The Summer of LeBron has Begun. Cleveland? New York? Chicago? »

Jul 1, 2010 at 8:46 am | around-the-nbalebron-james

Let the bidding and begging begin. The NBA’s free agency period has opened, with LeBron James leading perhaps the deepest group of players to ever hit the market. Teams could begin making their pitches at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, and some were getting started quickly. Things get interesting later Thursday, when the New Jersey Nets and Knicks are scheduled for visits to Ohio to meet with James, the two-time MVP who heads the class. It includes other All-Stars such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer; veterans such as Shaquille O’Neal and Ray Allen; and young up-and-comers such as Rudy Gay and David Lee. “We’ve never had anything like this in my time that I can remember,” New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn said. “There have been big-time free agents before, but never this many teams that are trying to woo them. So it’s unprecedented.” Talk of James’ destination seems to change by the minute. He was considered a lock for Chicago in one report, then seemingly guaranteed to head to Miami in another. The rumor mill spun so out of control that an online sports book simply stopped taking action on James’ next team. Bottom line: James can get perhaps $125 million over six years by staying in Cleveland or $96 million over five years if he goes. (The exact figures can’t be determined until next season’s salary cap is set in July). But leaving could put him in a better position to win a championship. Via ESPN. Continue reading for an illustration of LeBron James and all thirty NBA teams.

The Summer of LeBron has Begun Cleveland New York ChicagoThe Summer of LeBron has Begun Cleveland New York Chicago