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The Starting 5: LeBron James Controls Free Agency Again

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet

1. Free Agent Buzz: With opt out, LeBron James stays in full control – Ken Berger, CBS Sports

Berger writes on the impending free agency of LeBron James, who has already made clear that he’d like to opt out of his upcoming contract (only to re-sign with the Cavaliers and squeeze out as much money that’s contractually allowed). While James will wait a bit to re-sign (to see the free agency horizon), all signs point to him staying in Cleveland. Berger also writes on the situation over in San Antonio, who will look to re-sign Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, all the while courting LaMarcus Aldridge.

2. Kevin Love: Wins or Money? – Joshue Howe, Hoops Habit

“I have 99.9 percent confidence that Kevin Love will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.” Howe writes on his take on the Love situation, as he has opted out of his contract, both to see what teams are offering him on the market as well as tweaking his contract with the Cavs to better suit him. As teams will still line up to give him the max contract, his decision will now be simply does he want money, or does he want to win? There is no better chance to win than playing with LeBron, and had circumstances been different and Love and Kyrie were not injured in the playoffs, the Cavaliers might just be the newly crowned champions.

3. DeAndre Jordan to meet with Clippers, Mavericks, Lakers, Knicks – Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports

Amick reports on the free agency of DeAndre Jordan and his next potential team. After a career year, there’s no doubt that he deserves a max contract, as he’s a force on both ends of the court. Jordan seems to be giving serious thought to changing teams (a Clipper all his career), as he’s meeting with four different teams, even though Doc Rivers of the Clippers has been clear that he’ll be offering Jordan a five-year contract worth about $108 million dollars (the max).

4. Report: New York Knicks to Pursue Jeremy Lin – Maxwell Ogden, Daily Knicks

A report surfaced Sunday evening that the Knicks may look to bring Jeremy Lin back. Linsanity was a pretty huge deal in the 2011-12 season, and Lin hasn’t really been able to replicate that success since then with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, although he’s been decent with those two teams. Ogden writes about the possibility of bringing Lin back, and while there’s question about where the point guard would fit in the rotation, it would likely be a very popular move.

5. Justise Winslow Slides to Perfect Situation – Jarrod Rudolph, RealGM

Rudolph discusses why Justise Winslow will flourish in Miami. “Justise Winslow hit the jackpot at the 2015 NBA draft.” Not having to play “hero” like many of his other lottery picks will ultimately help Winslow in his future, as he’ll once again get a chance to play with a dominant player. At Duke it was Okafor and now it’ll be Chris Bosh and (hopefully) Dwyane Wade. Having a winning culture and Pat Riley running the operations, Winslow will have the best mentors to learn from. Finding the right situation is one of the biggest factors in career longevity for an NBA player, and Winslow gets a chance to have a safety net in the two superstars. Of course, this specific situation offers a lower ceiling for Winslow but a much better chance to develop into a tenured player. The players that are thrust into franchise-saving roles are on the fast track to superstardom, but there’s also a much greater chance for a crash and burn.

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