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.
Is he going to opt out? He dodged the question speaking to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
“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.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.