Can we not talk about LeBron James’ contract until it’s at least the end of the current NBA season? The Knicks and Nets both essentially killing their chances of being competitive in the next two seasons in order to have enough room to sign James in 2010, when he could opt out of his contract, has been the worst kept secret in pro basketball.

Now, James is dropping hints to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he may just sign an extension in 2009 with the Cavs, and make the whole matter moot for another three years. Tom Ziller at The Sporting Blog makes the astute point that this is a solid business strategy — James can hold the proverbial gun to management’s head to ensure winning in town, giving other younger stars a model for contract extensions — but that’s the only thing that’s novel or interesting about the whole thing.

I know the clearing of cap space is designed to say that at least teams have some future planning ahead of them, but it’s rather disconcerting to see teams say, not even a quarter into the season, that they’re going to trade away any chance of making the playoffs in exchange for stiffs with expiring contracts. Frankly, I’m hoping LeBron stays with the Cavs — not only because he’s a hometowner, but because it would make the cap-clearers look foolish when scrambling for Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade.

At least discuss the 2009 free agents first….oh, yeah, that’s not much of a class, is it?

LeBron James tells PD’s Brian Windhorst he’ll consider signing extension with Cavs this summer [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
LeBron Changes The Game. Again [The Sporting Blog]