LeBron James may have a big decision to make in a few months. The Miami Heat star has had a lot of success in South Beach, but his streak of championship luck may be on the decline after this season.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are not getting any younger, and Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem are all closing in on the end of their careers. These players all make up the backbone of the Heat, along with James, and with Father Time being undefeated, it may be too soon that this team can no longer compete at a championship level.
This is why rumor has it that James may choose to opt out of his current deal and hit free agency during the upcoming off season. The question is, could James really leave the dynasty he has built in Miami?
Before anyone else says otherwise, yes, James, Wade and Bosh have created a dynasty in Miami. Four straight NBA Finals appearances is not accomplished by any ordinary team, and certainly puts the Heat in a different category. Three straight championships would be just as impressive, if not more, and would certainly establish the Heat as one of the most successful organizations in the league.
Despite the success that the Heat have had, there are certainly questions to be answered with the current roster. With so many aging and declining veterans, Heat executive Pat Riley would surely have to try to lure another star player to South Beach in order to keep the Heat in championship form, even with James in the lineup. The Eastern Conference is also becoming more focused on size, with many up and coming teams having quality big men up front able to rebound and play defense at a high level. Players such as Roy Hibbert, Andre Drummond, Joakim Noah and Marcin Gortat can really give the Heat problems down the road if the Heat cannot find a true low post player to match up with. Bosh has a lot of talent and is in no way a poor player, but he is more of a stretch big man, and is not as accustomed to banging down low with traditional centers.
With so much to replace and a huge void to fill, James may end up looking for another team if the Heat cannot find success in this year’s NBA Finals. Teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls have multiple young pieces in place who could really elevate their game if James was to be there to make them better. Teams with more money to spend and great leaders at the helm, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, could also come into play with a little salary shifting and convincing. Franchises with young pieces and flexibility could surely lure James out of Miami if he feels the team is done competing at a high level.
The rumor is not far fetched by any means, and could come to fruition sooner than anyone may think.