Five Ways Tonight's NBA Draft Could Affect LeBron James' Decision
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, is the site for tonight's 2014 NBA Draft, also known as the "Hey, LeBron, look what I can do!" show. A normal NBA Draft already has lots of moving parts -- more than any other professional sport -- but with the added pressure of impressing LeBron James and/or moving parts around to make space for him, tonight is sure to take that activity to the next level. If you're not trying to get LeBron James, you're trying to get the next LeBron James -- it all comes back LeBron James. Have I mentioned LeBron James? LeBron James, drink.
The draft promises to be heavy with roster tinkering and future mortgaging with the King in mind. Here are a few things that could affect where LeBron James plays next season.
Re: @ESPNSteinLine report of NYK exploring Shump for 1st-round pick: Watch the Heat, potentially using No. 26 as main bait for Shumpert.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 23, 2014
1. Will the Heat trade its first-round pick for immediate help or keep it in an attempt to get younger?
Miami Heat fans have gotten used to the NBA Draft being pretty uneventful, but that might not be the case this year. What the Heat does with the first-round pick tonight will be the first domino to fall in the LeBron James sweepstakes. Will the Heat trade the #26 selection for a more proven player in an attempt to appease LeBron, or will the team roll the dice on an unproven college star in an attempt to offset an aging roster? It will be interesting to see how things play out.
Heat will try to package No. 26 & Norris Cole to get up in the late teens for Napier.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 25, 2014
2. Everyone knows the Heat wants Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, but more important, everyone knows LeBron James likes him.
The Miami Heat liking UConn's Shabazz Napier has been the worst-kept secret in all of the draft. Everyone knowing you love a player is normally a bad thing, so the Heat is rumored to be looking to trade up from the 26th slot in the first round to select Napier, but it won't come cheap. Rumor is the Heat could be forced to offer Norris Cole, the #26 pick, plus its 2017 first-round pick to move up, and even then the team wouldn't be sure he would last to the pick it acquires. LeBron James tweeted during the NCAA Tournament that there wasn't a better point guard in the draft than Napier, so of course the Heat has added incentive to nab Shabazz. Most important, we can all agree having more "Shabazz" in our lives would be a good thing.