James lobbied hard to acquire Kevin Love for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but NBA teams quickly solved the puzzle by having similar players defend either All-Star forward.
Love is 6’10” and 250 lbs, while James is 6’8” and 250 lbs: they are redundant and teams figured how to exploit that angle to their advantage.
At 6’10” and 230 lbs, Ben Simmons is so much like James, that NBA teams could switch defensive assignments between the two players, thus making life difficult for LeBron on getting a mismatch on defense.
Much like the Cavaliers, the 76ers don’t have a Kyrie Irving type of point guard who can drain clutch 3-point baskets when the stakes are the highest.
James himself made his priorities clear in having an elite guard with a jump shot, like Dwyane Wade or Irving, on his team.
The Heat already have Goran Dragic, Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson as shooting guards who can handle the basketball and possess legitimate scoring threats from outside.
Terry Pluto wrote about how the Heat are working towards fixing the problem of how to defeat the Warriors, which is LeBron James’ number one, two, and three priorities:
“I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man who thinks rims should be attached to old half-moon wooden backboards. But there was a time -- even 10 years ago -- when the idea was to avoid switching on most pick-and-roll plays. This is your man ... guard him! Fight through the pick.
“If you have a lot of athletic players in the 6-foot-7 range with long arms and lively legs, switching on every pick-and-roll works well. But not every team has that luxury. Or teams are forced to bench good big men simply to defend the pick-and-roll by constantly switching.”
Fighting through picks is so yesterday that Miami has revamped its personnel, but as the playoffs painfully showed, Dragic runs on fumes in the second-half.
If the current Heat guards don’t make the grade, should Pat Riley pursue trades for Kemba Walker, CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, John Wall or Kyle Lowry?
Bright Side of the Sun outlined the possibilities for each, although the site didn’t list the possibilities of Dragic as a trade target.
Miami failed in recruiting Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward the last two summers, so this time around adding the eloquence of Shane Battier could help in landing the elusive “Whale.”
A second-round draft pick or undrafted player won’t move the needle towards championship status anytime soon, so what’s the point?
Among the whales LeBron James is the biggest catch of all, and hauling in a player complimentary to his skills might be the key to having a Decision 3.0 in Miami’s favor.
Heat fans also have dreams of championship parades down Biscayne Boulevard.