BOSTON – When it comes to dramatic shows, the prelude provides insight into what’s on the horizon.
That same school of thought applies to LeBron James and his impending Decision 3.0. Before James tells the world where he’ll be playing next season, first he must decide whether he’s opting into a contract that will pay him $35.6 million next season, or if he’ll opt out and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Celtics, like the rest of the NBA, will be on the edge of their seats awaiting his decision, one that could significantly impact how they proceed.
James has been the nemesis of many teams, but few have suffered under his rule of the NBA more than the Celtics in recent years. Boston has had its season come to an end at the hands of the James-led Cavs in each of the last two years, and three of the previous four.
The prospect of him taking his talents out west would provide a significant boost to Boston’s efforts in returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
And while James has not ruled out a return to Cleveland, his desire to continue playing for a title contender makes a return to the Cavs unlikely.
The Cavaliers underwent two roster overhauls this year and didn’t seem to find its stride until the postseason. But even as the Cavs advanced to the NBA Finals, which was James’ eighth straight, it took him delivering one of the best postseason runs of his career for them to get that far.
It’s clear the Cavs will need to provide James with more help going forward, which is why they have made efforts to add Charlotte’s Kemba Walker via trade. But upgrading the roster has proven difficult in part because Cleveland’s cap situation, which isn’t great with or without James on the books.
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And so we wait.
This is the basketball world that we live in, one where the seemingly non-stop hustle and bustle of the NBA comes to a screeching halt awaiting the next city LeBron James will be taking his talents to. While his next basketball home won’t be determined no sooner than sometime in early July, the next 24 hours will provide a glimpse as to what James' next move might be.
Get your popcorn ready, because the first act of Decision 3.0 is about to go down.