With free agency beginning yesterday, teams are going crazy trying to grab the two biggest free agent, Lebron James. The Mavericks made a trade for Chandler and Felton to clear cap space, the Bulls cleared cap space with a trade for Doug McDermott, the Knicks have grabbed a real point guard to take pressure of Melo (If he goes back), and the Heat's big three have all opted out of their contract to create more cap space. For Houston and LA, well they are just setting up meetings to talk to Lebron. Overall, all of these teams have some positives and negatives. But at the end of the day, there are better choices in looking for a championship than others.
Lebron's Best Destinations:
1. Miami Heat - Lebron's team for the past four years is the best bet in winning a Championship for Lebron. The Heat have already reached 4 finals in a row, and even without making any moves over the off-season, will probably reach the Finals again (With Lebron). However, Lebron wants to WIN the Finals, not just reach his 6th (If he loses his next Finals, he will be 2-4 in Finals, and we all know what the Kobe and Jordan lovers will say...). This problem, however, is small. Pat Riley is at the front office at the Miami Heat organization, and he knows how to fix the Heat's struggles at point guard and their surrounding players. He has already started by drafting Shabazz Napier (Although he is not going to instantly change the Heat into Champions), and this is a start. For Lebron, the safest bet in reaching the Finals, and winning, has to be in the hands of Pat Riley and the Miami Heat.
2. Chicago Bulls - After the Miami Heat, the best destination is in Chicago. Chicago already has a great supporting cast, and have added to their role players by trading for Doug McDermott in the draft. Chicago struggled to shoot last year, and McDermott, who shot 45% from three in college, will help. However, one player cannot flip the switch to a great three point shooting team. Lebron is a passer who needs three point shooters to spread the floor, and in order for Lebron to go to Chicago, they need to keep adding shooters (Chicago was 24th in three point percentage in 2014). Finally, I don't know if Lebron wants to live in the shadow of Michael Jordan in Chicago. He already is living partially in his shadow as the best player in the NBA, but going to Chicago would only exemplify the shadow. Although the two major problems of Jordan and lack of shooters, I still believe Chicago is the best bet. They have the best defense in the NBA, and Lebron would only make it greater, they have a great coach, and have reached the Conference Finals with their team (With Lebron they could go all the way and win).
3. Dallas Mavericks - Another team in the west, the Mavericks boast strong positives in bringing Lebron to Dallas, Texas. First off, as I have stated, Lebron is a great passer, and the Mavericks had the 2nd best three point percentage in the past season. Lebron could feed anyone on the court, and they would be able to fire up a three. Lebron would also get a chance to defeat his demon, the San Antonio Spurs. In the past season, the Spurs and Mavericks went to seven games and the Mavericks team offense pushed the Spurs to the limit. Lebron is a major team player, and with more talent, would definitely be considered favorites versus San Antonio. Lebron would also be paired with Dirk and Monta Ellis, who are a lot like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Monta has even compared himself to Wade, and Dirk is, without a doubt, better than Bosh. Finally, when Dallas won a Championship in 2011, they played great defense in the playoffs, and the big key was Tyson Chandler. With the addition of Chandler, Felton, and if Lebron comes, they would have great defenders at point guard (Not great, but good), small forward, and center. It's hard to find a problem with this team other than the Heat and Bulls have a for sure chance of making the Finals. Overall, the Mavericks would be a very good choice for Lebron.
4. Houston Rockets - The Rockets are a young team with great stars, and it would be an interesting combination of Harden, Lebron, and Howard. However, I say interesting in a manner that offers a good and bad connotation. Harden shoots 22 field goals per game, more than Carmelo, and I don't know if he would want to limit field goals. He has proven how great he is, and he might want to keep improving. We saw two years ago, Howard had problems with another star, Kobe Bryant. There was fighting, feuding, and an explosion at the end. However, this scenario of feuding could be quite irrelevant to them, as Lebron is friends with Howard, has never feuded, a much better and willing passer than Kobe, and I just don't see it happening. With Harden, I see Lebron and him pairing together like Dwyane Wade. Harden will take a couple less shots, Lebron would be the passer and leader, and everyone would get some shots. Also, Lebron would be surrounded by great shooters on the Houston Rockets as the Rockets shot and made the most three pointers in the past season. However, with the two positives of a big three and shooters, the Rockets are in the west and have a terrible defense. The west is tremendously talented, and the Rockets would have to bond very fast. The Rockets were also ranked 23rd in opponents points per game, and Lebron would have to take a large part in the defensive role. Would Harden and Howard step up and play better defense, or would Lebron have to do everything. Overall, Lebron to Houston would not be a horrible idea, but it would not be the best choice.
5. Phoenix Suns - The Phoenix Suns have recently jumped into free agency talked, and there's a reason. Phoenix is a great, young, talented team on the rise, that needs one more star to be a title contender. If Lebron joins, the Phoenix Suns immediately become favorites to win the title. For Lebron, he will be surrounded by great shooters, as the team shot better from three than the Miami Heat. He won't have to worry about bringing the ball up the court, as the Suns start two great guards in Goran Dragic and "Mini-Lebron" (Eric Bledsoe). Lebron would also improve on a defense, that had a better opponent field goal percentage than the Miami Heat. With all the positives, there is on the opposite side, some negatives. The Suns are in the west, and even with Lebron, do not boast as much talent as some of the western conference teams. At the big men position, no one averaged more than 8 rebounds per game, and the Suns lack talent at center and power forward. They have good role players, but no one like Joakim Noah and Chris Bosh. At the end of the day, the Suns would be a good land for Lebron, but not great.
At the end of the day, Lebron's best bet is past team and Chicago. Most people believe he is giving Miami one more chance this season, and I believe the same. Lebron to Miami!
(For those asking where's Cleveland: The only two positives are young talent and it's Lebron's home town. But I don't see Lebron risking his future for a team with a horrible owner, who still hates Lebron).