LBJ will announce his location decision on a ONE HOUR SPECIAL on ESPN Thursday night!
There are two considerations here that are not necessarily mutually exclusive. First, money. Cleveland can pay him substantially more than any other team. A lot of people (yes, I'm talking to you Tyler) minimize this, but consider that (a) salaries are likely to fall in the future, and (b) endorsement money has already fallen. LeBron is not (nor should he) going to take a low paying job for next year.
The question is, how does he weigh the tradeoff between the loss of money from leaving Cleveland with the increased chance of winning a title?
As currently constituted, none of the teams in the LeBron derby have great title hopes (sorry Chicago). Is Joakim Noah really that much better than Andy Varejao? Plus the Bulls now have a first time head coach and a GM who got physical with the last coach!
New Jersey (which was my initial pick for where he'd go) has hired the Lil General as their coach. The over/under for when Avery would be on LeBron's very last nerve is probably what, 15 minutes?
Miami has a good owner and a high status GM who has also been a high status coach. Playing with another superstar is easier said than done though.
Cleveland stinks. Besides LBJ, the only guys I like on that roster are JJ Hickson and Varejao. Plus, Byron Scott ain't no Red Aurbach!
That leaves the Knicks. They have made one bad move (that's a LOT of $$ for Amar'e, people), and it is far from obvious how LeBron would fit into D'Antoni's vaunted "system" (it only works for people with apostrophes in their name).
Wow, I think I am saying that LeBron is screwed on the championship front!
Ironically, the team that ruined his chances (Cleveland, by not building anything reasonable around him for 7 freaking years) is the team that can pay him the most, and money is all that LeBron can be certain about when making his decision.