball and players. Like I said, this will get to some thoughts on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Oh yea, and the other the free agents and trade rumors as well.
Did you know that only a pair of floor generals dropped 20 points a night, Portland’s Damian Lilliard and Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas. Correction, free agent Isaiah Thomas. The coveted guard is waiting just like the rest of the league, for LeBron James to choose his next destination. After that, expect nearly a dozen players to ink deals in a free agent frenzy, including Thomas.
Word is that the Kings, who just picked up Darren Collison from the Clippers, would like to bring Thomas back to town as the backup. Meaning, they reached out to Chris Paul’s backup to take over and Thomas is moving on with a lot of interest, beginning with the Lakers, Suns, and Heat.
As for the leading scorer at the position in the NBA, Lilliard led the Trail Blazers past the Rockets in the playoffs. The playoff experience should prove valuable for the young Blazers, advancing past a James Harden/Dwight Howard team before learning some lessons from the champion Spurs. However it may be challenging to hold onto his partner in crime, LaMarcus Aldridge. The smooth big man seems like he has wanted out for the past couple of seasons now.
You may be more familiar with Lilliard, in two seasons he has won competitions during All Star weekend and playing in the playoffs. Dame’s numbers: 20.7 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.8 steals. Just how good is Thomas? Hard to say he’s overlooked with an abundance of standout point guards, the deepest position in the league, but amongst fans he certainly is. This is what he put up in his contract season: 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.
When Chicago’s Derrick Rose returns next season, the former MVP is expected to come back to similar form which would put him back on this list. Sidelined for a couple seasons, but before that in his 2010-2012 MVP campaign: 25 points, 7.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1 steal. He followed those numbers up, playing half of the following season with: 21.8 points, 7.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 steals.
Whether LeBron James chooses Miami or Cleveland, the biggest threat to the King’s throne is comes out the Windy City. Injuries may have halted their hopes and progress, but this off-season the Bulls brought in scorers and are still waiting to hear from Carmelo Anthony. They has been one of the beasts in the east over the years, a blue-collar team anchored by Joakim Noah and developed by Tom Thibodeau. In fact, any scorer looking to ignite his career in the Association should contact the Bulls for a bargain deal. If they haven’t, their agents should have been keeping tabs on Rose’s substitutions throughout his absence: C.J. Watson (Pacers), Nate Robinson (Nuggets), Marco Bellinelli (Spurs), John Lucas III (Jazz), Kyle Korver (Hawks), and most recently D.J. Augustine (free agent). Each of them has been featured at some point when they played for Thibodeau and company, playing prominent offensive roles and earning bigger contracts elsewhere.