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NBA Rumors: LeBron James Silent on Future

LeBron James refuses to discuss his future after a tough Game 5 loss … Kristaps Porzingis pulls out of the 2014 NBA Draft … Amar’e Stoudemire will opt in to his contract

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LeBron Silent on Future After Finals Loss

LeBron James on free agency: “I will deal with my summer when I get to that point. Me and my team will sit down and deal with it.”

LeBron James on free agency: “You guys are trying to find answers. I’m not going to give you one. I’m just not going to give it to you.”

via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

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 Withdraws From Draft

In somewhat of a surprise, 7-foot Kristaps Porzingis has pulled out of this month’s NBA draft and will return to Europe for the next year, his agent Andy Miller told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

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.

Amar’e Stoudemire Opting In

As most suspected, New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire has declined to exercise his early termination option and will return to the Knicks for the 2014-15 season to finish out the final year of his five-year, $100 million deal, a league source informed CSNNW.com.

“He is opting in,” said the source that spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has yet to be made. If he had chose to exercise his ETO, he would have become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

via Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest

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.

Jesse Blancarte is a Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders. He is also an Attorney and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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