Another offseason surrounding LeBron James. Funny because the guy was getting trolled all season long, especially in the playoffs. Warrior fans & non-LeBron fans discredit him every chance they get and ignore the fact that he carried the whole Cavaliers team on his back. Bashing James who stayed and struggled but applaud Kevin Durant joining an All-Star team to easily win two rings?
James spent his first seven seasons in Cleveland in the same kind of way: carrying the team. The front office was incoherent thinking bringing Shaquille O’Neal out of his prime was an extreme move. James telling the world he was going to the Miami Heat on The Decision in 2010 raised $2.5 Million for the Boys and Girls Club. So granted, even though it was over the top, it was for a good cause.
Why Durant and James moves are different? The Heat were not the 73-9 Warriors.
The season before James made his decision to go to Miami, the Heat were 47-35 and lost in the first round to the Celtics. The Warriors were 73-9 and lost in the NBA Finals before Durant joined. Big difference! In reality, the Warriors didn’t need Durant. You can argue that now of course as Durant won the last two NBA Finals MVP.
And here we are again. Reports confirm James opted out of his $35.6 million option with the Cavaliers. Only two things can happen. He joins another team or he wants the max from the Cavaliers and I highly doubt the Cavs will give it to him.
Another star opted out of his contract: Paul George. Earlier this week George declined the $20.7 million contract and the same goes for George. He can either join another team or he wants the max.
Other star player Kawhi Leonard wishes he was in his opt year as the young star can only be traded and has let it be known he wants to go to the Lakers. The Spurs have said many of times that they would not trade Leonard to a team in the same conference.
The Lakers have cleared up cap space and continue to do so with the latest report of Julius Randle being a restricted free agent. An inside source tells me that’s because James and George are heading to L.A.
If this goes through, Leonard won’t be too happy unless there is a possible way for the Lakers to create this Big 3. It is possible if they waive or trade Loul Deng to make a little bit more room but Spurs know how much Leonard is worth and want a lot for him. Lakers love Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram but don’t hold much value like All-Rookie first team Kyle Kuzma.
With this move, what happens to the East? Nothing at all. We actually get to see another team make it to the finals that doesn’t involve LeBron. Last season exposed a lot of potential in the East with the Celtics, 76ers, Pacers and the Bucks. Some east teams made some moves in the draft and more to come in free agency.
The next few days will be very interesting but I think we’re all use to this circus by now.