Now that the NBA offseason is officially upon us, there are several storylines worth following in the coming months, as various players and coaches could be on the move.
No move, however, would be more league-altering than seeing a repeat of 2010.
Only in reverse.
“What does Dwyane Wade do? Does he go and join LeBron James in Cleveland?” three-time NBA champion and NBA-TV analyst Rick Fox asked on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “If we look back, remember the Christmas Day when they were sitting on the scorers’ table and conversation ensued after that game that maybe they were talking about doing bigger things together still as teammates? They kind of laughed it off, and LeBron said I’d be foolish to say something like that with all the cameras and the mics on me. But who knows? Maybe that is the storyline we (should) watch (as) Dwyane Wade deals with whether or not he feels respected and appreciated financially by the Heat, whether the Heat are going to part ways by not giving him what he wants. If he ends up in Cleveland, man, that’d be quite the storyline.”
As for coaches, no one will be monitored more closely than Tom Thibodeau, who was fired by the Bulls in May following a very public and very contentious relationship with management.
Where might Thibodeau end up?
“I would say he takes the year off,” Fox said. “I think he may take a year off. I know (that jobs are) opening out there, (but) I don’t know if (they’re) the right (ones) for him. I know he’s been one of our best coaches in the game. He’s had unfortunate health with some of his players in Chicago, which didn’t allow him to probably put together the run he wanted. He’s gotten criticism for being hard on his players, but Pat Riley was hard on his players and had great success. He’s definitely going to land in the game somewhere else. Some team is going to find themselves in a great position with a great coach. I don’t think it’ll be long, but it may be a year.”
But what if the Cavaliers move on from David Blatt, who reportedly butted heads with LeBron James a bit this past season? Would Thibodeau be a good fit there, or would James not want to play for someone who has a reputation of being tough on his players and working them harder than most coaches do?
“I don’t think LeBron shies away form hard work,” Fox said. “It’s taxing on the body when you run your body into the ground in the regular season, but the only way to get great, I believe, is to put in the work. Tom will do that.”
That said, Fox believes Blatt will be back with Cleveland next season.
“I know there’s a lot of talk that David Blatt might be one-and-done,” Fox said, “but I think he did an admirable job considering circumstances of players going down to get them that far.”