NBA: Can Small-Market Teams Keep Their Superstars Happy Enough to Stick Around?

March 1st, 2011 by LaMar Gafford Leave a reply »
On July 8, 2010, the landscape of the NBA changed with this sentence:

"This fall, I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."

This is what LeBron James famously said during "The Decision", and the result is that more potential free agents are predetermining their moves before their contracts run out at the expense of the small-market teams that have those players.

Carmelo Anthony spent all summer and half of the NBA season trying to force a trade to the New York Knicks, and the trade finally went down with the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 21. Two days later, the New Jersey Nets redeemed themselves after losing in the Carmelo sweepstakes by acquiring Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz.

The message is now clearer than ever from the players' standpoint: Build a good team around me, or I will play with other superstars somewhere else.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors found out the hard way with James and Chris Bosh, respectively. Neither team could lure big free agents or swing trades for better pieces and good sidekicks to compliment them.

Now, these are two franchises ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NBA
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