LeBron James made his decision, and really, it was beautifully done. Whatever things have been said about the man, it's just about impossible to get angry at the essay he penned to announce his return home to Cleveland. The hugest props to Lee Jenkins, a fantastic sports writer who deserves this as much as anyone I can think of.
And now the offseason can finally move on, and make no mistake -- things will start dropping quick.
Houston and Chris Bosh moving quickly on securing deal, and with Bosh, Rockets will match Chandler Parsons offer sheet, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
Houston needs to finalize two trades: Omer Asik to New Orleans and Jeremy Lin to Philadelphia. Terms have been agreed to, but there is still work to be done -- in particular, New Orleans might need to make an additional trade to clear a little more space.
As long as they can pull off both of those moves, they will sign Chris Bosh to a max -- or close to it -- and match Chandler Parsons.
They have until Sunday's deadline to pull off these moves. It might be close, but it's a safe assumption that Houston will be able to make them in time. It's also a safe assumption that Houston won't let Dallas know they are matching until the last hour of the deadline, tying their hands on moves that can be made.
Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng will start to get a lot of attention. Both their agents know Dallas is interested, so I'd imagine they'd keep their options open until Dallas' cap frees up on Monday -- assuming they aren't blown away by another offer. The Mavericks have an excellent combination of money and winning, so assuming those two will hastily make their decision and leave Dallas out to dry is an unlikely scenario.
However, do expect to see free agency to start getting very heated in these next few days -- and even these next hours. Having their cap locked up on Chandler Parsons certainly isn't preferred for Dallas, but it won't stop them from doing their due diligence.
The Mavericks knew this. It was a gamble for Houston to decline his team option, and it was likewise a gamble to sign Parsons to the offer sheet. The Rockets will now have $71 million locked up to four players, but those four teammates are really damn good. Morey's plan might have had a couple of bumps, but it's all coming into place now.
It should be an insane few days, totally different than the waiting game we were playing while waiting on James to decide.