LeBron James opted out of his contract and is now a free agent. We learned this as Chris Broussard tweeted the tweet that launched a million dream scenarios this morning:
LeBron James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
And indeed he did. Now, scribes across the country are putting all plans for family dinners on hold, team executives are huddling to discuss what can be done and fans everywhere are wondering, "Where will LeBron go?"
The answer is likely a ways down the NBA offseason road, past the NBA Draft exit ramp, along the corridor of Free Agency courting period and the first official day of Free agency. Meanwhile, fans will be left to slog along the avenue of eventual broken dreams, waiting for the congestion to clear like just arriving at the sign on a crowded interstate that says, "Construction, next 100 miles."
Most assume LeBron is just getting financially fit again, signing another in-his-prime contract to maximize both his own and his chosen team's future, whoever and wherever that may be. Popular theory is that the place will be the one he chose last time, the Miami Heat, whose ownership and front office situation are well above par. Some are saying that LeBron is simply sending a signal that the Heat need more than just the Man himself to further James' championship aspirations.
LeBron James will opt-out of deal, source confirms. He's determined to impose pressure on Miami to improve roster and spend, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2014
Of course that won't stop people from dreaming about the multi-time MVP coming to their house to play. It's the stuff that NBA offseasons are made of, the imaginary NBA2K-style roster mashup of superstars.
Of course, such roster shenanigans are unlikely, unless it's 2010 when LeBron joined Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. So of course everyone is looking at how their team can clear away the scrub brush of their roster to make such amazingness happen for their team, even if it's only in the Internet cloud.
Hey, we're not immune to it -- I know that our guy, HawksFanatic, is working on a piece on how the Hawks could make such a unreality happen, and why not?
Remember, in the last week, we've had national folks actually mention the ATL as a good fit or a place of interest for these guys. Last year showed the obvious change in culture inside the Hawks franchise.
It's dreaming -- it's free -- and, at this time, it's still possible. Have fun with it.
UPDATE: This, from Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Atlanta has one of the most flexible rosters in the league, with multiple options to move attractive players to other teams to create space. The Hawks, however, have been somewhat reluctant to completely gut their roster as they hope to build off some success from last season.