Posts Tagged ‘Derrick Rose’

When It Comes to the Perfect Fit for LeBron James, New York Trumps Chicago

July 1st, 2010

As we are approaching 2010 free agency, we are finally ready for the madness.

The biggest fish in this free agent frenzy certainly is LeBron James, and recently we’ve been hearing many potential destinations for the King, most notably Chicago and Miami.

However, I will prove that the best situation for LeBron James is with the New York Knicks.

LeBron James is the biggest free agent in NBA history, and whichever team is landing him could presumably be the favorites to win the NBA finals next season.

LeBron, however, is not only looking to win next season, but looking to establish an all time great legacy that will rival that of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.

Believe it or not, going to Chicago will prevent LeBron James from doing so.

Chicago has some major question marks.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf has never payed the luxury tax, and will have to if he plans to build a winning core that will last.

Let’s say the Bulls sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh to max contracts. Soon Derrick Rose will become a free agent and demand a max contract as well.

Remember Reinsdorf is the owner who broke up the Bulls dynasty due to not wanting to commit to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen through the twilight of their careers.

Reinsdorf will eventually face a similar situation when Rose and Noah are eligible for new contracts.

Knicks owner James Dolan has shown consistently that he’s willing to commit money and pay the luxury tax.

Dolan even shelled out major money towards some bad teams in contrast to Reinsdorf who wasn’t even willing to keep a dynasty together.

The Knicks unlike the Bulls have a plan that goes past 2010 free agency.

While both the Knicks and Bulls can sell LeBron on the prospect of playing alongside a superstar, preferably Chris Bosh, the Knicks can sell LeBron on the future past 2010.

After this season Eddie Curry’s contract comes off the books and the Knicks will have the cap space to make a run at a Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks could also use Eddie Curry’s contract in a trade for a player like Chris Paul, or Carmelo Anthony if Anthony decides to leave Denver, or a floor general like Tony Parker.

It could take time but the Knicks can sell LeBron on the fact that they can build a long-term winner.

The prospect that is the summer of 2011 is something no other team can make to LeBron James.

The Bulls currently have a solid nucleus in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng, but that nucleus doesn’t fit with LeBron.

Derrick Rose has never played off the ball, and like LeBron Rose is most dominant when he has the ball in his hands, looking to score or make plays.

I don’t know if Rose can play off the ball and be a knockout shooter. Rose will have to reduce his role, and he is still learning how to be a lead guard in the NBA.

The Bulls also have no shooters. They traded away their best shooter Kirk Hinrich in order to free up cap space for LeBron.

The Knicks have Danilo Gallinari, one of the best shooters in the NBA.

Gallinari shot 38 percent from behind the arc, he was second in the NBA in 3 pointers made, and he’s only 21 years old. LeBron James likes to penetrate and Gallinari is a perfect knock down shooter to play with LeBron.

With the Knicks, LeBron could assume the role of playmaker in Mike D’Antoni’s offense and run an offense similar to Pat Riley’s "Showtime" with the Lakers.

LeBron James, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and a big man like Chris Bosh would provide one of the most explosive offenses in the league, one good enough to come out of what looks like a watered down Eastern conference.

Then you add the fact that the Knicks will have the cap space to acquire marquee names in 2011, or trade for another superstar, the team would then have a core that can last long-term, and the ultimate goal for LeBron is to build a long term contender that will help him establish an all time legacy.

The Chicago Bulls recently hired former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau.

While Thibodeau was the orchestrator of the Celtics stingy defense, he has no familiarity with LeBron James in contrast to Mike D’Antoni who spent much time with LeBron because D’Antoni was on the USA basketball coaching staff.

Thibodeau is an unproven head coach who has never coached an NBA game. Yes, LeBron preaches defense and Thibodeau is a defensive minded coach, but LeBron James knows nothing about Tom Thibodeau.

LeBron has a solid relationship with Mike D’Antoni, and would fit well in his system.

Reality is that the Knicks have much more to offer than the Bulls when it comes to the bigger picture.

The Knicks have the chance to get better in 2011, plus they have many players coming off the books in 2012.

The Bulls can promise immediate success, but with the Bulls, the pieces don’t fit, and it won’t allow LeBron James to build an all time legacy.

LeBron James fits perfectly in a city like New York, a big time player like LeBron would embrace the city of New York.

LeBron is friends with Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia who told James about the prospect of playing in New York.

If LeBron wins in New York, he will own the city and enhance his status as a global icon.

This is in stark contrast to Chicago where no one will replace Michael Jordan, and Miami where the fans lack the passion of the inhabitants of the world’s most famous arena.

This decision could be the biggest in NBA history.

LeBron James will consider all his options but New York is the best long-term option.

The Knicks have been waiting over two years for this moment, and after a decade of bad basketball the fans expect to see a winner next season.

The Knicks brass will go out to visit LeBron James in Akron, and the King expects to make a decision around July 5th.

LeBron James is looking to go to a place where he can win multiple titles and enhance his status as a global icon.

New York is the best fit.





NBA Free Agency: LeBron James is In a No-Win Situation

July 1st, 2010

In mere hours, the NBA free agency period will begin and years of speculation and hope will finally turn into fact and reality. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce could all, theoretically, find themselves with new teams next year.

However, interest for all those players combined doesn't equal the anticipation for LeBron James and which jersey he will wear for the 2010-2011 season. New York? Chicago? Miami? New Jersey? Cleveland? Depending on the day and time, each has been been the stone cold lock to secure his services.

Regardless of where "The King" settles for a new kingdom, expectations will reach a level that even James hasn't seen before.

Should he sign with the Heat, it may be D-Wade's team, but James will still shoulder the burden of winning a championship. He, not Wade, is the reigning two-time MVP. Even with a stellar supporting cast, anything short of bringing a title to South Beach and James will be blamed for a playoff flub. 

Winning a championship won't do James any favors either. Wade will be seen as the mastermind that brought him to Miami. Having already won a title, Wade would forever be ahead of him for total number of rings, and that could have a big effect on each man's legacy in the future.

Chicago may be starting with a better supporting cast than Miami, but the pressure may be worse in the Windy City.

Not only will James again be blamed for any playoff failures, but he will forever be in Michael Jordan's shadow. He'll have to win titles for the better part of the next decade before even being compared to Jordan and the six titles he won, or the eight total he could have had without a minor league baseball stint.

Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and another big name free agent signing would be a great start towards a championship push, but critics would still downplay his accomplishments for having to switch franchises to win a title.

New York and New Jersey have been preparing for a LeBron move to The Big Apple for over two seasons. Although New Jersey may seem like a ideal situation, expectations again could do James in.

With a new owner, coach, and a ton of cap space, the Nets could transform into an overnight contender in the Eastern Conference. Much like the other potential destinations, once the Nets make the playoffs, anything short of a title will be considered a failed season. 

New York may be the worst destination of all. Yes, LeBron would rule the city, and he could expand to a billion-dollar empire, but fans of the Knicks will expect more than just a handful of titles.

The Knicks have been yearning for a title since 1973. That's 37 years of New York-pressure built up. No other city can comprehend the desperation and need for a title like that of New York. 

Additionally, the Knicks don't have a core nearly as ready for a title push compared to Miami or Chicago. Fans will expect 60-plus wins and a title for the 2011 season. Anything short of that, and LeBron could become the new Alex Rodriguez prior to 2009. Unfortunately, James won't have a Derek Jeter-type figure to defer to. All blame will come crashing down on his shoulders.

As unlikely as it may seem, except for those in Ohio, Cleveland may be the safest pick for James. Although Cleveland fans are as desperate as any city in the country for a title, James remaining home will be a title victory in itself. Yes, they would love to welcome a NBA title to their city, but James would forever be a hero to the city and state for choosing to spurn all others for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers don't have the cap space to sign any high-priced free agents, but sign-and-trade deals could always be possible going forward to bring better, younger talent aboard. Of course if James does stay in Cleveland, all basketball fans will have been fooled into believing the biggest non-story in the history of the league. 

Leaving the Cavs could turn James into the most hated man in sports since Brett Favre had a falling out with the Green Bay Packers. He would never be welcomed back in Akron, Cleveland, or anywhere else in Ohio. 

So which city will win the LeBron lottery? The answer has changed three times since writing this piece. In the end, expect much ado about nothing, and LeBron will remain in Cleveland. Any other result will burden James beyond belief with expectations he could never possibly live up to. 

Remember, LeBron, the grass isn't always greener...and neither is the money.



To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here

The Summer of LeBron Officially Begins: Why James Is Staying in Cleveland

July 1st, 2010

Ah, we all remember 1969 — the "summer of love." Um, you neither? Well that's ok because we just might end up recalling 2010 for a much different reason: the "Summer of LeBron."

Gentlemen, start your engines and let the drooling begin. At Midnight ET tonight the official start of the NBA free agent frenzy is underway and there is only one star attraction, with everyone else falling in line after The King.

Unfortunately, in reality, this summer may just end up as the summer of disappointment, for LeBron James and the Heat's Dwyane Wade who will likely end up staying put, with LBJ signing a three year max and D-Wade staying for the long haul.

Although they're dreaming big in places like Chicago, New Jersey and Miami, the entire economic environment of the "mistake by the lake" is pinning its fragile hopes on the broad back of a basketball player.

And all that will be just too much for King James to walk away from.

Heck, James is Cleveland. Forget about having the key to the city — he can have the whole damn state of Ohio if that's what it takes to bring the big fella back.

From the southern shore of Lake Erie, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "The Forest City" will do almost anything, legal or otherwise, to convince its king to return. 

Speaking of the "summer of love," perhaps it is no coincidence that 1969 was also the year of the fire on the Cuyahoga River which challenged the city immensely.

Yet no challenge affects the hearts and minds of sports lovers and tourist bureaus quite like the free agency of LeBron James.

While rumors have been rampant about Chicago or Miami being the most likely destination for this gifted man-child, there is only one logical decision, and that is to stay where he's at.

Where else can LeBron play and call the city his own? Chicago will always be known for Michael Jordan. Miami has Wade and really, as great of a city it may be, there is only so much ball (and fame) to go around.

New Jersey and New York, with its assortment of unbeatable endorsement opportunities, not only isn't likely to get LeBron any closer to a ring, those places can be simply brutal when a player does not deliver the goods.

Just ask A-Rod before last year's Yankees title.

No, James is a hometown kid who loves the area and will leave the best legacy he could ever hope to achieve only if he stays in that city.

If it doesn't work out, he will only be 28 years old in three years and can do it all again.

It's not solely about the money; for if it was, Cleveland wins again.

But no, the money is not only similar everywhere he would go, it's got to be about the ring.

For James and his world wide entourage knows that unless LeBron wins a championship or three, he will never be in the conversation among the all-time greats. That's just the business of basketball in the NBA.

But don't discount how much LeBron craves the power and the fame and he will be a hero if he chooses to come back to the Cavs. 

Now, the Cavs don't appear to be championship caliber next season even if he does return.

But really when you look at it, even if James doesn't want to wait three years to win a title, why can't James have a similar chance of winning by staying put as opposed to going to Chicago, for example?

Sure, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are nice compliments, but adding only a LeBron, as huge as that may be, no more guarantees the man a ring than if he stayed in Cleveland.

Plus, he knows if he goes to another city, he will be expected to produce a championship right away. Nothing short of a title in his first season will be acceptable.

Meanwhile, he has less pressure in Cleveland.

Now before you say what about Rose, Noah, James and Bosh…well, there are no guarantees, because Bosh is all about the money. It is far more likely he goes in a sign and trade deal, and the Raptors have already said they want no part of Luol Deng.

Miami is the current popular rumor, but again, if it's a choice between Chicago and Miami it would seem to make more sense for James to go to Chi-town because Rose would be a better compliment than Wade.

Also, one has to wonder how James would accept being Wade's caddy? The Scottie to Miami's Michael?

Make no mistake: Wade owns Miami.

Among other major free agent choices, Dirk Nowitzki is opting out of his contract with Dallas, but is 90 percent certain to re-sign with the Mavs. Likewise, it's hard to see Paul Pierce leaving Boston, especially now that their coach is back in the fold.

Look, the smart money says he is staying put, but we likely won't know until the final hour. You certainly shouldn't bet your house on it, but speaking of houses, only Cleveland can be called the "House of LeBron" in the "Summer of LeBron." 

NBA Free Agency: Why Chicago Doesn’t Need LeBron James

July 1st, 2010

I can't say that getting LeBron James would be a bad thing for the Bulls. In fact, it would be a great thing. Basketball will once again be prime in Chicago, Bulls fans will begin to come out of their 12-year hibernation and finally Chicago will become a major force in the NBA. However, I'll play devil's advocate and make the case for why the Chicago Bulls shouldn't pursue LeBron James, and rather, seek another free agent come 12:01 AM Thursday.

First things first.

The whole talk about "If LeBron wants to win a championship fast, he comes to the Chicago Bulls," is bologna. Yes, Derrick Rose is astounding (his 26.8 points per game last season was good enough for 5th in the NBA) and Joakim Noah's 11 rebounds per game was tied for 7th overall in the association, but the duo still need another potent big-man in the low post. Not another 25+ point per game player.

LeBron averaged 7.3 rebounds per game (47th in the NBA) and 1.01 blocks per game (51st in the NBA). Still not exactly the "big man" Chicago would need.

Though it is undeniable that his steals per game (1.64, 10th in the NBA) and assists per game (8.6, 6th in the NBA) are astounding. But what's to say that once LBJ comes to Chicago, he tries to take over the role of lead scorer? Chicago needs that big man.

A guy like Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer or Joe Johnson and even Dirk Nowitzki would fit in tremendously.

Keep in mind that the Bulls will suddenly become a defense-first team overnight now that former Celtics defensive coach Tom Thibodeau is in charge. I suspect the new head honcho would like a new player to usher in his defensive scheme.

One would say LeBron James is that player, right?


Despite being a phenomenal defensive basketball player, LeBron James is more concerned with scoring.

That's why the Bulls need not sweat over James come July 1, and instead, go for the defensive-first guy such as Chris Bosh.

Bosh can post up, create mis-matches and dish the ball around for Derrick. That formula, coupled with Joakim Noah's rebounding ability, the Chicago Bulls could be set up to win the NBA title within the next three seasons. Even without the King James.






ESPN: Raptors Preparing to Sign and Trade Bosh to Miami

July 1st, 2010

ESPN's Dan Labatard has reported that the Toronto Raptors are preparing to sign and trade superstar power forward Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat in exchange for Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, and center Joel Anthony.

The deal would also include a monster trade exemption.

Globe and Mail 's Michael Grange has denied this rumor, saying that according to his source, he believes this proposal to be false.

I however think that where there's smoke, there's fire.

This move would not only benefit the Raptors, but it will more than likely spell the end of Jose Calderon and Hedo Turkoglu's tenures with the team.

Chalmers is the perfect fit to be a backup point guard on the Raptors.

He brings some shooting but, more importantly, some defense to the equation. 

Anthony provides that big body down who can be a force down low by blocking shots and rebounding the ball.

It remains to be seen if he can be a starter for the team, but only time will tell.

As for Beasley, he remains an enigma.

At 6'10", Beasley poses matchup problems at the small forward spot with his ability to shoot over the defenders.

The former second overall selection in 2008 NBA Draft has had a pretty average career compared to fellow top overall selection Derrick Rose.

The difference here is that Rose ran his team and Beasley was stuck behind Dwyane Wade taking about 18 shots a night.

With Bosh possibly going to Miami, this not only signals a change in the Raptors organization, but in the NBA as a whole.

Bosh's moving to Miami means the possibility now of a trio of superstar players playing on one team to come to fruition.

The probability that LeBron James signing in Miami just got a whole lot higher if this sign-and-trade does in fact go through on July 1st.

Thoughts on the sign-and-trade?


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