“Not one… not two… not three… not four… not eight” by now we have all heard LeBron James’ declaration to Miami Heat fans, made four years ago shortly after the ‘Big Three’ assembled in South Beach. Unfortunately for LeBron and company, the Big Three have only garnered two NBA Titles in their four seasons together. With all members of the superstar trio opting out of their contracts this summer, there is no telling whether the Big Three will ever fulfill the championship-winning prophecy which James laid out four years earlier.
On June 24, James’ agent, Rich Paul, announced that the 29-year-old would be opting out of his contract with Miami. Since shaking the whole orbit of this year’s free agency market with his decision, James has not been shy to discuss financial desires for his future services. James has made it known that he wants a maximum-payday for the 2014-2015 season, this would approximate at a value around $20.7 million for the upcoming season.
The Miami Heat possess a massive salary cap space of $55-million dollars entering this free agency period. Considering that Pat Riley and his organization decide to resign all members of the Big Three this summer, their cap space would be diminished and the club would have hardly, if any, leftover dollars to spend on adding beneficial pieces to their roster. The prospect of Miami keeping all three of their superstars is beginning to seem more and more faint by the day, sources report that after holding a private meeting amongst themselves, the Big Three are still not certain about their futures together.
Several other clubs are already salivating over the prospect of claiming James, the gem of this free agency period, and making him the cornerstone of their franchise.
The Lakers have reportedly contacted James’ agent about acquiring LeBron’s services. If it came down to dollars, a big market franchise such as the Lakers would have no struggle in providing the money to James.
The Los Angeles Clippers have also shown interest in signing James. The Clippers acquiring James would not be so unrealistic, considering that point guard Chris Paul and James are very close friends on and off of the court. Just imagine a player of LeBron’s caliber joining forces with an electric, dynamic roster, like Los Angeles’.
Houston is also looking to make a blockbuster deal for the 10-time All-Star. The Rockets already possess a pair of franchise cornerstones in James Harden and Dwight Howard. Considering that rings are what LeBron desires, he has an excellent opportunity to form another Big Three in the Lone Star state.
The prospect of packaging a deal uniting James and fellow superstar free agent Carmelo Anthony is also on the wish list of several NBA franchises.
Cleveland and Atlanta are among the teams hoping to construct a deal which will land both superstars on their rosters this upcoming season.
Cleveland, oh Cleveland, how could we forget about you? James’ return to Ohio could be a reality and the Cavs have certainly shown interest in getting their icon back. With point guard Kyrie Irving signing an extension this offseason, Cleveland could be signaling to LeBron that they are title-contenders and finally have supplied the supporting cast he so desperately desired as a Cavalier.With his opting out, James has once again put himself in the eye of the NBA free agency storm. Will he decide to keep loyal to his Big Three in South Beach, or will the four-time MVP “take his talents” elsewhere on the NBA map in pursuit of Finals hardware? Stay tuned folks, ‘The Decision’ … Part Two.