In one of the first non-rumored filled articles about Lebron James during this whole free agency fiasco, ESPN lays out several details regarding the decision in this article. The Miami Heat are the favorite according to ESPN for Lebron James, which would form a great trio of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh(already agreed with the Heat), and Lebron James. Cleveland is still in the mix for several reasons but unless the team was able to do something extraordinary, like trading for Chris Paul, I doubt James signs there for more than three years.
In my view Lebron James will sign for the five years in Miami, but only three or less if he does decide to stay in Cleveland. If James does sign in Miami, what will it mean?
For Cleveland this has been a possibility for several years that they just wanted to go away. It has been mentioned that Lebron leaving could kill the sports climate in Cleveland, that the fans could not take anymore. With all the disappointment that city has endured sports-wise, from losing the Browns, to Cavs playoff losses, to Browns playoff losses, to a brutal World Series loss, the city will bounce back. But I am not sure how exactly the Cavs bounce back, at least not initially.
I am not sure what path the Knicks take on if Lebron does choose anything other than them. Sign David Lee and some other free agents? If Lebron does not go to New York expect several mid and lower level free agents to get a raise, New York has money to spend and they will spend it.
This decision would not be disastrous for the Bulls. This has not been something Bulls fans have been looking towards for years, only months. At one point they were the favorite to get something added but again, that feeling was very brief. The Chicago fans also just won the Stanley Cup, have the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears, there is plenty of distraction in Chicago. The Bulls still have a very good, young roster, they just didn’t become an NBA favorite to win it all the next few years if any of the rumored moves would have happened. Which would have been nice for them.
For a fan base that the rest of the country views as bandwagon at best it is hard to argue they deserve this. If this was going to happen, it would have been funner in New York. Now a virtually forgotten sports city outside of the Dolphins will become the apex of the NBA. The Florida Marlins have as many World Series titles as the Red Sox in the last 15 years and more than anyone but the Yankees but nobody cares enough down there to make it last, including the owners.
I have several questions regarding the Heat. How will they fill out the roster? Can you win with three GREAT players and nine playing for the league minimum? How do the Heat avoid the luxury tax in future seasons if these three contracts escalate but the cap is static? If the cap does not go up in future years will the Heat be able to put together a roster?
The Heat will become the NBAs signature franchise for several years. They will be on national tv every chance the networks get. They will sell more jerseys over a specific time period than any team in any sport ever has. How many actual titles they win will be very interesting to watch.
For the Bucks this is not the worst thing that could happen. I think it would have been worse for James to stay in Cleveland, Wade to join the Bulls, and Bosh to join one of them. Yes, the Heat get much stronger, but the Bulls did not and the Cavs got weaker. The Bucks are likely the favorites in the central division next year if all three join the Heat. Winning the division will give the Bucks a great chance at advancing in the playoffs and eventually getting to the conference finals. Small steps, we do not need to worry about winning a title and overthrowing the great Miami Heat until we can prove we can win when expected and advance in the playoffs. Dealing with the Super-Heat can come later.