Earlier today, news broke that LeBron James will opt-out of his contract with the Miami Heat to test free agency for the second time in his NBA career. The decision came as no surprise after the Heat were eliminated in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs after losing the series in five games. Many sporting magazines and online news websites are calling for James to re-sign with the Heat for less money, but I believe that’s on the bottom of his list. Re-signing with Miami would tell me that James wants a test rather than actually having a great shot to get his third NBA Championship – something I doubt he wants to endure at this point.
The Heat showed no promise in the NBA Finals this year. If the Big Three were to re-form in free-agency, they’d clearly be underdogs going into next season. Dwyane Wade isn’t worth spending any significant amount of money on, healthy or not. Chris Bosh has also become a less talented player in the Heat’s system, settling for jump shots instead of being a more aggressive basketball player. The Big Three have played their last game together, and I’m sure of that.
If James stayed in Miami, the Heat would have a slim-to-none chance of winning another title — especially with the strengthening of the Western Conference over the past few seasons. I strongly believe that the top five teams in the West were good enough to defeat this season’s Heat team. James could either join forces with a team that is already in title contention or he could stay with a team that will have an extremely tough time winning it all, especially if they don’t make any major improvements.
If the Heat bring back the James, Wade and Bosh, then they won’t have much room to make a splash this offseason. If they somehow entice James to return, they have to make a big signing. Landing Carmelo Anthony would be something that I believe gets James to give it a second thought, but I doubt Anthony can see himself partnering up with another superstar like James. Melo is sure to take his own route here by steering clear of James. Everyone who thinks Melo and LeBron will join forces is completely off.
While it is currently unclear which team James will play for next season, it won’t be long until we know where that will be. Right now, I believe the Los Angeles Clippers are the best option for LeBron. They may have to make room in order to fit James into their plans, but they’ll be fine as long as they keep their leader in Chris Paul. They have good bench in place, a great coach and a big man to defend down low — something James has lacked his entire career. If James joins the Clippers, they will instantly be favorites to win it all. If he rejoins with the Heat, then he may never win another championship again.