WHAT TEAM WILL CARMELO CHOOSE ?
Carmelo Anthony has just concluded visits with Chicago, Dallas, Houston and the Lakers. Carmelo wants max or near max money and ALSO wants a chance to win now and the next several years. Which team can meet his goals ? Chicago can't give Carmelo max money. Reports indicate that Carmelo was disappointed with the financial offer of the Bulls. The Lakers can give him max money but only has enough money to pair him with Kobe Bryant and perhaps Pau Gasol and minimum contracts. Kobe may only play for two more years. Will he be the same Kobe ? The Lakers long term roster is an unknown. Dallas can't offer Carmelo a max contract plus Houston has better talent than Dallas.
CARMELO ANTHONY TO HOUSTON
Carmelo has a clear choice. He can play with Dwight Howard and James Harden. Also, he can receive nearly a max contract in doing so.. Howard and Harden are signed for several years. There is stability in Houston in the next several years. This really isn't a difficult decision. Carmelo will choice Houston. He should do so this weekend.
LEBRON JAMES TO CLEVELAND
As I posted several days ago, Miami does not have the money to make a competitive offer for viable free agents that would significantly upgrade the roster. The issue for LeBron is NOT playing for Miami. The national media seems to think that LeBron will choose Miami because they are Miami. LeBron wants an upgraded roster where he doesn't have to carry so much of the offensive load of the team. He no longer wants to play 40 minutes a night. Dwayne Wade is on the decline. His future contribution level is uncertain. The best free agents on the market to significantly upgrade the Heat roster was Marcin Gortat and Kyle Lowry. Both players are staying with their respective teams from last year.
This year's free agents aren't being signed for a bargain. Jodie Meeks got $6 million. Avery Bradley got $8 million. You can't make bricks without straw and Miami does not have the money to sign free agents that will make a difference for LeBron at the current market price. Furthermore, a veteran won't commit to a reduced salary to sign with the Heat if they don't know for sure that LeBron is staying. LeBron doesn't want to commit to signing if he doesn't know who will sign with the Heat. So, the situation is a catch-22.
It is now being reported that LeBron's agent has spoken with Dallas, Houston and Phoenix. LeBron wants to win championships. The best way to do this is to stay in the Eastern Conference. Trying to beat OKC and San Antonio every year just to make it to the finals is not a good way to win titles. This would be the case if he chose Dallas or Phoenix. If Carmelo chooses Houston then they would be another obstacle.
If LeBron leaves Miami they won't content for a championship. If Indiana loses Lance Stephenson then Indiana is weakened. Brooklyn lost Shawn Livingston and will possibly lose Paul Pierce. LeBron won't go to Chicago and live in Michael Jordan's shadow. So, in reality, LeBron only has two choices. Miami or Cleveland. LeBron now knows that both Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins will be with Cleveland for the next 4 years. LeBron will have a better and younger supporting cast than what he ever had when he played with Cleveland the first time. LeBron knows that Dan Gilbert will spend the money needed to win a championship. LeBron's wife loves Akron. LeBron is a family man. LeBron is doing everything this time to rectify the mistake and the tarnished image he received from the way in which he made his decision in 2010. The process is just "window dressing". LeBron is doing this to leave the Miami Heat in the most professional manner to improve his image. As a result, It is only a matter of time, LeBron will choose Cleveland.
WHAT ABOUT CHRIS BOSH ?
In an earlier article, I said that Chris Bosh would go to Dallas. However, Dallas traded for Tyson Chandler. Chris Bosh is no longer a good fit in Dallas. All reports indicate that Bosh wants to stay in Miami. As a result, this is his most likely destination. If LeBron leaves Miami then perhaps Bosh would consider the Lakers. However, it is most likely that Bosh will choose to remain in Miami regardless of LeBron's decision.