When free agency began at the stroke of midnight two days ago for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the rest of the NBA, many expected the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to dominate the headlines. While the media attention surrounding their respective decisions has certainly been at an all-time high, only Anthony has provided those covering free agency anything to really talk about.
James, on the other hand, has seemingly left all suitors and media members in the dark. With many expecting 2010 all over again, James and his contingent have been very quiet in regard to his intentions this offseason. Outside of meeting with teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, not one team or front office has a clue what the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft is thinking at this time.
For teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers who would like to sign James, his indecision is being viewed as handcuffing their free agent efforts. However in the case of the Cavaliers, his indecision may actually be improving their chances of landing the man who altered the course of this franchise four years ago.
The longer James weighs his free agency decision, the more time he will have to think about and attempt to be swayed to return to Cleveland by those close to him. Winning two championships and going to the NBA Finals four times in four seasons with the Miami Heat is obviously an appeal, but playing with Kyrie Irving in front of his family, friends and the city he once revived could end up being more appealing as time goes on.
James will instantly make any team he joins a championship contender, so the national opinion that he needs to stay in Miami to have a chance at winning another championship simply isn’t true. And when you truly survey long-term options, an aging Wade and less than stellar Bosh are not as appealing as a budding All-Star in Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in Andrew Wiggins and a slew of other young players.
It may seem like a Cleveland-centric opinion of sorts, but the longer this process goes on the more and more a team like Miami should be getting worried. Wade and Bosh are not going to take enough of a pay cut to assemble a new, All-Star cast in Miami and all three taking close to max money will hamstring their salary cap in a major way.
The next few days should finally paint a picture of where James is leaning toward landing. But while a number of teams start to slowly fade out and approach other free agents, the Cleveland Cavaliers could find themselves in a better situation with each passing day. And if their reported pitch goes as well as they think when they speak to his agent this week, you could once again see the former King of Cleveland returning to his throne.