The focus is on LeBron James. While he will spend the year dodging the question LeBron is fully expected to opt out of his Miami Heat deal to get a longer deal (most likely five years with the Heat, but other fan bases will continue to dream).
But he’s not the only one who can opt out. Chris Bosh can, but it will be interesting to see if he risks it — if he opts out the Heat may well let him go or force him to take a serious pay cut to stay.
Then there is Dwyane Wade.
He’s older (turns 32 this season) and his body is clearly showing some of that age (shock treatments to deal with knee tendonitis), but the “down” Wade still averaged 15.9 points a game in the NBA playoffs, and he’s still one of the faces of the Heat.
“We’ll see,” Wade, 31, said Friday of the opt-out. “You have to figure out what’s best for yourself and what’s best for the team and then you come up with that answer.”
Wade is set to make $20.2 million next season the $21.7 million the season after. Would he be willing to trim several million off that per year (helping the team against the tax line) for the security of four years? That’s the question.
Miami has to look at their roster — and at the Bulls, Pacers and other teams in the East — and know they need to make some changes to compete for rings in a couple years. Which means freeing up some money to make moves. There are changes coming, the question is what kind.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim