Report: LeBron wants 1-2 year deal at max; Bosh five years starting at $11 million, Wade four-years starting at $12 million; agent denies

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UPDATE 5:01 pm: As you might expect, the CAA agent for Bosh and Wade doesn’t like the suggestions his players would take a massive pay cut. He denies it.

Everybody is likely spinning a little here. You can be sure that Miami’s “big three” gave Pat Riley some kind of salary framework for him to have an idea what he could spend in free agency. The numbers below may or may not be exactly accurate, but if they are not close Riley is not going to have his hands free to upgrade the roster in the way LeBron (and Heat fans) want.

It also is possible that this is the lowest the Heat players go and if Riley doesn’t use all that money Bosh and Wade will soak it up.

3:40 pm: LeBron James does not want to take the pressure off Pat Riley and Miami Heat management — not this summer, not when it’s over. However, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are making the sacrifices to both give LeBron his cash and give Heat president Pat Riley room to maneuver.

We knew LeBron, Bosh and Wade presented their plans to Riley, providing a financial framework of what he would have to spend.

Now we have an idea what that is that is, thanks to John Canzano of the Oregonian.

That’s some big per-year sacrifices from Wade and Bosh, both of whom could have made $10 million more a year for the next two years (but do get more guaranteed money in the long run). Zach Lowe of Grantland said he heard flopped numbers — Wade $12 million to start, Bosh $10 million to start — but it seems in the same ballpark.

[MORE: The Top 50 free agents for summer of 2014]

If this report is accurate what does that mean for Riley? What can he spend?

He has $12,918,609 in cap room below the projected cap of $63.2 million to spend, according to PBT’s own Dan Feldman who ran the numbers.

That accounts for LeBron at his max ($20.7 million, although he may take a little less), Wade at $12 million, Bosh at $11 million, Norris Cole who is on the books already, the rookie contract for Shabazz Napier and seven minimum-salary cap holds.

Riley could use all or almost all of that to go after one big player — Kyle Lowry or Luol Deng, although neither is willing to take a discout to come to South Beach — or he could divide it up into two or three players at and try and fill a few needs with quality players. After using up that cap space Miami would still have a $2,732,000 exception, which could be useful for Udonis Haslem (it can only be a two-year deal but Haslem isn’t playing longer than that anyway). After that it is all minimum contracts.

The ball is in Pat Riley’s court — he got a healthy chunk of cap space thanks to player sacrifices. Now he has to do something with it.

Watch LeBron James drop 33 on Raptors in Game 6 win

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Friday night was a step forward in maturity for the Cleveland Cavaliers — given the chance to close out a conference finals on the road, in a place they had struggled, the team stepped up and did so convincingly.

They did it following the lead of LeBron James, who attack the basket from the start on his way to a team-high 33 points and 11 assists. LeBron set the tone and the rest of the Cavaliers followed.

Above you can see just how LeBron racked up those points. It’s an impressive display.

Report: In surprise to nobody, Bismack Biyombo will decline option, become free agent

TORONTO, ON - MAY 27:  Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Toronto Raptors reacts after being called for a foul against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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This is not only expected, but it’s also the move all of us would make. Unless you hate money.

Raptors big man Bismack Biyombo has a player option on his contract for next year, pick it up and he returns to the Raptors at $2.9 million. Or, he can decline the option and become a free agent, where he may make about $17 million a season. So what do you think he’s doing? From Marc Stein of ESPN:

Certainly, the Raptors can’t retain Biyombo’s services, it’s just going to be expensive to do so.

If $15 million (at least) seems a lot for a player who can only impact the defensive end of the floor because of poor hands and a limited offensive game, you would be correct. Welcome to the crazy cap-spike summer the NBA is about to experience. The market will be flooded with cash (at least 20 teams will be able to afford a max player) and players with a valuable skill hitting that market are going to get PAID. Biyombo can block shots and rebound like a beast, and in an increasingly small-ball NBA era those skills have value. Teams will live with having to play 4-on-5 on offense to have those skills on the roster.

The real question is which teams — the Lakers? — and how much of that cap space are they willing to give up for him? It’s going to be an interesting July.

Drake congratulated LeBron James in hallway after game

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Drake is a Toronto native and a huge Raptors’ fan. He’s officially the team’s “global ambassador,” although nobody knows what that actually means.

Drake is also tight with LeBron James.

As LeBron is running down the hall to get to the locker room and celebrate making a sixth straight trip to the Finals Drake stops him to congratulate him. And Drake is one of the handful of guys LeBron will stop and talk to.

Nothing wrong with this, either. Drake has walked a line the whole series — he’s a Raptors fan, he’s trolled LeBron and Kyrie Irving on social media after Toronto wins, but he’s close with Cleveland’s players and has been seen in the Cavaliers locker room plenty the past few seasons.

Some fan bases (we’re looking at you, Philly) would flip out over this kind of divided loyalty, but not Canadians who will just forgive and move on.

LeBron James leads Cavaliers back to Finals doing it his way

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LeBron James is the first NBA star of the social media age, and with that has come a volume of criticism that the greats before him — Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan — never had to deal with.

Even these playoffs, there have been chattering voices knocking LeBron for how he worked more to set up teammates — particularly Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love — more than seeking out his own shot. Some people have always wanted him to be more Jordan, when he was always more Magic. Or Oscar Robertson.

And this playoff he knew that he could carry his Cavaliers to the NBA Finals through a diluted East, but if he wanted a ring he was going to need those other players to be confident, ready, and believing in the team.

You could see that all come together for LeBron James in Game 6. He attacked early and set a tone, then got everyone involved on his way to 33 points and 11 assists in what became a 113-87 win sending Cleveland back to the NBA Finals.

“I just had to bring my game,” James said in his on-court postgame interview on ESPN. “I had to bring my game, I had to be in attack mode from the beginning, trust my shot, and once my shot start going I can get my teammates involved and they was able to carry me down the stretch.”

LeBron James was getting to the rim with those attacks, check out his shot chart:

LeBron shot chart

LeBron also keyed the fourth-quarter 22-7 run that put away the game.

“There is only one LeBron James, and he makes a difference on any team he plays on, and he’s proven that,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said postgame. “It’s six Finals (in a row for LeBron), to compare him to our team — and I love our players, I wouldn’t trade any of our players — but you put him on any team and he’s a difference maker.”

LeBron’s critics will not be silenced. The man has made six straight finals, a feat not accomplished by anyone since a few legendary Celtics of the 1950s-60s (Bill Russell’s teams). It speaks to LeBron’s focus, skill, durability, and ability to lead teams.

Critics will point to LeBron being 2-4 in the Finals. That misses the point — making it to six straight is an amazing accomplishment, and LeBron did it his way. Not trying to be MJ or Magic or Oscar, just being LeBron James.

We should savor watching this guy play while we still can.