The rumors have already started flying around the NBA world about Knicks forward and Bulls guard Dwyane Wade’s futures with their respective teams.
Knicks president Phil Jackson insinuated in a tv interview on Wednesday that Carmelo’s tenure with the organization is coming to an end sooner rather than later.
Despite opting in for another season with the Bulls and having “24 million reasons” to stay in Chicago, I would like to think he won’t be suiting up in a Bulls uniform for the 2017-2018 season.
So how does Cleveland fit into this situation? Their best friend Lebron James.
The Cavaliers are looking to upgrade their roster to keep James satisfied as he continues to chase championship rings as well as slaying the beast that is the Golden State Warriors.
They’re also looking for ways to convince Lebron to stick around past next season. He can opt out and become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and the rumors have come fast and furious that Lebron James will leave Cleveland once again.
What better way to get everyone happy than adding two solid pieces to the Cavs rotation who are very close to the best player in the world and can help Cleveland win another championship.
How can this get done?
First of all, Wade and Anthony need to ask for buyouts from their respective teams.
Wade just opted in to a $24 million dollar salary for next season, like any smart business man would if they would likely get less on the open market. I believe Wade did that in large to continue playing with Jimmy Butler. However, Butler is gone as he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
I don’t believe Wade is going to want to stick around as Chicago begins to rebuild their roster. So he should request a buyout, Chicago pays him a large chunk of his remaining salary and become a free agent.
Anthony has at least one more year left and is due $26.2 million next season as well as a $27.9 million player option for the 2018-2019 season. The Knicks would like to continue building their young core including Kristaps Porzingis despite shopping him during the NBA draft. Anthony’s large salary puts a halt on that roster building.
If they are ready to split, the Knicks should also pay Melo a large chunk of his remaining salary in a buyout and make him available as a free agent.
The Cavaliers currently sit at $126.6 million dollars among ten players on their payroll, which would put them $27 million over the salary cap.
However, they can sign any player to the veteran’s minimum and can go over the salary cap to do that.
With Anthony and Wade both getting a significant amount of money in a potential buyout, they will not command a large salary as a free agent. If they truly want to compete for championships and to play with Lebron James which has long been rumored, Cleveland is a prime destination for both players.
The other team to watch in this situation is the Los Angeles Clippers. If they re-sign Chris Paul when free agency opens on July 1, they could be competition for Wade and Anthony’s services.
If they decide to go to Los Angeles over Cleveland, then Cavalier fans should be on the edge of their seats about the chances Lebron leaves. It’s been rumored for years that Wade, Anthony, Paul and James all would like to play together on the same team.
Now Chris Paul could also come to Cleveland if he’d like to, he’d have to take the veteran’s minimum but he’s looking at a $150-200 million dollar contract in free agency so that’s highly unlikely.
As a Cavs fan and an NBA fan, this is one potential storyline that’s going to be intriguing to watch over the next several weeks.