For Every Decision, There’s a Reaction

July 11, 2014. 

It may seem like just another date on the calendar, but LeBron James changed that in a flash.  James turned the sports world upside down with the Decision 2.0, opting to return to the place he calls home: Cleveland.

James has been dealing with the burden and stress that comes along with simultaneously being the face of the league and a free agent.  The media has had the King under a magnifying glass, watching his every move and updating the world on his agent’s meetings with other teams, his travel plans to Brazil, and what time he tucked his kids into bed last night (okay, okay, maybe the last one is a joke).

But now that James has made his move, the pressure has shifted to others to respond to his choice to return to Cleveland.  So let’s break down the situations of the people and teams most affected by the Decision 2.0:

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All Quiet on the Lakers’ Front

Magic.  Kareem.  Shaq.  Kobe.  Jeremy Lin?

As the days pass, the free agent market is slowly drying up.  James, Anthony, Bosh, and Nowitzki have already figured out their plans for the 2014-15 season, Wade looks ready to re-up in Miami, and Gasol looks like he’s headed to Chi-Town.

But where are the Los Angeles Lakers?  Well, they made some moves after the King announced he was going home, but these aren’t the marquee moves you Lakers fans are used to seeing (yes, I’m a Clippers fan).  Rather, they made an array of smaller moves that seem to reveal the front office’s strategy going forward: a patient rebuild.

With only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre under contract for the upcoming season, the Lakers have a lot of work to do.  So let’s break down the recent deals made by Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss & Co.:

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The LeBrottery: A Reaction from a Non-Entitled Heat Fan

I’ve been a Miami Heat fan my whole conscious life, but up until four years ago, nobody gave a shit. And why should they have? To be a fan of a given franchise is no more notable than any other fanhood… that is until the greatest, most polarizing player in the global cult they call professional sports decides to take his talents to your city. That decision- THE Decision- changed everything for me, Miami Heat fans, the NBA and, of course, SportsCenter.

Since that glorious day, LeBron has brought us two NBA Championships, two Most Valuable Player awards, four straight trips to the NBA Finals, and countless moments of awe-inspired pride. But along with these great things has come something rather grotesque: a sense of entitlement. Sure, that sentiment is anything but rare in the ostentatiously glittered streets of South Florida.  We feel entitled to beautiful weather, beautiful people, beautiful homes and cars. But it’s supposed to be different when it comes to sports.

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Stretch Bigs: Show Me the Money

Free agency has gotten off to a slow start, thanks to the one and only LeBron James.  However, there have already been a few signings, and big men with shooting range have been flying off the shelf.  Three have signed with new teams (Channing Frye, Spencer Hawes, and Josh McRoberts), while another took a hometown discount on his new extension (Dirk Nowitzki).

As defenses have developed smarter schemes and game plans, floor spacing and shooting have never been more important.  Thus, teams have been slobbering over big men who can shoot from distance (players also known as stretch bigs), throwing large sums of money their way.  But are all of these stretch bigs really worth it?

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Houston, We Have a Problem

A few days ago, the Rockets officially declined their team option on Chandler Parsons, making him a restricted free agent (meaning they can match any contract Chandler agrees to with another team and retain him).  Parsons was due just $964,000 on the final year of his rookie deal, which would have made him one of the biggest bargains of the 2014-15 season.  So why in the world did the Rockets put their third best player on the open market where he will likely earn an 8-figure salary, when they could have had him for less than all these things?

Before we delve into Parsons’ free agency, let’s take a look at just how valuable Chandler’s contract could have been with a game of who would you want the most:

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