Off-season Opt Outs: LeBron James

So did you guys here about the massive news that dropped on Tuesday?  Yeah, so did we.  Well for those of you that didn’t hear, LeBron James has yet again stolen the headlines away from everyone else and has decided to opt out of his contract in Miami.  Therefore, being the awesome individuals we are, Post Up is going to break down where LeBron has a chance of going and where he will end up, in our opinion of course.

LA Lakers:

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No, just no.  Right now the Lakers have a ton of cap space and it makes sense for LeBron to go their financially.  Everything else though points that he will not be going to LA.  Sure, they have Kobe, but he has a few years left in him, at best.  The rest of that LA team is very bad and will probably be out of contention for quite a few years to come.  Now, if LeBron went there with Melo, that would be another story.  But, for right now I do not see Melo and LeBron teaming up and therefore, LeBron would be in a worse situation than if he stayed in Miami and a slightly better situation than what he saw in Cleveland in 2010.  Therefore the verdict on LeBron taking his talents to Hollywood is that there is no chance of that happening.

Houston Rockets:

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The Houston Rockets are an interesting destination for LBJ.  The Rockets are currently without a SF and they may have to move one of their big piece’s around, but it could work.  The only issue with the Rockets is that they do not need LBJ.  Crazy right?  How could you not need the best player in the world?  Well here is the thing, LeBron is amazing offensively and very good defensively.  LeBron is not a great one-on-one defender and thrives more in a team defense system, like the one in Miami.  Houston, does not have a lick of defensive ability in their team, which is why it does not make sense for him to go to Houston.  Houston right now needs defense, and if they are giving up Parsons, then they are also making a completely different mistake.  Houston had THE best offense last year and THE worst defense.  The reason that they got bounced by Portland was because they could not stop them.  For whatever reason, Houston is making strong pushes at offensive players this off-season, as if the organization wants to have the mentality to “shoot their way out of anything.”  But the fact of the matter is, you need defense.  LeBron will help, but without Parsons, and having a similar starting five, minus the inclusion of LBJ, the Rockets will have the same issues all over again this year.  That is why, if LeBron was smart he would not go to Houston.

LA Clippers:

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The Clippers are another very interesting spot for LeBron.  It seems that the only thing this team needs is a SF.  They have an elite PG in Chris Paul, combined with a star in Griffin and a more than serviceable center in Jordan.  Doc Rivers makes that team play defense, and it would make a lot of sense for LeBron to go to the other team in LA.  The only issue I have with this destination is that the Clippers are in the West.  Sure, with this team he would be on a contender immediately, but the issue stands that the West is extremely strong.  He would have less of a chance of getting to the Finals each year if he went West and therefore, while the Clippers make a lot of sense in many ways, LBJ would be best suited to stay in the East and not go to the Clippers.

Chicago Bulls:

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So in case you have not caught on yet, I am ranking these teams from worst to best for LBJ.  That being said, the only reason I decided to rank the Bulls above the Clippers is for one reason.  They are in the East.  The Bulls are a much better defensive team, and they also need scoring.  LeBron would buy into Tom’s idea’s immediately, and defensively it would be smooth sailing.  LeBron, would also help immediately because the Bulls need his scoring.  It makes a ton of sense for LeBron to end up in Chicago, but it also doesn’t.  The Bulls would probably need to do a massive trade away to make room and they are not looking to destroy their team that much.  So while it may seem like a perfect relationship, neither side will ultimately pull the trigger and that is why he will not be in Chicago.

Miami Heat:

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Whaaaaa…., why are Miami second?  Well here is the thing, Miami is not good.  Wade is nowhere near the player he was, and Bosh has shown he is a star some nights, and serviceable on most other nights.  The team that is around him is terrible, at best.  Not only is this team bad and carried by LeBron, but the fans are worse.  LeBron does not deserve to play in front of those horrible people night after night.  Regardless, LeBron could have opted out to restructure his contract and that way they could go get free agents.  The only issue with that, is that there is no one out there that they need.  Sure they can improve their bench, but at the end of the day, the Heat really need a center and a point guard.  There have been reports that the Heat would trade up to get Shabazz Napier out of UConn, but while he seems good, he will not be that big of an improvement from Mario Chalmers, at least not in the first few years.  Then the other issue is center.  You could trade for one, or sign Gasol, but there are too many questions with that and at the end of the day, that is what it comes down to, too many questions.  As hard as Pat Riley is trying to convince us, as well the rest of his team, there is nothing wrong, the fact of the matter is that there is a lot wrong.  Therefore unless LeBron decides to stay loyal to Miami he will he will not be back in South Beach next year.

Cleveland Cavaliers:

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Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the team that should be the favorite.  From some reason I keep hearing about all these different teams that LeBron could go to, but one of them is not the Cavs, why?  The Cavs have a star point guard in Kyrie Irving, they have a pretty good bench, they have a pretty good front court in Thompson and Varejao.  So you add LeBron to the mix and all you really need is a shooting guard, and oh yeah they have the first pick in the NBA Draft and could draft their next star shooting guard in Parker or Wiggins.  People think that LeBron will not end up in Cleveland because of what happened four years ago, but I say this.  Why can’t LeBron apologize?  Why can’t the two make amends and be together again?  What is stopping LeBron from coming home?

Thanks for reading!

All stats and information courtesy of espn.com and Owen Blair

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