ESPN insider sheds light on possibility of LeBron James coming to Phoenix Suns
Face it, there hasn’t been this much excitement in the Valley since In-N-Out opened their first location in Scottsdale.
Since titleAdrian Wojnarowski reported the Phoenix Suns are ready to put the full-court press on both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony when the league’s free agency period starts Monday night, sports fans have been buzzing about the possibility.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has covered James since his high school days in Akron, joined Burns and Gambo Monday afternoon on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, and didn’t completely shoot down the notion.
“I guess the Suns got some good news today when LeBron made it clear that he’s only going to accept the max contract,” Windhorst said. “That put a lot of pressure on the Bulls and the Rockets, probably scratched them off the list. The Cavs could probably get there with a multitude of moves.
“But the Suns are one of the teams that has a good team and a max contract slot, so he’ll take the phone call, but this thing with the Heat looks like that’s where he’s going to stay. He’s definitely going to wait three or four or maybe five days here to see if anybody can create a compelling situation that would be a good alternative to the Heat.”
In reality, Phoenix is one of only seven teams that can offer James a max deal, joining the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and of course, the Miami Heat.
Windhorst also outlined what James will be looking for should he not re-sign with the Heat.
“Roster. Roster. Roster. Talent. Talent. Talent,” Windhorst said. “You’ve got to have a super-talented roster that is ready to win now, not in two years, not after a year of seasoning, now when this draft pick develops. Now.
“Even though people take shots at Dwyane Wade and the fact that he’s receded, the Heat still have a very compelling, strong roster. The rules have made it harder to assemble a ‘super team’, there are certainly organizations that are trying to pull it off, but the Suns do not have a roster that is ready to compete for a championship now. They have a great beginning, but they’re not where they need to be.”
A potential hurdle for Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is the fact that Anthony has announced the first teams he’ll meet with starting Tuesday. Phoenix is not on the list. Chicago, Dallas and Houston are. Windhorst seems to think that another locale could more easily attract both James and Anthony, should Carmelo lengthen the list of teams that he’ll visit.
“If LeBron and Carmelo are going to team up, they could do it with the Lakers,” he said. “I know the Lakers don’t have the pieces and parts like the Suns have, but if they said ‘hey, let’s get together,’ Los Angeles would be number one on the list there.”