LeBron James is headed for another “decision”. He can choose to stay with the Miami Heat for two more years and get paid a handsome $42 million over the next two seasons, or he can opt out this summer and pursue more money or other opportunities.
Part of his decisions won’t be based around taking any type of pay cut, however. According to the NY Daily News, King James isn’t particularly interested in playing for less money. To do that, James would have to opt out and re-sign. Per reports, though, James will only consider doing this if he gets a commitment from the team to bring in competitive talent with the money being saved.
That’s easier said than done. The Heat are a ravaged roster going into the summer, as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out. Chris “Birdman” Anderson has already opted out, while the likes of Ray Allen and Shane Battier might decide to retire.
Only point guard Norris Cole has a guaranteed contract for the 2014-15 NBA season. Clearly, this is a situation that either is going to end with another (albeit different) star-studded roster, or the Heat are about to go down in flames.
James can go down two paths. For the first, he can suck it up, take the pay cut and trust that the Heat will do what is necessary to rebuild a contender around him in Miami. After all, if he publicly does what is needed to save the team some cash, Wade and Bosh are sure to follow. To be frank, he probably will only do so if they agree to, as well.
If that happens, the Heat can try to bring in another star (Carmelo Anthony is one crazy rumor), or at least re-tool the bench and overall supporting cast to make sure the Heat are deeper than they had previously been constructed.
Or James can do what he did four years ago and leave for what he deems to be greener pastures.
Rumors suggest James and his wife “love Los Angeles”. That could realistically put the Lakers or Clippers on the map, while some rumors suggest even the New York Knicks could be in the running.
Leaving doesn’t make all that much sense. James is already in Miami and loves it there. Bosh and Wade are there, too. Also, the Heat just lost to a much better Spurs team, but they still got to their fourth straight NBA Finals series. It’s not like their team is a roster full of scrubs that isn’t accomplishing anything.
With that said, Wade is aging and regressing before our eyes. If what we saw out of him in this year’s Finals is what we can look forward to down the stretch again next year, James may want to fully consider all of his options. For now, at least from a salary perspective, it appears that’s exactly what he’s doing.