The Blueprint

By Stefan Anderson

As the interesting as this offseason has been featuring free agency, opt outs, and the recent draft the 2014 season looks to be promising pending this next weeks. With the beginning of NBA free agency so many questions to answer but what will happen this offseason can ultimately create a uproar in the league or remain depending on one person’s decision. Lebron James

Similar to 2010, the NBA premier superstar is once again a free agent and ready to have teams shake up their roster and begin to piece together their best package to acquire the 4 time MVP. James’s move to opt and chase the maximum contract that he deserved 4 years prior not only affects him but everyone in free agent cohort this summer.

In 2012, players like Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire , received 100 + million dollar contract, as being beneficiaries of the big 3 combination that has shaken up the league since its beginning. Kind of like a very lucrative person moves on to your block, that the value of your house goes up because people want to live in that nice area as well.

With James decision pending to change the outlook of the NBA once again he continues his pioneer activity. James signing with another team can leave Miami in limbo similar to Cleveland but can do the same if he decides to stay with Miami again.

Although Miami has a great amount of salary cap to burn, 55 million to be exact, it could hurt by giving James a maximum contract while trying to add other pieces alongside “The Chosen One”. James would take a max deal which would put the Heat’s former franchise player Wade in a position take a tremendous paycut and asking a top tier big man in Bosh to do the same. Although Wade is not worth the money he once was, it goes against the grain of the Miami “family” environment that was created by players like Wade and also a free agent Udonis Haslem.

James can get offered his maximum 20 million by up to 7 guaranteed teams that include Dallas, Miami and a total longshot but would to see him compete and grow with, Phoenix. But there are other teams willing sacrifice their futures like the Clippers who reportedly will trade Blake Griffin and the Rockets who has traded away Omer Asik and declined the budding star Chandler Parsons team option. James is playing the greatest game of monopoly right now and has done what no other superstar in the NBA has done, dictate your own future.

Carmelo Anthony, who is still living in James shadow 11 years later, decided to opt out of his contract from New York and ponds the decision whether to chase championships with another roster, believe in Phil Jackson’s master plan or also take pay cut to play with draft classmates in Miami in hopes of holding up that trophy for once in his career.  James’s influence can help young stars like a Chandler Parsons, Eric Bledsoe, Gordon Hayward and even Lance Stephenson will reap the benefits off being on the market where so many have their big dollars willing to spend on James or maybe a Anthony or Bosh, but will feel just as comfortable in giving them the same kind of deals to promote their future.

In the game of chess you cannot win the game unless you put the King in checkmate or take him completely out of the matchup, well the NBA is the same chess match with their King , LeBron James decides to checkmate and give into his chosen team.

 

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Domino Effect

melo and bron

 

By Stefan Anderson

Cause and Effect, refers to the concept of Causality (also referred to as causation) is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.  Not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, “I’m taking my talents to south beach” allegiance that would engineer one team the opportunity to have three Free Agent All-Star players combine on one roster. But wait, that would only come shortly after one storied franchise did similar years before but instead of building through free agency or draft they traded all assets to acquire the trio. Most things happen due to cause and effect and the newest trends of the NBA are a testament to that.

After Miami’s formed the big three, the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement had just ended and players and owners were forced to make decision that help benefit each other, as they say, but instead forced players and fans to suffer with another lockout. During the lockout Owners wanted to have a higher BRI (Basketball Related Income) and players disagreed. Derek Fisher (the irony right) stood along the NBPA to bring back basketball. The sides came to an agreement but something’s changed including the salary cap, to help benefit smaller market teams from losing their superstars, and also changing max contracts to 5 years, so change is evident to come about.

We just came off an offseason where seen the most superstars in my recent becoming free agent including the league’s biggest star LeBron James.

James, remained loyal to his fans in Cleveland, his hometown team that he helped propel the franchise to yearly competitors, including a trip the 2007 Finals, but Cleveland could not give the King a good supporting cast. James was given the opportunity to give himself the right opportunity to and make the best career decision. How often the does the best player gets the opportunity to do that for himself? Not often, most would argue that Magic, Jordan, Bird and etc., would never do the same but how many of them were surrounded with the same incompetent cast throughout their career? Exactly so if Owners and other in the front office cannot get the job, why not take matter into your own hands.

Not all superstars that are in small markets want to explore different options in a huge market (i.e. Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan). But for the most part they want to leave because of lack of basketball moves by the front office and having the opportunity to compete for a NBA Championship.

Recently Carmelo Anthony has been in reports to joining LeBron James and the Miami Heat, when he opts out of contract this summer. Anthony is in a similar situation in New York to James in Cleveland. When your career begins to dwindle down, how many more opportunities do you get to win a NBA Championship? Anthony is willing to walk away from 23 million dollars for this upcoming season to chase his championship aspirations. After experiencing nearly any success in Denver, he was traded to New York where he is suffering the same fate. Does it say a lot about Carmelo’s attitude and perseverance, or was he not in the best of situations. He came from a small market team in Denver that could not put the right pieces around him to now in New York with a money hungry owner that traded away the franchise’s future to receive the superstar.

The idea that players can now choose their own fate comes on the heels over Owners’ and other front office personnel that do not make the correct moves to keep teams and build long term situations is shown greatly. I am not opposed to the idea at all, and shows a new era of the NBA and could give the league an extremely great look or totally bad perception as well. I am afraid of the “If we can’t beat them then join them” effect happening in the NBA and take away from the various amounts of talent spread across and making one all-star team that wants to win a championship. As long as the talent is distributed evenly throughout the league, then I will be a happy customer but I believe that it will become oversaturated if these situations keep coming about.

KD for MVP ??

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By Stefan Anderson

When you mention MVP Candidates for this season, you probably have your choices down to maybe Kevin Love or Lamarcus Aldridge for wild card picks or maybe even Carmelo Anthony for his great play. But the definite choices belong to Kevin Durant and the reigning 4- time MVP winner LeBron James. The two have been known to be close not only in stats but also as good friends off court practicing with each other and making each other their biggest competitors.

After LeBron, earned his first ring against Durant in 2012 and then repeating in the following year, Durant has always the 2nd best to James since their encounter in the finals. But the two envy each other many ways that keeps this rivalry going. With both of the stars envious of each other’s success and wish they could do what each other do. Durant is jealous of LeBron’s MVP’s and Finals MVP’s, and LeBron “jealous” of KD’s “shot selection”. They both have their own reasons to envy each other and after this season KD will finally get his revenge by earning this year Most Valuable Player award.

Here’s Why:

LeBron James is on pace to have one of the greatest seasons for a swingman in NBA History. With the chance to average 25 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and while shooting an astounding 60 percent from the field.  Those numbers will go down in history but ahead and right behind him is Kevin Durant. King James has already been on record for saying that he is jealous of KD’s shot selection and wishes he could have the opportunity to shoot like Durant. KD only takes 3 more 3’s and field goals than James per game. Durant is not only a better complete scorer than James but has been shown as a better playmaker this season. Durant not only is averaging 31 ppg, he is also averaging 5 assists per game not only taking on the scoring load of his team due to the loss of his sidekick Russell Westbrook. LeBron on the other hand is taking a small hike in his play making statistics, James is only 6.5 assists and 7 rebounds per game, which are some player’s career highs, but for King James this is one of one worst seasons in his career.

Durant has not only been the best player in NBA this season he is also doing it on the best team in the Western Conference, as well.  Not to mention, the fact that have been playing without their point guard and explosive scorer Russell Westbrook. Since Westbrook’s injury on December 27th, the Thunder have been on a tear. With a current winning streak of 8 straight beating some of the Western Conference’s elite, The Spurs, Warriors and Portland , without Westbrook’s help. During this current stretch without Westbrook, KD has stepped up for his team, averaging 38 ppg in the last 10 games. While Miami on the other hand without LeBron James’s sidekick, Dwayne Wade, have not shared the same success. While Wade has missed a few games due to knee injury, The Heat failed to capitalize without Flash, by posting a 5-6 record without Wade. Which gives all the reasons why Durant finally deserves his opportunity receive his first MVP award this season, he has been the best player in NBA, his team and has stepped when his team needs it the most.

With so many storylines between the Thunder and Heat, LeBron and Durant, tonight’s matchup in Miami is going to be a great match. Especially with Miami holding a current 3 game regular season streak over OKC and also defeating them in NBA Finals in 2012. Should be a sight to see.