The Miami Heat and LeBron James have remained focused and on point all season amidst the talk and rumors of free agency this summer. Come July, all three members of the “Big 3” have the option to end their contracts with Miami. Of course the majority of the hype has surrounded “King James” and his decision: Will he stay in South Beach, return to his home team or set off on a new conquest? All has remained a mystery as James has refused to discuss 2014 free agency. That means we are left with only speculation and the educated guessing. With that being said, how does the Andrew Bynum trade affect the Heat and James?
Since the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to trade Bynum along with a few draft picks to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Luol Deng, Cleveland has all but written off the possibility of bringing back James. Deng will be a free agent at the end of this season, but based on what the Cavaliers gave up to get him they will try to re-sign Deng. The trade was a play not only to get rid of Bynum but hopefully spur a run at the playoffs and keep Kyrie Irving interested in remaining in Cleveland.
Basically the Bynum deal strengthens the belief that James will remain in South Beach beyond this season, three-peat or not. If Cleveland does re-sign Deng, they most likely will not be able to sign James as well. I already firmly believed that James would not return to his home team no matter the situation, but this only bolsters my theory.
There will still be other teams with the ability to sign the “King” such as the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, but Miami seems to be the place for James. Thanks to the Bynum trade, we can scratch another team of the list and narrow down the place James may end up this summer. At this point, I might be brave enough to bet the farm on James remaining with the Heat, but you just never know.