We want fireworks in Boston, but there's the potential for an atom bomb to explode in free agency if the powers players want to make it happen. I put the odds on this happening somewhere between slim and none, but you never know.
Sam Amick is hearing that the Lakers are dragging their feet on a coaching decision with an eye toward making whatever pitch they can to guys like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and whomever else they can land. In addition, it sounds like LeBron would like to play with his buddy Carmelo at some point. James, Melo, Wade, and Bosh can all opt out this summer and if they want, they can work the system to dictate the next mega-team.
Lakers delay coaching hire with LeBron James in mind
A Big Four with the Heat (James, Wade, Bosh and Anthony) is possible, but it would require significant pay cuts from all involved. The Heat have about $8 million in payroll for next season if James, Wade and Bosh all opt out. It comes in handy that the salary cap is expected to increase by about $5 million next season to $63.2 million, while the luxury tax threshold is expected to be $77 million.
Should some iteration of that group decide to head West to join Kobe Bryant and offer the Lakers an instant rebuild, they would be more than welcome to the team that has only three players with guaranteed contracts on their roster for next season (Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre). The Knicks, meanwhile, would love for everyone to delay their plans for one season by opting in only to head for The Big Apple in the summer of 2015 when their payroll drops all the way down to about $17 million.
I can't even describe how depressed any of the above scenarios would make me. Make them not happen please. I've rather enjoyed seeing the Lakers struggle. I don't really like the idea of the Heat reloading again. Well, at least the Knicks are likely to mess things up, so that dream probably isn't happening (Zen master or not).
All that said, I think the odds heavily favor the Heat sticking with what they have and adding a piece or two this offseason. I'm guessing that Melo will either re-up in New York or head to greener pastures in Houston or something like that. I'm sure the Lakers will make some noise this offseason, if only so they can field an actual roster. All that should be interesting enough without the elite players expanding their empire. But I guess you never know.