In the most obvious “news” of the day, ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that should LeBron James decide to opt out of his contract this summer, he knows he can go to any team he wants.
“This time is going to be different,” a source close to James said about James’ view of free agency. “If LeBron decides to look at other options it won’t just be teams with cap space. He has 30 options if he wants them.”
When James first decided to become a free agent in 2010, his options were limited because of the NBA’s CBA and the league’s salary cap. There was also the little thing known as pull that James didn’t quite have yet. Now, after three straight trips to the NBA Finals and back-to-back championships, James can force his hand any way he wants.
If he wants to go to Atlanta or Charlotte, he can force a sign-and-trade to either of those teams by threatening the Heat that he will leave for nothing if they don’t get the deal done. It’s the type of control a player has once they become the absolute best in the world at what they do.
But just because James knows his situation doesn’t mean he’s actively thinking about where he is going to be playing basketball in the future, at least that what Stein’s report states.
“LeBron is not thinking about free agency right now, he’s totally focused on the season,” said one James associate.
There may be still nearly half of the season and the playoffs left to go in 2014, but all eyes appear to be set on the summer as people await King James’ decision. And whether James wants to admit it or not, it may be safe to assume that his eyes are there as well.