The NBA free agency rumors are heating up just days before basketball’s annual summer free-for-all, with reports that the Phoenix Suns are trying snag both of this offseason’s big-name free agents, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
Both James and Anthony chose to opt out of their respective teams, the Miami Heat and New York Knicks, making this year one of the biggest in recent memory, perhaps ever.
Now there are reports that the Suns could land both players. Sources told Yahoo Sports that Phoenix plans to move aggressively on James as soon as free agency begins on Tuesday. The team will also try to persuade Carmelo Anthony to join, which would turn the Western Conference middle to the pack squad into an instant title contender.
There could be history on Phoenix’s side. There have been rumors that LeBron and Carmelo hatched a plan during the 2012 London Olympics to become free agents at the same time so they could play together. While the original rumor had Anthony going to South Beach to join LeBron James and the Heat, that may have changed.
Though they reached the NBA finals for a fourth straight season, the Heat’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs exposed some glaring weaknesses on the team, namely their lack of depth beyond the Big Three of James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. LeBron’s move to opt out could mean that he’s ready for a new setting and a team better built to win.
As Yahoo Sports notes, the Suns at least have the money in order to make the move:
“The Suns have $33.5 million in salary-cap space and could shed the next $10 million needed to sign James and Anthony to maximum contracts without unloading the young core of guards Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic and center Miles Plumlee that pushed the franchise to 48 victories in the Western Conference last season.”
The Suns also have a bright future, with three first-round picks in last week’s NBA draft and three more in 2015.
But for all the NBA free agency rumors surrounding LeBron James, the most likely outcome could be a return to Miami. His fellow star Dwyane Wade has also opted out and Bosh will reportedly join them soon, leading many to believe the stars will return for lesser contracts so the team can sign some better supporting players.