Opt-Out or No, LeBron James Isn’t Likely to Leave Miami
This just into CNBC: Aliens have landed in New Jersey! And in sports news, LeBron James has opted out!
No, those weren’t really aliens. That was Orson Welles’ radio program in 1938.
And opt-out or no, James isn’t expected to leave Miami.
I knew the Bron story must be really big… or look really big… when I got it on CNBC, the business channel which as a rule doesn’t do sports results, reported breathlessly by Dominic Chu:
“We’ve got some breaking news. LeBron James is opting out of the final two years of his contract…. Now this follows, of course, another high profile departure in Carmelo Anthony leaving the New York Knicks, approaching free agency.”
Actually, no one has departed from anywhere. What both players have done by opting out of their deals—Anthony had one season left at $23.4 million, James two at $42.7 million—is give themselves the right to look around.
Both know they can do a 180-degree turn and get the same money from their old teams under the NBA’s Larry Bird Rule, whether they choose to sign short-term for a year or two, or long-term with their old teams able to offer a fifth season and all suitors limited to four.
With the aging Heat and long-disappointing Knicks at crossroads, James and Anthony are taking the opportunity to look for better alternatives.
Unfortunately for them, the best options–Houston with Dwight Howard and James Harden, Chicago with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah–would mean huge financial sacrifices.