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On Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA championship, beating the Miami HEAT in Game 5 by a score of 104-87. In his post-game press conference, LeBron James was asked about his future and he refused to give any indication as to whether he would opt in to the final year of his contract or opt out to test free agency.
Prior to Sunday’s loss, James indicated that the results of the Finals would not affect his decision. However, after losing four games in a row to the clearly superior Spurs, fans and media alike will continue to question that assertion. The sub-par play of star sidekicks Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will add fuel to the speculation that James may be looking to find a new team this offseason. In addition, key role players may retire – like Ray Allen and Shane Battier – or move to another team in free agency – like Mario Chalmers.
While there are other important players to keep an eye on this summer, such as Carmelo Anthony, James will be the center of attention. After four straight appearances to the Finals, and two championships, LeBron has plenty of reasons to stay in South Beach. However, the questions surrounding LeBron will continue until he makes a final decision.
Kristaps Porzingis was projected to be a top-20 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, but pulled out on Sunday, opting to instead play another season with Cajasol Sevilla in the Spanish ACB League.
Porzingis is an 18-year-old, 7’0 power forward with excellent ball skills, athleticism and offensive versatility. He has four years of experience playing professional basketball in Spain, and has shown a surprisingly developed and mature game for such a young player.
His potential in the NBA has drawn a lot of interest from teams around the league, however, Porzingis believes he can potentially go higher in the 2015 draft, according to Wojnarowski. Porzingis will have another year of experience in Spain to prove that he is right and worthy of a top pick in 2015.
In July of 2010, Amar’e Stoudemire signed a five-year, $100 million contract with the New York Knicks. Stoudemire declared that the “the Knicks are back,” predicting that he would be able to pull the team out of a long slump. In his first season, Stoudemire seemed worth the steep price, averaging 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 2.6 assists per game.
But since his first season with the Knicks, Stoudemire has dealt with a multitude of injuries, and his overall production has dropped off significantly.
Stoudeminre managed to play just 65 games this season, averaging 22.6 minutes per game. With a microfracture knee surgery in 2005, eye surgery to repair a torn retina in 2009 and several other subsequent injuries, Stoudemire is not the star player he once was.
With Stoudemire set to make $23,410,988 next season, it is no surprise that he is opting in to the final year of his contract.
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