With Byron Mullens, Leandro Barbosa and Cole Aldrich all entering free agency, it is clear that this Summer will be of the most epic NBA off-seasons ever. Teams will be dumping contracts, making trades and doing whatever they can in order to land these prized free agents. It’s not just those 3…Hedo Terkoglu, Beno Udrih, Robbie Hummel and Tony Douglas are all a part of this legendary group of free agents.
Jokes aside, this NBA Summer actually will be epic. LeBron, Melo, Wade, Bosh, Love, Dirk, Kyle Lowry, Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol, and Zach Randolph are all free agents this summer. Expect guys like Dirk to re-sign with their teams. LeBron is obviously the only guy people are really talking about right now, and rightfully so. He is the first piece to the puzzle. I can’t picture too many guys, especially Melo, Wade and Bosh signing anywhere before LeBron. Once LeBron signs we’ll see the rest of the dominos fall. It’s pretty obvious that if LeBron goes back to the Heat, Wade and Bosh will follow and the Big 3 will be back for another run at it. If he leaves Miami…watch out. With all of the attention on the Big 3 and Melo, guys like Kyle Lowry, Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe who can be major additions are flying under the radar.
Break down of the Major free agents and potential landing spots:
It is well documented that I am a big fan of LeBron. At first I wanted him to stay in Miami to avoid all the, “Oh look at that LeBron leaving again, no loyalty.” But after I thought about it i realized that would a terrible decision. In his prime, Wade was the most fun player to watch in the league. Lighting quick, could jump through the roof, and get to the hole any time he wanted. But let’s face it, he’s terrible now. He can’t stay healthy and when he is healthy he’s not nearly the player he was. He needs 3 pump fakes to get his jump shot off because he can’t create space. So if LeBron comes back and the big 3 continues, I don’t see them winning another ring. Bosh is still good, but is LeBron and Bosh enough? Pat Riley’s line of “We don’t need to rebuild we just need to re-tool,” is pure bullshit. You can’t just fill the roster with average cheap free agents and expect to be good again. With a healthy and full strength D-Wade maybe…but not anymore. Riley has to legitimately fill the entire roster.
If LeBron left he would have the opportunity to do something MJ, Bird, and Magic never did…win a championship with 2 different teams. Obviously I think it’s awesome when guys play their whole careers with 1 franchise, but theres no arguing against the fact that bringing 2 different franchises to the promised land is impressive. His best chance to do that is in Houston. LBJ, D12 and Harden is a much better big 3 than Bosh and Wade at this point in time. If Houston can resign Parsons he’s a 6th man of the year candidate off the bench. There’s a lot to be worked with down in Houston. Lebron and Kyrie could be a nice 1-2 punch, but there’s not enough outside of Kyrie in Cleveland for LeBron. Clippers are also interesting. They would have to move some pieces, but could end up enticing LBJ. Obviously they are already a good team with deep talent. It would be an interesting dynamic with LBJ and CP3 though considering LeBron is pretty much a point forward. 2 smart players that i’m sure would find a way to make it work though. Chicago has been decimated the past couple years, but are always tough. Outside of D-Rose and Noah there aren’t many pieces. Chicago would probably have to promise LBJ some other pieces would get added, but it’s definitely in the mix. Those are the 5 teams that i think are in the running, and there’s always things outside of basketball that rarely get talked about that could also be deciding factors. His wife and family could sway the decision..we have no idea. Get a grip Pat Riley you jamoke.
Melo is unquestionably one of the coolest players to step on the NBA court. Swag is always on 100 thousand trillion. I love him, but he has to be the most overrated players in the history of the league. It’s not that he’s not a top 3 or 4 talent, his catch and shoot, post game and midrange game are all money, but it’s his style of play. All he knows is isolation 1 on 1 basketball. Volume shooter. Not to mention he’s never been deep into the playoffs. I’m the biggest advocate out there for not solely judging individual players by their team’s success, but come on you have to at least give me a couple trips to the conference championship or something in your 11 years if you’re going to be called a top 5 player in the league. I said it when the Knicks first traded for him, no team will ever have a legitimate chance at a title with Melo as their key player. You can’t feature Melo and then have really good role players around him and expect to be great. But….if Melo was on a team with a couple other really good players, that’s different. Like, I don’t know, maybe Harden and Dwight? Maybe D-Rose? LeBron? I’m all on the Houston train if i’m Melo or LeBron. If you put Melo with some other great players, especially a good point guard, now that could be dynamite. A guy like Rose or Harden could get Melo open and easy shots. Melo can be less of a volume shooter, but still take over a game when he needs to. This is all assuming Melo can adjust his game a bit…play without the ball a little more and not dominate it less. I think it’s between Houston, Chicago, and then possibly teaming up with LeBron somewhere.
The thought of Melo and LeBron teaming up is intriguing. At first i thought no way because they both play the same position and need the ball so much. But LeBron is the type of player that could play with anyone. Again, if Melo could play without the ball a little more him and LeBron could easily play together. How in the world would teams guard both LeBron and Melo? Next to impossible.
All signs are pointing to Love going to Golden State. The Warriors have been dangling Klay Thompson around, putting him out there then saying he’s untouchable, who knows what’s up with that. I would love to see Curry and Love play together. Love deserves to get the hell out of Minnesota and play for a playoff team. He was also spotted in Boston with Rondo, which both of them deny being any type of recruiting. Love is an offensive and rebounding force. Combine him with a Rose, Rondo, Steph Curry or Kyrie and some fireworks could be in store. I think Love ultimately will end up with Golden State. But the Bulls, Cavs and Celtics are major players. Again, a lot depends on what happens with LeBron.
He’s staying in Miami regardless of everyone else. I would be absolutely shocked if he were to leave Miami at this point in his career. No further comments.
Again this has so much to do with what LBJ does. Bosh still has a lot left and would be a key addition to a lot of different teams. It’s close to impossible to predict where he would go if LBJ does not come back to the Heat. Obviously if LeBron doesn’t come back, i don’t expect Bosh to. I’ve blogged it before…Bosh is vastly underrated as a complete basketball player at both ends of the floor, he’s a hard worker and a good guy that would make any team better.
You never know what’s going on with these guys. It’s an interesting group of free agents considering these 4 guys are all good friends. All 4 came into the league together in one of the best draft classes ever and have been good friends since their rookie year. You never know what they’re plotting and scheming.
— Steve Butabi