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NBA PM: James, Wade, Paul, ‘Melo Team Up?

LeBron James recently said he wants to play with Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. Here’s the latest on the rumor.

Alex Kennedy

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 James, Wade, Paul, Anthony Want to Team Up?

Another day, another story involving LeBron James. It seems like everything that James does – in person or over social media – becomes a headline these days. While most of the articles about James seem to make a story out of nothing, this latest report involving James is, indeed, big.

In a candid interview with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, James made several comments that immediately went viral.

First, he admitted that the initial plan in the summer of 2010 was for he, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony to team up on the Miami HEAT, but that scenario fell apart when Anthony inked a five-year extension rather than the three-year extensions James and Wade signed. James confirmed that he had hinted to Anthony that he should take the three-year contract so they could team up, but Anthony opted for more guaranteed money and James and Wade ended up filling out their star-studded HEAT roster with Chris Bosh instead.

However, the biggest piece of news to come from the Bleacher Report interview is that James still hopes to team up with his best friends – Anthony, Wade and Chris Paul – at some point in the future.

“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together,” James told Bleacher Report. “At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, ‘Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”

“It would be pretty cool,” James added. “I’ve definitely had thoughts about it. … We’ll see.”

James gave a very vague timetable for when he hopes to do this, reportedly stating that maybe they would do it at the end of their respective careers or maybe sooner.

Since the story came out, James has made some more comments regarding the topic.

“It would definitely be cool if it happened, but we don’t know how realistic it could be to have us four,” James said, according to Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com. “If you got an opportunity to work with three of your best friends, no matter what, it’s not even about sports, it’s about being around guys that you don’t even have to say nothing, you automatically know. We just have that type of history. Can it happen? I don’t know if it can even happen, but it would be cool.”

Wade didn’t want to get involved and say anything that could become a distraction for Miami. He refused to discuss the possible scenario in-depth, offering only one quote and then shooting down any follow-up questions

“I heard it. I read it. But I’m not really jumping into the headlines right now,” Wade said, according to Ohio.com. “I’m focused on my teammates in here. So as cool as the headlines are, it has nothing to do with what we’re trying to do in here. So I’m not going to jump into the headlines.”

Anthony, on the other hand, was happy to talk about the dream scenario. He seemed to sign off on the idea and added that – like James – he’d be willing to take less money to make it happen.

“I’d take a pay cut if it happens,” Anthony said, according to Ohio.com. “I think we all would have to take a pay cut.”

Anthony was asked if the stars would team up in New York, but stated that he would prefer it happen “somewhere warm.”

“I think by that time [in your career], you want to go somewhere warm,” Anthony said. “By that time. That’s later. That would be later – retirement — … I’m just adding fuel to the fire.”

Paul, it seems, has not responded to the Bleacher Report story yet.

Based on Anthony’s comments, it sounds like the stars are talking about doing this years from now – when they’re past their prime and nearing retirement.

That should comfort Cleveland fans, who have been worried about losing James ever since reading the quotes and seeing so much recent drama surround the team.

That drama includes rumors of Kyrie Irving wanting to leave, James’ camp threatening that he could leave as a free agent this summer, Irving and James sending cryptic tweets, James unfollowing the Cavaliers on Twitter then refusing to discuss why and more. These quotes about wanting to team up with his buddies just adds to the circus in Cleveland.

Apparently James gave the interview to Beck in early February, before the recent drama unfolded, but his quote was enough to concern Cavaliers general manager David Griffin.

Griffin recently had a private conversation with James, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The discussion “was sparked by James’ comments to Bleacher Report” and the talk “was positive and productive, with James echoing recent public statements about an upward trend for the Cavs heading into the playoffs.”

The Cavaliers are currently 51-20, which puts them in first place in the Eastern Conference.

This is certainly an interesting story to follow. James, Anthony, Wade and Paul are very close and often vacation together with their families, so this is likely something they’ve talked about quite a bit and this is just the first that we – the public – are hearing about it. For now, it remains somewhat unrealistic given each players’ contract and the fact that at least three of the players would have to leave a team that they’ve been loyal too. Still, it’s fun to discuss and that’s why it has captured the attention of the basketball world for the last 24 hours.

New Basketball Insiders Podcast

Basketball Insiders’ publisher Steve Kyler and Senior NBA writer Joel Brigham get into the Cavaliers’ drama, the virtue of following a team on social media, the Bulls and Pacers, where things are headed with the Lakers and whether Byron Scott will be back with L.A. next season. Listen below:

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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