The Lakers’ 2014 Plans Just Got Interesting; The Hawks Are Mixing And Matching

By: 10.19.12
LeBron James

LeBron James (photo. Nike)

So LeBron to L.A. talk has already started. We couldn’t even get to July, when CP3 and Dwight Howard‘s current deals come to a close and they become free agents, or the tipoff of this season before the summer of 2014 was brought up. Executives, of course, can’t live like fans and live and die by each game; a grander vision is needed. You won’t find much more of a grand vision or open checkbook than the Buss family’s in Los Angeles, and that’s why the 2014 season, when LeBron can opt out of his deal with Miami two seasons early, has been targeted by some as the potential transition from Kobe Bryant to James in L.A. Bryant’s 18th season and contract both end that summer, and no one is on the contract books except for Steve Nash. ESPN first brought up the possibility because chatter around the league from other executives became louder. It seems irrelevant to consider that this leak came from other NBA executives, who have motivation to see the Lakers lose, because of course the Lakers would want LeBron James. Who wouldn’t? Saying L.A. wants LeBron is like reporting we want to watch the NBA in 2014. The intrigue with L.A. is always in the execution, such as this summer’s moves to turn a somewhat rebuilding team into a spot on the short list of NBA title contenders. We doubt this is a ploy to throw off negotiations with Dwight Howard (might he want to be the solo star on a team?) because before the Lakers can court LBJ, they’re courting Howard, too. Trying to get him to stay will likely mean divulging any intel that can help achieve that end. If your team tells you they see a team with you and LeBron on it, it’s one hell of a carrot to dangle. That’s a grand vision — and, sorry anonymous league executives, one few teams outside of the Lakers could manage to pull off. … Speaking of Miami, a a member of its Big Three gave a convincing reason to believe he’s healthy. Dwyane Wade scored 21 points in just 23 minutes of PT in Miami’s 105-78 win over Detroit. The Pistons had zero shot at winning this game because they made four of their first 22 attempts, the kind of avert-your-eyes stat that can’t be explained away just by saying “it’s preseason!” … On the other side of the shooting spectrum, Jason Terry and Paul Pierce drilled their nine combined three-point attempts in Boston’s 115-85 win over Brooklyn in BK. Just out of curiosity, is there an official Vegas betting line on the over-under on how long the Nets’ honeymoon stage lasts with their fans? … Hit the jump to hear about Atlanta’s many puzzle pieces …

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