MIAMI, FL – After watching the final minutes of Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday night, it was extremely clear that no one took the loss and exit from the playoffs harder than Miami Heat leader LeBron James.
And who can blame him quite frankly? Game after game, James came ready to play and it was his teammates that did not. In an essence, this series was very similar to the 2007 NBA Finals in which James was dominant, but his teammates never backed him up.
“It’s the nature of the game,” the two-time NBA champ said. “You win some, you lose some. You just gotta come back next year and get better.”
This question is… What’s in store for James and the Heat next season? As it stands right now, Miami only has two players under contract next season; Chris Anderson and Norris Cole. The Big Three of James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh all have player options, while starting point guard Mario Chalmers and future NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen are both free agents. Miami can go in many different ways with this.
The Big Three could all go their separate ways… Out of the Big Three, I see Chris Bosh the least likely to return. Bosh is the weakest link of the trio, and while Wade is the oldest, he’s also a staple in the franchise and will most likely want to retire in South Beach. The Heat could let Bosh walk (if he ops-out) and bring in a player like Greg Monroe or Zach Randolph, and see an immediate upgrade (especially with Randolph.)
LeBron, on the other hand, could walk away from the Heat and play wherever he desired. James could go back to Cleveland and play with Kyrie Irving and possibly Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins… he could go to L.A. and play with Kobe, or could even team up with Carmelo Anthony and form a new Big Three elsewhere; not to mention King James could convince Melo to join the Heat or vice versa. The options are almost limitless for James.
And at the same time, the Big Three could stay together, convince Ray Allen to come back, add a player like Lance Stephenson to the squad and see an upgrade.
There are a lot of scenarios out there for the Miami Heat, and it’s a bit hard to tell at this point. Just sit and wait because it should be a fun off-season.
Filed in: DJ Eberle