Just two days removed from a disappointing ending to their NBA season, LeBron James—and his potential destination in this offseason— has already taken the rumor mill to the ground. Popular sports writer Bill Simmons shared his thoughts on the potential free agency of the NBA’s biggest star.
FYI: it's easy for Clips to make a LeBron run. Trade Deandre + Jamal to teams with cap space (easy), then use 1st rounder to dump Dudley $
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 18, 2014
Fellow Grantland writer and NBA expert Zach Lowe also had his take on the matter.
“LeBron has kept mum, and ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst has hinted at the possibility of James taking considerably less money to construct a title contender somewhere,” said Lowe in his latest article.
Miami—after 2 championships and 4 finals appearances—is in dire straits financially speaking. The trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has the choice to opt-out of their current contracts and seek a long-term deal elsewhere. James and Bosh are owed $20.59M and Wade $20.04M if they choose to stay in Florida.
The salary cap is expected to be set at roughly $63M for the 2014-2015 season. While president and general manager Pat Riley can go beyond that cap and pay the luxury tax like they have in the past few years, they have to be more creative in wooing free agents in this offseason to remain top contenders in the East and the league.
Simmons is a known “biased” NBA writer rooting for the Boston Celtics—his hometown team and the Los Angeles Clippers—where he currently resides but his tweet has merits as any NBA team can unload contracts to target a free agent of LeBron’s caliber.
His suggestion of dumping DeAndre Jordan ($11.44M), Jamal Crawford ($5.45M) and Jared Dudley ($4.25M) is a possibility within the NBA trade rules. If the Clippers manage to clear salary they’ll have enough to throw at James if and when he decides to be a free agent by July 1.