LeBron James has heard all of the pitches, he’s examined all of the angles and he’s talked to all the other free agents. Now all that’s left is for King James to make his decision. That is proving harder than he probably thought it would be.
So many issues have popped up for James that were probably unexpected during this process that it has likely become more of a headache than the fun ride he expected.
Monday night Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirmed that a power struggle between William Wesley (better known as “World Wide Wes”) and James’ closest associates had created a major rift within the James team. Apparently “World Wide Wes” wants James to go to Chicago, where he has tons of connections. Such a deal would probably put Wesley in the driver’s seat of James’ career.
Meanwhile James’ close friends – such as business manager Maverick Carter – likely want King James to return to Cleveland, which would keep them in the power position. It looks as if Carter and his team may the advantage as things stand right now.
As for the Chicago Bulls, James apparently likes the prospect of playing with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. But the Bulls are missing one key aspect that James is used to: shooters.
James is used to having guys like Daniel Gibson, Delonte West and Mo Williams to kick the ball to. The Bulls have no one who can knock down shots like those guys.
On top of that, several sources have said that Rose hasn’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for King James. Rose was said to prefer Joe Johnson to James, as the two have the same agent and are apparently friends.
It makes sense that Rose might feel a bit territorial over the Bulls, after all, they have become his team over the past two seasons. Rose probably likes being the alpha-dog on his hometown team and wouldn’t want to defer to anyone else. If the Bulls brought in someone like Dwyane Wade or James, Rose would certainly see the ball a lot less. Both Wade and James handle the ball a lot in offensive sets in order to create their own shots. Rose has never played with anyone (from high school to the NBA) who got the ball more than him. Obviously that would be a new challenge for the young point guard.
Meanwhile, despite earlier speculation, if James does go back to Cleveland, Chris Bosh likely won’t be joining him. Bosh has said he doesn’t want to play in Cleveland. If James returns to his hometown, Bosh could end up in Chicago, Miami, New York or New Jersey. I think he would most like to be in Miami, but there’s no guarantee a sign-and-trade with Toronto can get done and he might have to play for less money to join Wade.
So as things stand now, LeBron James looks to be headed back to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers and it looks like he won’t be bringing any of the his high-profile friends with him.