Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Selfish Bronny?

So Bron Bron re-uped with the Cavs, which was about as surprising as jumping into a pool and getting wet, although all those conspiracy theories sure were fun. And that was nice of Simmons to scare the bejeezus out of me. Thanks, Bill.

Instead of signing his max deal ('bout 80 mil over 5 years), however, it looks like LeBron will sign a three year deal (with a player option for a 4th) for about 60 mil. Reason being that after the next three seasons (well, four, including next season), he'll have been in the L for 7 years, meaning he can sign for the most money allowable, since he'll be a veteran and all. Plus, the cap is likely to be higher in Year Seven of the Reign of LeBron, so that's some extra cake too for number 23.

The question: Is that selfish?

Clearly, from a business standpoint, it makes sense. As Simmons notes in this article (although not in this context) LeBron could pull a Ricky Williams for the next three years and still sign a max deal. He'll be signing max deals for the rest of his career. So why wouldn't he want to sign one ASAP? He's guaranteeing himself more green. Financially, its the right move.

On the other side, he hasn't made the strongest commitment possible to Cleveland, who is probably going to be scared blind again in three years. Since he'll be unrestricted and all. And he held out for 30% of the cap, instead of 25%...I mean, at that point, do you even need that much money? Unless you're Bassy and rolling 150 deep, once you have that much money, you're pretty much set, right?

But if I'm LeBron, I'm doing this, and it has nothing to do with the money. Yea, I want to bring a title to Cleveland...but I don't want to do it alone. Getting crushed by four Pistons at a time was fun and all, but hopefully I can get some better help than Damon Jones, yes? (Freakin' MIKE GANSEY - a p23 fave, by the way - isn't better than The Butler? He's just as good a shooter - probably better - and can actually get in someone's way, if not actually guard them. Plus, he could be the first player I can remember to wear a t-shirt under his jersey. I see no downside.)

The point is, this puts the onus on the Cleveland brass. The message is clear: Yea, I'm staying and I want to be here and win here, but if you guys keep shelling out dinero for scrubs like Damon Jones and Larry Hughes, I'm outta here. Which is good. Very good.

Everyone's a little uncomfortable. And that's good. No one's getting comfortable or complacent. The thing is, Bronny won 50 games with a buncha scrubs. And the better he gets, the more games Cleveland will win. So it'll be hard to tell how hard they are trying to get better. Here's how you can tell if they are:

Did they genuinely try to get a point guard?

Did they genuinely try to get a sharp shooter?

And that's the list; The LeBrons can make due with the rest. Will that happen? Well, I'm sure we'll witness something over the next four years.

The other question: Will LeBron's draft mates follow his lead? Technically, they haven't signed their deals yet; they can't do that until the deadline passes. If I was Wade, or Melo, or Bosh, or Darko...er, if I was one of those four, I don't think I'd do it. Just take the money on the table. Those three teams seem committed to building a winner: Miami traded for Shaq and brings HoF coaches out of retirement; Toronto hired Colangelo and has been active in the draft and in trades. Maybe only Denver is a shaky situation. Melo and George Karl ain't exactly drinking buddies, and they just fired their GM. Plus throw in the whole K-Mart fiasco, and its worth considering. Ultimately, though, they've shown they are willing to spend the money.

I still think I'd take the max deal now. But that's just me. I don't have to keep La La happy for the rest of my life.

1 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

Zero said...

Do they make crimson undershirts?

And, leave the Butler out of this. I think he hit a pretty important shot from the corner.