When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all opted out of their contracts with the Miami Heat, it sounded like the three players might be offering the Heat a better deal. This would allow Miami to bring in another big piece to make them stronger in the hunt for the NBA Championship. That might not be the case at all. It has now been reported that LeBron James is not going to offer anyone a deal because he is now asking for the maximum salary available to him and he won’t accept less to help a team.
This seems a bit shocking, but at the same time it makes since for James. In 11 years in the NBA, James has never been the highest paid player on his team. He took a pay cut to come to Miami four years ago to contend for a championship. The Heat made it to the NBA Finals in all four of those seasons. Now, James wants to be paid. He can make about $20.7 million this year for whoever signs him.
The problem is that the team who signs him won’t be able to afford much to build around him, so unless they are already built to win, James won’t help them win a title. At the moment, there are only seven teams that can afford that salary and three more that could trade players to free up the room to sign him. Here is a look at where James might end up.
Of course, the biggest destination for LeBron James is the Miami Heat. They can sign James, Wade and Bosh all back, but only if Wade and Bosh take major pay cuts. This also could cause problems since James will make the maximum and force the other two to take pay slashes to remain competitive. If this happens, the Heat will remain contenders for the NBA Championship, although that may not be James’ main concern anymore.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers can afford LeBron James’ contract and they could add him to a lineup that already has Kobe Bryant and maybe Steve Nash, if he returns. This could prolong Nash’s career as he could make a living dishing out assists to Bryant and James and teams would have no idea where to turn when the Lakers have the ball. Los Angeles is said to be a serious contender for James.
The Houston Rockets is one of the teams who would have to trade players to make room for James. However, if they can unload some contracts and add James to the already lethal duo of James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets could easily be the next Miami Heat. However, this would take some major work and everyone knows how Howard plays when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.