In the year 2014 ...


This is an excerpt from today's New Year's edition of 5-on-5:

1. One year from now, LeBron James and the Heat will be ...

Stein: Retooling. Or reloading. Or another one of those R words. I was certainly high on the list of know-it-alls who said LeBron would stay in Cleveland, so I know it's risky to simply presume that Miami won't suffer the same fate. But if you're asking me now, more than six months out before LeBron has to decide, I continue to regard staying in Miami as by far LeBron's most appealing option. It just ain't right, in my eyes, for a player of LeBron's stature to switch addresses again after just four years in Miami. When you're the undisputed No. 1 player on the planet, with Pat Riley at your side to orchestrate, you recruit other good players to join you. You don't go looking for another place to play as if to say, "South Beach, like Cleveland, can no longer do it for me."

2. One year from now, the Lakers, Nets and Knicks will be ...

Stein: One year from now I'll still be wondering how the 5-on-5 Bot thought it could squeeze three messes this big and complicated into one short-answer question. History tells us that the Lakers always find a way. And I believe that. It might take longer than 12 months, but the mere fact that the Lakers are suddenly considering this Andrew Bynum deal to get their finances in order makes me think that Laker Haters better enjoy this down cycle while they can. Come the summer of 2015, or 2016 at the latest, they'll inevitably have a new star in place to either partner with Kobe Bryant or take over as face of the franchise. But when it comes to the Knicks and Nets, who've combined to mortgage countless future draft assets for a win-now present that no longer exists, I'm gonna need way more time and space to deal with those two. Sorry.

Read the rest of the 5-on-5 roundtable »