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Let the LeBron James silly season begin: LeBron to Charlotte? Really?

Apr 28, 2010, 8:07 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for nba_james1_250.jpgI’d like to say that the idea of LeBron James going to play for the Charlotte Bobcats next year is the silliest LeBron James rumor/theory we are going to hear in the next three months. It’s not. I’m leaning toward a “he is leaving America to play for FC Barcelona” rumor to win out. I may even start that one myself.

But LeBron should join Michael Jordan in Charlotte is the first, and it comes from the New York Times, of all places (via TrueHoop). William C. Rhoden writes:

Why Charlotte? The answer is simple: Jordan.

Last year you said that you wanted to honor his legacy. You proposed that the N.B.A. retire his No. 23…

Forget the number, LeBron. The greatest tribute you could pay him — dollars notwithstanding — is joining forces with him next season and creating a dynasty in Charlotte. The two of you could forge a powerful alliance and achieve in an unprecedented way.

So the best way to separate yourself from Jordan is to step into his shadow, on his home turf in North Carolina? Interesting logic.

First off, realize that the Bobcats are over the salary cap for next year, and they have no way to get very far under it. The max contract — what the Knicks and Nets and Clippers and others — will offer is in the $16.5 million per year range (not formally set yet). The Cavaliers can offer an extension and raise off his current contract, meaning in the $18 million per year range (with larger raises than any other team can offer).

The Bobcats would only be able to offer the mid-level exception, probably in the mid $5 million per year range. So, to sign with the Bobcats, he would be leaving roughly $55 million to $65 million on the table over five years. That is a lot of scratch, no matter how much you are making. And LeBron is not going to make more in endorsements in Charlotte. He is a huge name, he will make about the same national endorsement money wherever he signs.

No doubt, the Bobcats roster with James would be a threat. But then so would Cleveland — they are a threat now. They have had the best record in the league two years running. That is his home childhood, and he would make tens of millions of more to stay and play there.

Forget it. Why am I bothering with logic? The silly season is underway. Time to just go with the flow and not fight it.

  1. commonsence - Apr 29, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Why are you wasteing our time with this? LeBron won’t go to Charlotte because something George Bush did.

  2. Gerald - Apr 29, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Yes, LeBron leaving Cleveland for Charlotte is beyond silly — it’s not even imaginable to say the least. LeBron is not going anywhere. The Cavaliers’ management has built something special in Cleveland. They won’t have any problems signing future key free agents. Who wouldn’t want to come to Cleveland and play “with” LeBron?

  3. JONNI RIVIERRA - Apr 29, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Yeah, this one is really out there. World Icon from Charlotte, North Cacalacki is just not going to happen not even if Jordan goes into a time warp and comes out 30 yrs old again. Let’s get thru the playoffs before this nonsense starts.

  4. KC - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    What’s wrong with Charlotte?

  5. jokes - Apr 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    LeBron is going to MJ’s territory but it isnt Charlotte its Chicago,bigtime city bigtime market and the money is there for him with the foundation of the team also there in derrick rose and noah,makes alot of sense for LeBron

  6. Frank - Apr 29, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    The best thing to come out of Charlotte…..was the Orlando Magic, the night after beating them in Round 1 of the playoffs.

  7. David - Apr 29, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    commonsence, I was thinking the same thing about this reporter. Why is he wasting his and our time writing this?
    tiereo, I will go out on a limb here, I assume you dropped out of school in the………….3rd grade?

  8. Matthew - Apr 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    He will go to the Bulls.
    It is the only team that can almost guarantee him a dynasty. Knicks or Nets – another 2-5 years of rebuilding (he’s tired of that already.)
    Lebron, Rose, Joakim, Luol, etc… They would be championship contenders for the next 6-10 years.

  9. Anonymous - May 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    he is going to Charlotte you guys will see!!!!

  10. Tyler - Jun 1, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    Charlotte will be a good it isnt big yet but its getting there so its not as “silly” as u guys think and the city doesnt make u a world icon u as the player does Kobe or LeBron could go to Milwaukee and still be one

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