Question of the day: Where will LeBron James be playing next season?
[Updated at 11:40 a.m.:
Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times
You're going to hear a million theories about LeBron James' priorities, but the truth is, nobody knows what they are but LeBron, the guys he knows from high school known as the Four Horsemen, plus his agent Leon Rose and the famous, or notorious, street-agent-gone-legit Wes Wesley.
Nevertheless, the facts make a compelling case for leaving, with so little left for him in Cleveland (Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, Shaquille O'Neal, assuming they want him back).
Of the teams with a maximum salary slot, making it possible to sign him, Chicago is now the favorite, with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson, one great player away from being a big-time contender.
New York will get an audience with its two maximum slots. So will Miami with Dwyane Wade.
James would have to overlook years of sorry history and put his trust in owner Donald Sterling to consider the Clippers, but their supporting cast (Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Baron Davis) might be the best.
Then there's the possibility of a sign-and-trade with someone who would have enough left to persuade LeBron to come, like Portland, which could give the Cavaliers Brandon Roy.
Between now and July 1, you'll hear them all and more. Of course, before May 1, all you ever heard was that LeBron was staying, so the bottom line, as always: Wait and see.]
Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun Sentinel
A wise old general manager once told me the one way to rate NBA trades was this: Who got the best player? That’s it. Only five play in basketball, after all.
That’s why LeBron James will trade Cleveland for Dwyane Wade this summer. Wade is the best player out there. Miami’s sun and South Beach and Pat Riley aren’t shabby, either.
Forget the deeper roster of Chicago. Forget the flashing marquee of New York. Forget the Russian money of New Jersey.
James wants to win, and James and Wade -- Wade and James? -- will be Batman and Batman. They’re friends. They’re superstars. They’ll be the magnets to draw more talent to the Heat’s weak roster.
James’ decision is who’s the best player out there to join. And that’s simple. It’s Wade.
[Updated at 12:30 p.m.:
Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel
King James wants to win a title and he wants to own the world like Tony Montana.
I don't care where he goes, but ending up in the New York-media area makes me cruise-boat queasy.
I've had my fill of him. I'd rather hear more about Lady Gaga's childhood years. Give me another Brett Favre update.
Don't waterboard me with more LeBron.
I fear it's the Knicks, i.e. LeBron Saves New York.
Don't count out a new jersey in New Jersey, either, another resurrection job for LeBron, who could team with a Russian billionaire owner.
He 'd be big in Vladivostok.
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
LeBron James is staying in Cleveland.
I know this because I guessed. Anybody can offer any speculation he or she wants. But in the end, we are all witnesses to James' final say.
I know James staying with the Cavaliers is one of his least-talked about options these days. But in end, I say a combination of a spare-no-expense owner in Dan Gilbert and a loyal native son like James shocks the NBA world.
I do think James will pursue signing a shorter-term deal, allowing himself an opt-out---and another huge payday -- in, say, 2013 at age 28. That way he gives himself and his team of advisers -- many of them boyhood friends from Akron -- one more shot at bringing Ohio glory. If it hasn't happened by then, he's off to brighter lights and bigger markets.
But think about the organizational control he has with Cleveland: He can name his next coach, if he so chooses. He can offer input on personnel decisions. And he can stay at home.]
Photo: LeBron James at a press conference following the Cavaliers' Game 6 loss to the Celtics on May 13, 2010. Credit: Charles Krupa / Associated Press