After the Miami Heat were crushed by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, everyone had a feeling LeBron James would opt out of the final year of his contract with the team–mainly so he could keep his options. So when the news broke on Tuesday morning that James was in fact opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent, it wasn’t the decision that was surprising, but more of the timing behind the whole thing.
Nobody expected James to make his decision this early considering he had until the end of the month, but if there’s anything to take away from this, it would be the Heat should be feeling the pressure when it comes to convincing their superstar to return for the 2014-15 season. Four years ago, this decision was a no brainer for LeBron as he was teaming up with two of the league’s top stars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
However, four years later, James finds himself in a tough position considering Wade and Bosh are nowhere nearly as effective as they used to be–and the five games of the 2014 NBA Finals will prove that.
If Miami really wants LeBron to return for the next couple of seasons, they’re going to need to do some work this offseason and figure out a way to improve their current roster. The Heat may have reached the NBA Finals in each of the last four seasons, but it’s clear change is needed if this team is going to have any chance of staying near the top of the Eastern Conference next year.
James can’t carry this team on his shoulder like he did this past season and it will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks in Miami. There are plenty of teams that would love to bring a player like James on for the 2014-15 season and who knows–The Decision Part II could be in the works before our very eyes for this summer.