Updated 09:40 PM EDT, Wed, Apr 21, 2021

LeBron James To Become Free Agent, but Where will the Legendary Player End Up?

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After a terrible performance against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, LeBron James said he had a lot of thinking to do when asked about his return to Miami.

The press conference was a grim exchange that featured a long pause after the future of James was called into question.

Two weeks later, the NBA and Miami Heat have their answer, LeBron will become a free agent.

The announcement comes as no shock to Heat General Manager Pat Riley, who says that the Heat were expecting the move.

According to Riley's "optimistic thinking," James has become a free agent so he can restructure his contract in an attempt to free up cap space. The added money in the Heat's pocketbook could be used to attract a big name free agent, which the Heat are in desperate need of.

Riley claims that the Heat need to "retool," not start over from scratch.

After four straight Finals appearances Riley has found the winning formula and he intends to stick with it. However, judging by the Finals performances of Wade and other key Miami players, a great deal of "retooling" must be done if the Heat are to get over the hump.

Wade has played tough and reckless his entire NBA career, and the effects of his playing style are starting to show. James will undoubtedly take this consideration when deciding whether or not to resign with Miami.

In the NBA, a dynasty team like the Miami Heat will run their course. In the late '80s, the Detroit Pistons were a flash in the bucket team, winning two straight championships and disappearing into the pages of history.

James will have to ponder whether the "Big Three" era can be revived, or perhaps whether it is time to take his talents to the Western Conference.

When looking at possible landing spots for LeBron James, two key elements must be kept in mind. James is looking for championships, so a contender is what he's shooting for.

Aside from being an already built team, LeBron requires a franchise player salary, which means that teams must have the cap space available to spend on him. Finding a championship caliber team with money to spend is going to prove difficult for James.

The Houston Rockets are thought to be one of the frontrunners, as they are able to meet demands in caliber quality, and are a few trades away from having enough cap space.

The Los Angeles Clippers are a team that has been floated out there due to James' relationship with Chris Paul. Although the match would seemingly be made in heaven, clearing cap is going to be tough for the Clippers. They undoubtedly would have to let go to some of their core players.

The NBA has entered into an era of trios and pairings that lead to powerhouse teams. Although the San Antonio Spurs were able to shake up that model, they still were comprised of their own "Big Three," who have been together for years.

Ultimately, James will resign from a short contract with the Miami Heat, and will look for a larger free agency deal a couple of years down the road.    

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