Over time somehow, the NBA Summer became just as interesting as the regular season. I think this is because of LeBron. He was the story of 2010. Giving us plenty to talk about, and writers like Brian Windhorst a national career.
So here we are again. After four years, two (should have been three) MVP awards, four Finals appearances and two titles, LeBron James is set to be a free agent again.
But he isn’t the only story of this NBA Summer. Here’s what else is holding us over until next October:
Joel Embiid: Hakeem Olajuwon or Sam Bowie –
With no in between!
Embiid was the consensus number one pick…then he revealed a broken foot. Add that injury to his stress fractured back, and now you have even more intrigue in a loaded draft.
To me, Embiid’s teammate Andrew Wiggins should have been the number one pick all along. I love his potential, and I don’t trust Embiid’s lack of experience. I can write off Wiggins’ relative lack of production to Bill Self. After all, it turns out Self had two of the top three prospects on his team this year and couldn’t coach them to past the Round of 32.
Embiid will be good. Wiggins will be better.
Who is Elfrid Payton? –
Apparently he is the next Damian Lillard.
The traditional numbers are there: Payton averaged 19 points, six rebounds and assists for an under-the-radar Louisiana-Lafayette team. And Payton has been so impressive in workouts that he is now being rumored at the eighth pick in the draft. Eighth!
I am unconvinced.
Payton is benefitting from the Lillard Effect. They are both small school point guards who put up great numbers. Lillard won the Rookie of the Year, and is turning into a great young point guard.
The problem is Eric Maynor followed a similar script and he…didn’t pan out.
Also, Payton averaged 3.6 turnovers in college. Can’t count the plusses without the minuses. I never watched Payton play. Maybe he needed to have the ball in his hands, artificially inflating all of his numbers.
Finally, his best skill in workouts seems to be that he tries hard. Can’t give participation medals out in the NBA.
Carmelo, Carmelo, Carmelo –
Anthony followed through on his promise from October by opting out of his contract yesterday (seriously, how was that considered breaking news?). So now the speculation can start for real. Where will he go?
Full disclosure: if the Knicks were good, you could consider me a Knick Hater. I don’t have anything against the team except their fans. You guys are ridiculously annoying.
That said, I don’t see how Anthony goes back to New York this summer. They aren’t built to win now, even in the terrible Eastern Conference. Derek Fisher may be a great coach eventually, but he’ll be overmatched to start with, and I’ll bet Anthony is ready to win now. He’s a decade into the league after all.
Chicago and Houston are better options right now, especially the Bulls since they also play in the horrible East. Put it together and I see Carmelo in a different jersey come October.
…that is, unless he likes money.
The (Second) Decision –
LeBron a’int leaving Miami.
Those are the stories that have my attention so far in this NBA Summer. What about you?
Get your Chris Broussard anyone else on in the comments below!
I’m curious to see where Carmelo lands.
Also, why do you think LeBron will stay in Miami?
A few reasons…
I don’t think there’s a better option out there. Golden State is interesting, but then you have to deal with the Western Conference.
Plus, if (when) all three opt out, they’ll have the same flexibility to build another contender. Only Norris Cole is under contract at that point. So whether they WIN another title or not, I think they’ll put a team in place that will convince LeBron to stay.
That’s a very great point!
Thanks a lot for answering my question. I appreciate that Joe.
It comes down to if Miami is willing to let Wade walk and they can easily build around LeBron and its safe to say Miami can lure more FAs than Cleveland or Chicago
Wade SHOULD retire a Miami Heat; if it wasn’t for him there would not have even been a Big 3 in South Beach, 4 Straight Finals appearances, 2 more NBA Titles and he Wouldn’t have SAVED LeCramp/LeQuit/LeFlop’s career
I hear you, but loyalty is overrated. If they can ship him off for a younger version, they’d do it in a second, lol. Retire his jersey, give him the red carpet when he comes back.
#PatRileyBeLike: “thanks for the rings, pick up your last check on your way out.”
If Wade and Bosh also Opt Out it makes it easier for Miami to restructure their contracts and get them help though. It makes sense Business-Wise and even LeBron realizes that; Can’t be a Client & Founder of your Own Sports Agency and not know how the Game Works…..
He’ll stay as long as that team is fixed up. Haslem, chalmers, has to go. Maybe i’d keep Jesus shuttlesworth and birdman. Their bench was NOT good this year
That’s a great point Courtney. I’m curious to see what their team looks like next season.
Chicago is going to be a real attractive landing spot for Melo and possibly LeBron – team that’s built to win in a weak weak weak conference.
And lol, yes, the minute LeBron decides to hang em up, Brian Windhorst will never be heard from again
If I was LeBron, I wouldn’t want to play in the shadow of MJ. He’s already compared to him enough…that would be more headache than he deals with now. That aside, it would be a great place for him.
If I was Melo, that’s where I’d go.
Chris Broussard should go away too, it’s like Bron-Bron had his own “sports journalists” that followed him from Ohio TO Florida. The very Jok-Riding that folks accuse Lakers Fans of doing to Kobe are what plenty are doing to “King” James
The man is an industry. Reminds me of the Jay Z lyric. He’s a business, man. Lol
Add in the people who work on his stuff at Nike, and he’s feeding a couple dozen folks!
1. Best thing that can happen to Embiid is a free fall, he cant burden a franchise, he can be the 2nd-3rd piece…. U know like Serge Ibaka who people keep comparing him to.
2. I find it amusing that Kevin Love is only being talked about as a complementary piece, hell even Josh Smith and Al Jefferson were given keys to a franchise.
3. Cleveland should’ve got Love and hired Mark Jackson 3 weeks ago if they really about that LeBron life.
4. Houston is a better fit for Melo but he don’t want it with the western conference he remembers those one and done playoff runs
5. I literally have no idea what the Celtics gonna do, Ainge is suddenly too impatient to rebuild now
I’d love to see Embiid fall like you mentioned. He’ll be off the map for…3 years(?) if he went to a team like the Sixers. They’ll be bad, he’ll be hurt anyway, and I don’t even remember if Nerlens Noel is good honestly.
LeBron aint going to Cleveland while Dan Gilbert is there. Gilbert burnt that bridge then peed on the ashes.
You know Melo isnt’ going to Houston. He doesn’t want to have to fill the shoes Chandler “Bird 2.0” would leave behind, lol.
Agree on the Celtics. If you told me Rondo was traded or they put together Love, Rondo, and Melo I’d believe you. That’s range.
Damn…I gotta learn how to put space between my paragraphs. That’s hideous.
I’m in the minority that actually want to see Bron and Melo leave; albeit for different reasons. The where doesn’t matter. It’s funny that people call the Spurs boring when the Heat have become a predictable team of Isos and standing around. Bron is left to play all 5 positions when his teammates don’t show up. Another thing is the Heat, much like the Lakers, are 1 of those teams that don’t really build through the draft like they used to. Post-Wade, their picks have included Beasley (who they re-signed and didn’t even use), a solid big in Jarvis Varnado (who was cut), and most recently Norris Cole, who is…well Norris Cole. I don’t see any teams willing to help them trade up for a better PG because they’re the “enemies”. But stranger things have happened. Hopefully Riley finds a dark horse in this draft class.
Far as Melo, he’s kind of a rock in a hard place at 30 yrs old. Even if he does get a quality offer for a Western contender, that contender could easily turn into a pretender a la Houston. The West is too stacked. The flip side is if the Bulls are going all in for him, who they draft will make a huge difference in where they’ll be come post-season. As a Knicks fan, I wish him well because we don’t deserve him.
I’m really interested to see where Patty Mills ends up. To see a player go off in a contract year like he did, then compound that w/ a championship. If Gary Neal was able to get offers and leave, I wonder what’ll the market is for Patty. And how awkward is it going to be when Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard show up at FIBA training camp this year. #sorrynotsorry
Melo to the Bulls! #fingerscrossed #weneeddis
LBJ will want a max deal to stay in miami but he sees wade disintegrating, bosh isn’t much help on the boards and interior defensively and thinks he’s reggie miller now. They also need a PG as chalmers has had 5 years to show himself and outside of some clutch 3’s here and there hasn’t been much help as has norris cole. Although cole has more upside and it’s time for chalmers to seek a change of scenery. They’ll have to revamp that whole team.
NY isn’t built to win right now, tyson chandler is becoming injury prone and isn’t a starter anymore, to me anyway. Perfect coming off the bench. Felton has regressed the last 3 years, JR smith hasn’t seen a shot he didn’t like, And ‘Melo isn’t a #1 guy to me. You can’t and won’t win with him as your best player. He’s been in the league 11 years now (on some pretty good teams at that) and has gotten out the 1st round twice despite 10 trips to the playoffs. He shoots too much, won’t pass, and can’t defend. He would be a good fit in chicago, and I can see him in houston.