For my first blog for Blue & White, I’m going to talk about a story that many people will be focusing their attention on this summer.

If you are an NBA fan, basketball fan, or just a sports fan, you know that a big topic of interest this summer – possibly the biggest in sports – is where LeBron James will sign. ESPN will undoubtedly try to stay on top of the story, even if that means broadcasting small details across its “BottomLine.”

I recently saw that LeBron told CNN’s Larry King that Cleveland has “an edge” in signing him when NBA free agency begins in July. While LeBron did say this during a time period when he has not said much to the media about his impending free agency, I do not think it is wise to put too much stock in his statement. LeBron knows what the Cavs can offer him under the salary cap rules. He knows that they will give him a max deal if he wants it, and he knows that Cleveland can offer him a bigger deal due to the extra year (six v. five) that teams can offer their own free agents. He knows the city and the roster and how everyone fits in around him and the corresponding success. And he most likely has an idea of where the younger players, who do not see much playing time in the regular season – such as UNC alum Danny Green – are in their development because he sees them in practice and pick-up games. Basically, he has an idea for the potential of the roster and what talent may have developed in a few years. LeBron may even know what players will not be around in the future or who is being targeted in free agency. I’m sure management is and will continue to keep LeBron in the loop, as their top priority is to get him to stay a Cavalier.

Given all of this, it just makes sense that Cleveland would have “an edge” right now.

However, I think it is important to note that LeBron has not visited other teams and been wined and dined yet. He knows what teams will have the cap space to make him a substantial offer, but he does not know their plan for him. He does not know how he would click in another roster or what other free agents the team could get to pair with him. Thus the edge that Cleveland has could easily be lost due to greener pastures that LeBron is unaware of or do not yet exist.

Perhaps LeBron will tip his hat as to wear he will end up. Perhaps he already has, with the paperwork he filed to change his jersey from No. 23 to No. 6. Who knows? I do think though that LeBron will allow himself to hear a few pitches from teams beginning July 1 – such as the New York Knicks – before he signs his name on the dotted line of a new deal. I do not think that he will indicate where he is going before free agency begins, and thus anything he says before then will have little value.

– Gaither Jones