Home > Basketball > Teams Wade in for Lebron

Teams Wade in for Lebron

Back in the 19th Century, European superpowers such as France, Britain and Germany engaged in a free-for-all for control of African countries rich in natural resources. This became known as the scramble for Africa. Right now in the NBA, there is a scramble to put this to shame as organisations from all around the league look for control of the NBA’s very own diamond mine, Lebron James. As if that wasn’t enough to get them going, Dwyane Wade is also up for grabs.

The reason is that the two superstars are now unrestricted free agents and free to sign for whoever they please and owners and general managers are falling over themselves to meet with them. For those of you more familiar with football than basketball, imagine Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both being available on Bosmans at the same time…

Just about every team in the NBA has been linked with King James, from Jay-Z’s abject New Jersey Nets to the once great Chicago Bulls. So what are the options for the current league MVP?

New Jersey Nets

The Nets finished last season with a dismal record of 12-70, becoming only the fifth team to lose 70 games in a season in the process. They need something and they see Lebron as the answer, or at least part of it. The Nets are due to move from Newark to Brooklyn for the 2011-2012 season and many believe that they are banking on the lure of the Big Apple to entice Lebron. However, the move appears to be behind schedule with groundbreaking at the site of the new Barclays Center only beginning in March of this year. So why would Lebron join what is quite frankly a shambolic outfit? The honest answer is I don’t know and I don’t think he will. That said, the Nets did meet with the great man and his representatives today (July 1st) and they feel it went well. Incoming Nets coach Avery Johnson said they had a “great presentation” and that he was glad they had “a chance to swing.”

Chicago Bulls

The NBA powerhouse of the 90s has fallen off the radar somewhat. They have never come close to replacing Michael Jordan (not that you can, mind!), but they really have fallen from grace. They do however, now have promising youngsters in the team. Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose look like stars of the future and many are excited at the prospect of them linking up with James, who is, let’s not forget, still only 25 himself. Indeed Lebron has spoken excitedly about Rose stating that the sky is the limit for him and there is of course the theory that Lebron is a life long Bulls fan. If this is true, can he resist the chance to restore the organisation to its former glory?

New York Knicks

Like the Nets, the Knicks had the chance to meet with James and his representatives today. They sent Coach Mike D’Antoni, President Donnie Walsh and former star player and now Walsh’s assistant, Allan Houston. There is again a theory that Lebron will be lured by the thought of living in New York, but surely he can go there whenever he wants anyway? Besides, he will spend half of the year on the road. Like the Bulls, the Knicks are a sleeping giant, but they have not shown any signs of being ready to compete for titles and they do not have youngsters like Noah and Rose. If Lebron wants a championship ring, he may go elsewhere, if he’s in it for the greenbacks, he may choose the Knicks.

Cleveland Cavaliers

James has turned the Cavaliers from a laughing stock to a genuine contender and is adored in Ohio as a result. He plays in a good team and earns great money so don’t rule out him staying put.

Dwyane Wade may not quite be the crossover star that James is but he is arguably a more interesting free agent case than him. At 28, D-Wade would be well-advised to choose it well as it will probably be his last chance to move whilst in his prime. Of all the star free agents on the market, Wade is arguably the least likely to move. He loves Miami as a city and Florida’s generous tax laws are a further incentive to stay put. He likes playing for the Heat and is acutely aware of the fact that no-one else will be able to match his current salary. Unlike James, Wade already has a ring and so the pressure to chase a championship is not there, but the complication comes in the form of the Bulls. Wade is a Chicago native and self-confessed Bulls fan. Will he be tempted? Furthermore, if the Bulls bag James, will this prove too much to turn down? We will see.

The two star players have only been free agents for a matter of hours and so their futures are still very much up in the air. The fact is that there are a lot of rumours and smoke and mirrors stuff going on. No one knows who is going where, but it is sure going to be fun watching and finding out!

Other free agents to watch

Joe Johnson (SG) – looks likely to stay in Atlanta on a six year $120 million contract

Dirk Nowitzki (PF) – the big German is tipped to remain a Mav despite a trip to NYC

Chris Bosh (C) – rumoured to be interesting the Knicks who may even try to unite him with James and Wade in an ambitious play

Amar’e Stoudemire (PF/C) – looks to be on the next plane out of Phoenix. Some sources claim the Knicks are keen on taking him and bringing him together with Johnson and James

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Categories: Basketball
  1. Nim Harindra
    July 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Hey Nick, enjoying reading your posts. It definitely gonna be exciting to see how this unfolds given that the story has dominated the nba for the past year. I hope lebron stays at cleveland for all that they have done for him, and I actually think over the last couple of seasons I think Danny Ferry’s they’ve done an excellent job in giving him a supporting cast. He only has himself to blame for this year’s failure, not the organisation.

    I think the Bulls have the best shot with Rose at PG. A good decision making point guard is key to winning a championship (see Derek Fisher’s impact for the lakers even with limited numbers), and Rose is definitely a future star. If they could get Wade at the same time (also grew up in chicago and huge bulls fan) or even Bosh, that would be a tremendous team.

    I think Lebron’s decision will tell us a lot about his ambition. If he does chose the Nets (supposedly he is interested in their Russian billionaire owner’s vision to make him a global household name), he would be much further away from a title than he is now. Don’t underestimate Jay Z’s impact as well. We’ll see if he wants to collect piles of mvp awards or actually get some rings.

    • July 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Nim.

      I think you make some good points here. He does now have decent support in Cleveland and now they have brought in a top coach in Byron Scott. He can’t blamethe Cavs organisation for not winning the championship, in my opinion it is a collective responsibility thing, Lebron included.

      I like the look of the Bulls. Rose looks red hot and as you point out has great decision making to add to supreme athleticism. I think Hol’s description of Akron as a ‘small town down the road’ is a stretch! But Lebron may well be tempted by the Bulls if he is, as reported, a Bulls fan. They may also put up big money for him.

      The Nets would be a disastrous decision. Let’s be honest, they are rank. If he joins because he wants to be Jay’s best mate or because he buys in to Prokhorov’s ‘global star’ idea, then it smacks of self-interest and someone who wants to stack up dollars and individual honours rather than rings. He already has the former in abundance so I’d be disappointed if he went down that road.

      As for your comments Hol, I actually think the appointment of Scott is definitely a step towards keeping James and I think there is a chance he might stay.

      • Chris Hollindale
        July 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm

        Guess I took a little artistic license there 🙂 but I wanted to emphasise how much of a factor I think that is (or certainly how much of a factor it should be). I can’t think of anything more ambitious than taking your hometown team from bottom of the heap to the NBA championship. If he chooses the Nets over that then it does indeed tell us a lot about the man.

        “Born Here. Raised Here. Plays Here. Stays Here.”

  2. Chris Hollindale
    July 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Will be interesting to see what happens. Couple of points about Cleveland:

    (1) It’s his hometown team, as he hails from a small town just down the road.

    (2) LeBron has reportedly not been happy with the coaching structure at Cleveland. The Cavs have just appointed a good coach (and former NBA champion) in Byron Scott, so are making all the right moves to keep him.

    If I were a gambling man, I’d think he might stay, but as I say, it’ll be interesting to see what happens as it’ll have a huge bearing on next season.

  1. July 1, 2010 at 11:38 pm

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