LeBron James wants to be the next billion dollar athlete.Â To do so he needs to win championships.Â Teaming up with Dwayne Wade or Chris Bosh, or both of them, could help James make his title run. (Photo by Jeff Lewis)Kobe Bryant and Lakers have enough problems guarding Dwayne Wade.Â He would be a nightmare for the Lakers if he were teamed up with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. (Photo by Jeff Lewis)
By Jason LewisSentinel Sports Editor
July 1, 2010, is finally here. Â Today is the day that NBA fans have been hearing about for three years. Â The day that the landscape of the NBA will drastically change because of big name free agents, most notably LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, are hitting the open market.
This day is really for James, who has stated that it will be the biggest day in NBA history. Â Anybody thinking that he will be staying in Cleveland after a comment like that is fooling themselves.
While Kobe Bryant has been gearing himself up for multiple title runs over the past three years, James has been preparing his staff of agents, advisors, publicist, and business partners for moving his brand outside of Ohio.
Rumors have been swirling for months about where James will end up, and who he will be bringing with him. Â One unnamed NBA executive has said that James and Bosh to the Bulls is a done deal. Â But a NBA GM said that he believes that Bosh to Miami, where Wade will re-sign, has been in place for a long time.
Miami is looking like the hot spot, because they have managed to get rid of all but three players on their roster, clearing up enough money to re-sign Wade, and it looks like they will be able to offer both James and Bosh maximum deals.
If the Heat were able to pull that off they'd be a super team that would most likely win numerous NBA titles over the next 10 years.
That might be a super team that the NBA does not want to see. Â Having one team dominate for a decade is not good for business, but spreading the talent is.
Even if Miami is not able to put together a mega team, they can still re-sign Wade and sign free agents Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson. Â So it looks like the Heat can very easily end up with three All-Star players on their roster.
As intriguing as Miami's situation is, all the dominoes will fall based on James, because he could have to power to bring along another prized free agent with him.
James has said that his decision will be based on winning championships, so that pretty much excludes Cleveland. Â The Cavs have been on the verge of titles with James, but they do not have the ability to attract big named free agents who are n their prime to come and play along side James. Â Ron Artest is a perfect example of that.
James had dinner with Artest last summer to convince him to sign with the Cavs, but Artest instead signed with the Lakers and helped them win the title. Â That right there shows James that as long as he plays in Cleveland he will not be able to get the help that he needs. Â He wants to be in the conversation with Jordan, and seeing Bryant in that conversation as he racks up title after title in a Jordan like fashion must be eating away at James.
If James wants to start winning titles right away, he either needs to team up with other super stars, or sign with the team that has the best roster, which looks like the Clippers.
The Clippers have an All-Star at point guard in Baron Davis, and All-Star center in Chris Kaman, an up and coming star in shooting guard Eric Gordon, and sure fire star power forward Blake Griffin has been cleared by doctors to participate in all team activities.
Put James in that line up at small forward and the Clippers can compete against the Lakers in the Western Conference.
Can James look past what ever Clippers curse there may be? Â Can he share Los Angeles with Bryant?
Los Angeles is the perfect location for James and his brand. Â He is so big that it does not matter whether he is wearing a Clippers of Lakers jersey. Â Oh, but do not be surprised if it is a Lakers jersey.
James to the Lakers is a bit far fetched, but the Lakers were the team that traded their starting center, Vlade Divac, off of a playoff team, for a high school kid named Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers are known for changing the landscape of the NBA. Â They can attract the biggest free agents and make the blockbuster trades. Â They are not in a position to sign James, but if James wanted to play of the Lakers he could force the Cavs to sign and trade him there.
The Lakers would have to send a couple big contracts back to Cleveland to make the deal work. Â The deal can work because of James can simply walk away from the Cavs, so a trade will bring them back players who can keep them in the playoffs. Â Without James they will go back to being a lottery team.
What ever happens this week, it surely will be an exciting one. Â If certain pieces fall a certain way, then there could be a shift in power, but this week could be a lot of hype, and the Lakers could still be sitting there as the favorite to win another championship next year.