You don’t have to be a “serious” NBA fan to know just how “serious” this NBA offseason is – especially for fans of Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. A “free agent” basically means, that the player you love is no longer under contract, and can take offers and sign and play anywhere he chooses. The reason this is so important, is because this is the best “free agent” class EVER!!!
So let’s tackle Dwyane Wade first as he is the hometown guy. Dwyane gave Pat Riley a wish-list for this offseason. The Miami Heat brass knew in order to keep him in “Wade County” that they would have to get some better players to Miami…now! So it seems that is exactly what Riley is trying to do. The cap space has been cleared. There has already been a rumored summit that took place between here in Miami with Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh (all free agents) discussing how it can be crafted for all three superstars to play together in Miami. Some have reported this is a done deal. While it would be seriously crazy / sick news, put the brakes on it. Bosh may very well make it down here, as he likely will play with Wade or LeBron. But LeBron has some serious options that he will explore. Wade however looks more and more like he will stay in Miami. Miami can pay him the most, and he has let it be known that he wants to stay here. Plus it seems like the Chicago Bulls (his most likely other suitor), are focused on LeBron for now. If the Heat cannot land LeBron or Bosh, the next best bets are big men, Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz or Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns.
The GRAND PRIZE of course is LeBron James. He is being seriously courted by original team the Cleveland Cavs, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets, the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks and even the LA Clippers. For LeBron James his choices break down to $125 million over six years by staying in Cleveland or $96 million over five years if he goes to another team. (The exact figures can’t be determined until next season’s salary cap is set in
July). But leaving could put him in a better position to win a championship. It will be interesting where LeBron will land, but more interesting will be why he chose the team he winds up on. If he is going for a title, then it seems the Heat would be the best shot for that with Bosh and Wade. If he wants the fanfare and the history, then perhaps the Knicks would be best. Staying in Cleveland is a very possible option, as he is from Ohio and truly loves it there. Lastly, is the Chicago Bulls. This one might be the most intriguing. Many believe that LeBron wants to overtake Michael Jordan’s shadow by winning a title in MJ’s town. To me, the Mavs, Clippers, and Nets are the least likely to land King James, but you never know.
Other notable free agents and where they may wind up:
- Joe Johnson – Will def not be with the Hawks again…Knicks will make a very strong play if they can’t land LeBron.
- Dirk Nowitzki – More than likely staying in Dallas.
- Paul Pierce – Seems to be staying in Boston.
- Amare Stoudemire – There is tension in Phoenix. That motivates a change. Miami goes hard if they don’t land Bosh. Nets are interested too.
- Carlos Boozer – He falls third behind Bosh and Stoudemire in desirability. Where they don’t land, Boozer will. Will be gone from Utah for sure.
- Ray Allen – He could wind up on the Miami Heat as well, as this is all about Championships now.