The only sure thing about free agents in the NBA we knew is Carmelo Anthony opting in to stay another year with the Thunder.
Lebron James hasn’t made up a decision yet on the player’s option clause of his contract while Kevin Durant and Paul George told the Warriors and the Thunder, respectively, that they are opting out. The deadline of opting out is tomorrow, Saturday morning.
Opting in and out doesn’t necessarily mean staying with their current teams, though.
Durant’s opting out is most likely just a formality as he has already expressed his desire to stay in Golden State and the Warriors’ top brass countered with their willingness to pay him practically whatever price he will ask, of course presumably under salary cap rules.
This just about a player maximizing his pay and management willing to accede to keep him.
The latest on Lebron actually involves Kawhi Leonard. A Yahoo Sports report hinted that Leonard reached out to Lebron about his desire to play with him. Thing is Leonard is still under San Antonio’s control for one more year and has no control where they may send him via a trade.
The Lakers are said to be his preferred destination and may actually end up there together with James and George as the Lakers have a ton of cap space to absorb them. They may have to loss some of their young players, though.
In Lebron’s case, I personally am with former player Antoine Walker. If I am Lebron, I would find a way to end up in the Celtic green uniform.
My thing is, it used to be about him and not the team previously.
He goes to a team only if he recruits the players he would be playing with and takes vital roles in construction of the roster as well as the coaching staff.
I would like to see him at the other end. The Celtics did a terrific job in building up their line-up and found a coaching staff that implemented a workable system towards attaining championships.
I felt the Celtics have become perennial championship contenders and he would the perfect piece to push these Celtics into becoming 1960s Bill Russell Celtics-like in terms of domination the league.
After his last championship debacle, I think Lebron’s legacy has already been cemented. He is not Michael Jordan-like and could not overtake Jordan as the Greatest of All-time.
With this in mind, the next best thing to go after for, basketball-wise, are championships.
Boston offers him with the best chances to get more rings for the final stretches of his career given the youth of the current Celtics crew.
The hindrance of his going there, however, is his willingness to accept a role in the system, take less money, and Kyrie Irving.
He has to accept playing a role in Brad Stevens’ system, as opposed to his usual ball-dominant style, and may have to take a pay cut in order to avoid the roster being gutted down badly as the Celtics are already above the cap room.
He also has to find a way to play alongside his former sidekick, who presumably left Cleveland because of his presence, which could lead to sacrificing touches of the ball.
They maybe conditions that are unlikely to be complied but also not leaning towards improbability. For one, Kyrie Irving still has kind words for Lebron in this year’s MVP race.
Paul George expressed his desire to go to LA but latest reports indicated he has entertained thoughts of staying put in Oklahoma.
I would like to see him stay with the Thunder. With a year’s experience under the belt of OKC’s Big Three, they should have seen what doesn’t work in their system that prevented them from making a big splash for the NBA title and implement the necessary corrections.
That is because him, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, along with Steven Adams are really a serious combination if they can find work in harmony on what they can do.
I don’t think people who predicted they will be serious title contenders last year are far off. It’s their right meshing that was the problem and what roles each have to play in order to jell.
Among the other notable free agents are Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela, and Chris Paul of Houston, Aaron Bynes and Marcus Smart of Boston, DeMarcus Cousins of New Orleans, Derick Favors of Utah, Rudy Gay and Tony Parker of San Antonio, Nikola Jokic of Denver, DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, Enes Kanter of New York, Zach Lavine of Chicago, Dirk Nowtizki of Dallas, Isaiah Thomas and Julius Randle of the Lakers, Aaron Gordon of Orlando, and Dwayne Wade of Miami.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS