Just when everyone begins to think that LeBron James was opting out of his contract in Miami just to re-sign with them, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski releases a report that could influence his “decision”.
Early Sunday afternoon, Wojnarowski reported that the Phoenix Suns are planning an aggressive pursuit of James on Tuesday which begins the free agency period. Many people still believe that it is still highly unlikely for James to leave Miami to go to Phoenix, but they have some things to offer that other franchises don’t at this time.
The Suns are capable of offering the possibility of two full max contracts, a roster already stocked with young talent, and a chance to pick the superstar free-agent partner of his choice ought to make Phoenix one of his most appealing suitors. If James is considering teaming up with Anthony as many assume, Phoenix possesses one of if not the best opportunity for them to team up.
According to Wojnarowski, Phoenix has $33.5 million in salary-cap space and could shed the next $10 million needed to sign James and Anthony to maximum contracts. The Suns could do so without losing their dynamic duo in the backcourt in Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. The franchise is also coming off a great, but disappointing season at the same time with 48 wins, but still failing to reach the playoffs in a special thanks to a stacked Western Conference.
Another huge help in the pursuit for Anthony or James is the Suns three first round draft picks in 2015. With those picks, they possibly could get veteran players who can step in now and contribute and help shape up the roster. Also, they could choose another route and use at least two of the picks to draft in new players to keep their team young which is a scenario that could work as well.
In terms of recruiting James, the Suns are basically playing the waiting game just like every other team in basketball. James’ agent Rich Paul also represents Bledsoe, who is a restricted free agent this summer who Phoenix plans to aggressively pursue re-signing Bledsoe or match any offer sheet for him, according to sources close to Wojnarowski.
It is safe to say that Anthony is leaving New York right? Well, if he is Phoenix has to be intriguing enough for him to consider. Young team on the rise, in great position to put together a winner, and he wouldn’t receive as much pressure as he would if he signs with Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, or Miami. Say for instance, Pheonix fails to get LeBron, but Anthony signs with Phoenix they would still have plenty of money to bring in guys right now to help them compete in the Western Conference. If Anthony signs with Phoenix it would make it that much more attractive for guys other stars to come here. Kevin Love is a free agent next summer and Phoenix would have to be the front runner if Anthony is already there.
A very important offseason for the Phoenix Suns which potentially could make or break their future. Although, pursuing James and Anthony will be exciting, it will be important for them to prepare to pursue guys like Greg Monroe as well in case they fail to get them. The franchise is definitely one of the up and coming teams thanks to general manager Ryan McDonough, along with head coach Jeff Hornacek has this team playing great ball and hope to provide a supporting cast to help lure in James and/or Anthony.