2011 NBA Draft: How LeBron James’ ‘Decision’ Affects This Year’s Draft

LeBron James may have a profound effect on the 2011 NBA Draft

Forget the immediate impact of “The Decision” on Cleveland, the moves made in free agency last summer shook the entire NBA to its core.

Especially if you were a small market team in the NBA.

LeBron bolted his hometown for greener pastures and don’t think teams like the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings aren’t keeping watch. When they get ready to draft this year, the kind of loyalty they feel they can get from a pick will matter quite a bit.

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This isn’t all on LeBron James, he’s just the symbol for everything that has happened in the last 12 months. Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and possibly Dwight Howard have all been bit by the bug of free agency.

There is no more ideal of playing with a team your whole career. This is just setting up to cripple the NBA franchises that don’t exist in major markets. However, the NBA is hard at work to try and figure out just what they can do to keep star players at home.

Still, teams can’t bank on that possibility come draft night and they will have to draft character and loyalty, even if that means sacrificing a bit in the area of talent.

The Decision changed the perception of everything. It was the final straw for loyalty. GM’s will keep that in mind on Thursday.

Especially Cleveland. 

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