Chris Bosh has agreed to join Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat. Toronto has said they’re not interested in doing a sign-and-trade with Miami, although they might yet change their mind. Bosh has said even if the Raptors won’t play ball, he’s still going (meaning he’d get $30 million less and a 5-year contract rather than 6 years).
As we wait for tomorrow’s one-hour LeBron Special Announcement Insanity, this might help us narrow down his possibilities. Since he’s scheduled a time to declare this, we can assume he’s now finally already decided where he wants to go. As I see it (and yes, this is pure speculation), which of these teams are still in the horse race:
1. Miami? Probably not, but I’ll give ‘em a 5% chance. If he was going to Miami, he probably would’ve wanted to announce it at the same time as Bosh and Wade. Plus, Bosh was already concerned about making less money without a sign-and-trade, and if LeBron joined Miami too then all three stars would have to take slightly less money. And since Wade can get bigger raises due to it being his hometeam, that’d mean after the first year LeBron would only be getting paid the second most on the team. Maybe it’s petty, but that, combined with it appearing that he “needed” Wade to win (versus Wade won a ring w/o the King), makes this dynasty unlikely.
2. Cleveland? Yes, the odds-on-favorite, I’m saying 65%, which is passing. Word is LeBron’s realized how emotionally difficult it could be to leave his home state. Without a chance to team up with Bosh, it’s possible that of all the remaining teams that the Cavs could also now be one of the strongest since they have such a solid foundation (which enabled them to lead the league in wins for the past two years). As this goes on, they clearly seem more and more to be the favorites. Plus it’s gonna be an hour special tomorrow, so what else can they show but Cleveland highlights? Like if he goes to the Knicks, what’re they gonna do, show clips of Sergio Rodriguez and JR Giddens?
3. Chicago and New Jersey? I’m saying no, but let’s give ‘em 10%, or like Miami just 5% each. Winning is definitely one of the key factors in LeBron’s decision, and unless he joins with a top-notch big man, there’s no guarantee that those teams will be much, or any, better than Cleveland. With Amar’e off the board, the only two big men left are Carlos Boozer and David Lee. I don’t think Lee would do it for LeBron, and there hasn’t been any rumors of Booze meeting with Chicago and getting a possible offer. Could LeBron really justify joining either of these teams without at least a firm commitment from Booze?
4. New York? Maybe I’m a homer, but I say yes, it could happen so they get the remaining 20%. We’ve got the solid agreement from Amar’e, a guy who he lobbied to play with at last year’s trade deadline. Plus we’ve got the Yankees, a group of shooters to surround LBJ, and the city with the best chances of him making a billion bucks.
To find out, tune in to ESPN tomorrow at 9pm ET (or 6pm west coast, yo).