For those of you reading this article, you may think I’m just another stupid blogger in love with the Miami Heat and every night I pray to the Good Lord that LeBron James will return to South Beach, even though I’m as religious as a rock.
One piece of the aforementioned is accurate, the part about being as religious as a rock. However, if we are to venture down that dangerous path, you would be reading a novel and I’m only allowed 750 words max. I’ll just shut my mouth on the subject now, before a group of born-again Christians fill my email with God knows what; no pun intended.
As for James and this NBA Free Agent Fiasco, I’m not just writing that Miami has the best chance to re-sign the small forward because I like the Heat. I’m writing it because in some ways, it is a no-brainer: Pat Riley basically has a clean slate, an empty payroll to work with. What could be better than that? Not to mention that the free agent market is like Silk Road right now, where anything is obtainable.
Many of the teams looking to court James, Carmelo Anthony, and all the other lucrative free agents are consistently talking about mega-deals and super-combos. What about the rest of the roster? What about the supporting cast? The 2014 Finals was a perfect example of how team basketball can overcome super-combos. Teams like the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks (amongst others) are all discussing courting James by also signing players such as Anthony, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol or manufacturing some deal to make a “Big 3” like combination possible.
To me, Riley and the Heat have the best shot at luring James and making something special happen. To have a near-empty roster to work with rarely happens, let alone paired with one of the best free agent classes in league history. Miami can bring back the “Big 3,” possibly add Melo or Gasol, and still be able to add valuable role players. It’s all a matter of numbers and selling.
The next couple of weeks will be much like the show Mad-Men. The nights will be long and restless, the days filled with stress and client pitches. All of which will accumulate into an overdose of brown-nosing, butt-kissing and ESPN making our ears bleed with their bombardment coverage. Who knows, maybe all the high-ups smoke and drink like fishes just like the show.
I don’t think anyone has a clue as to what James or any of these players want, but I do like Miami’s chances the best. Riley is too brilliant to squander a historic opportunity. If you thought 2010 was either insane, pathetic, or both, then you haven’t seen anything yet. James has already announced he wants a max-contract. Next, a two-hour television special with no commercial interruptions.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.