LeBron James has notified the Miami Heat that he will opt out of the remainder of his current contract to become an unrestricted free agent. It’s nearly a certainty that he just wants to put together a new contract with the Heat in order to clear up some financial room so that the team can afford to bring some other quality talent to South Beach, but everyone from the casual basketball fan to the executive decision maker has been making the case that their team is the best fit for LeBron since the announcement was made this morning. It only seems appropriate to join the party here.
How does James fit with the Dallas Mavericks? Well, if we’re only looking at financial flexibility and the roster that would surround him, the answer to that question is simple: Perfectly. It isn’t until you bring in other factors, such as the historical context of the relationship between Dallas and James, that things fall apart. There’s also the fact that Dallas, although a nice city, is not held in the regard of the city of Miami and other American cities. And there is a lack of any of James’ “best friends” in Dallas, which seems to be a major concern for the best player in the world.
Even while considering all that, maybe the challenge should be for James to put his money where his mouth is and commit to the thought that championship rings are the most important factor for him. If the Mavericks have the opportunity to trot out a starting lineup of Jose Calderon — a time-tested efficient distributor and knockdown three-point shooter — Monta Ellis — the man who got to the rim better than anyone in the league last season — James — the best player in the world — Dirk Nowitzki — a first-ballot Hall of Famer who has shown he has some time left in his legs and doesn’t operate from any of James’ spots — and Samuel Dalembert — a rim-protecting big man who can shut down the paint when energized — it wouldn’t be out of the question to say that team would be superior to this year’s Heat team that fell short in the NBA Finals.
It’s realistic financially and it yields a phenomenal opportunity for both James and the Mavericks to make a tremendous leap toward the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Now if all of those other factors could just fade away.
Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.