Tag: Chris Bosh

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Heat free agency update: LeBron to meet with Riley; Rockets go hard after Chris Bosh


Miami is a free agent circus — not just some clowns and an elephant, more like an ensemble number from The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil. You can’t take it all in, it’s overwhelming and at times just ridiculous.

Using both personal sources and other reports, here are where things stand heading into Monday with the biggest free agent story of the summer — the goal here is to avoid speculation or gut feelings and just lay out the facts as I understand them.

• LeBron James and his camp are not talking, according to league sources speaking to ProBasketballTalk. Everything people are saying about what LeBron is thinking is not coming from his real inner circle — they learned their lesson back in 2010 and are talking less than a Navy Seal team about to head out on a mission.

• LeBron is going to meet this week with Pat Riley to get an update on plans to fill out the Heat’s roster and discuss LeBron’s plans, something first reported by Sam Amick at the USA Today (and since confirmed by other reports).

LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, plan on meeting with Miami Heat president Pat Riley in person early this week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Riley has had meetings with multiple available free agents — Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Morrow, Martell Webster and others. However, until he has a firm salary number from “the big three” Riley cannot have firm numbers to give free agents.

• LeBron’s agent has taken meetings with a number of teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and others. Those were not meetings involving LeBron himself and participants said they were preliminary in nature.

The Cavaliers and other teams are working to clear cap space in event LeBron does decide to come.

• LeBron’s radio silence has made it uncomfortable for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who are considering their options… well, mostly Bosh because he has other good options. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports laid this out.


• About those other Bosh options, the Rockets expect that this week they will learn they did not land Carmelo Anthony and they are going to make a hard run at Bosh, reports Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The Houston Rockets have ramped up their pursuit of Chris Bosh and are, in the words on one source, “heavily engaged” in trying to convince the All-Star power forward to leave the Miami Heat in free agency…

It is widely assumed throughout the league that Bosh will only be willing to leave Miami if James leaves first, after Bosh said numerous times during the season that he intended to stay with the Heat, even if it required taking a pay cut from last season’s $19 million salary. So Miami remains the favorite to sign him.

Frankly, I think Bosh is a better fit for the Rockets than Anthony.

• Bosh has said on multiple occasions he is very happy in Miami and doesn’t want to leave, but that was always under the assumption that LeBron James would stay. Bosh was the most vocal of the big three about the group staying together.

• It is assumed Wade will remain with Miami regardless of the outcome of anything else.

Agent for Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade says “nothing has changed” in free agency

Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh

Another day, another non-update “update” on the Miami Heat and free agency.

While rumors fly the camps of the actual players in question — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — have been very quiet. The agents have taken meetings and had some preliminary talks from teams, but they are not making commitments and have not been the sides leaking/talking. (If you hear something, assume it’s from a team and take with the appropriate grains of salt.)

For Wade and Bosh, it’s a waiting game — see how Pat Riley does restocking the team, see how LeBron reacts to it (and how they feel about it) then make their next moves. Michael Wallace of ESPN spoke to Wade/Bosh’s agent who said it is status quo right now.

The agent for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh said his clients continue to sort through their options and that “nothing’s changed” in their approach since the July 1 start of free agency….

“They appreciate what they’ve done in Miami those four years together, and they want to make sure they have a chance to have that same success the next four (years),” said Thomas, who attended Sunday’s games at the Orlando Pro Summer League. “With Dwyane, he’s been there his entire career, so he’s in a unique situation. Chris has made it known how he’s felt about being in Miami these four years.”

Wallace summed up what is going on with the Heat well.

Riley is trying to work his magic, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Williams is an interesting fit with the Heat, guy with all the physical tools and a very laid-back, passive game. If LeBron and company could light a fire under him it could be a great signing (and ease the burden on Wade), but more likely this is Michael Beasley 2.0 (with fewer off the court issues).

LeBron has all the reasons in the world to be patient. The same is true for Wade and Bosh. Pat Riley is getting a sense of who he can and can’t sign, but until he has firm financial requests from Wade and Bosh he doesn’t know specifically what he can offer. This could be the case where all of the “big three” sign just after the 10th somewhere then a host of quick moves come to grab guys happens.

Or, maybe it goes sideways.

Most people around the league still think it’s the former, but nobody is betting the rent on it.

Report: Chris Bosh ‘back in a second’ with Heat if LeBron James returns

LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

The report of Chris Bosh preferring a max contract outside Miami rather than a discounted deal to stay with the Heat included a catch. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

Multiple league sources say there will be a close-to-max market for Bosh if Anthony and James stay with their respective teams.

Teams in the race for LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony are in holding patterns until they commit, and LeBron leaving the Heat and Melo leaving the Knicks – unless one chooses the Suns, who could create max cap room for a second player if they get a little creative – would take two potential Bosh suitors off the market. If LeBron or Melo sign with the Rockets, Mavericks or Lakers – three potential Bosh destinations – Bosh might not stir up enough demand to leverage to get a full max contract.

LeBron staying in Miami would keep all outside options open for Bosh. However…

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

“Bosh is back in a second if LeBron commits,” one league source involved in the dialogue told Yahoo Sports.

It’s a catch 22. Bosh can get his desired max offer if LeBron stays with the Heat, but if LeBron stays with the Heat, Bosh wants to return to Miami.

Bosh has repeatedly stated a desire to stay in Miami with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The former Toronto Raptor is clearly happy in South Beach.

It’s possible the right dominoes fall – LeBron leaving, another team still offering Bosh the max – but it’s a narrow road out of Miami for Bosh.

While NBA rumors fly in wild ride, LeBron James plays patient game

LeBron James

It’s only been five days. We’re just starting Day 6.

That’s how long we have been in this NBA free agency period (it feels like three weeks, but it just started July 1). Six days is too fast to expect even Pat Riley to have pulled off a miracle, or to have rebuilt key parts of the Heat’s roster. We’re not at the point yet where most players will take a discount, they are still dreaming big.

Six days is far faster than LeBron James needed to make a decision. And he knows it. So he hasn’t.

In today’s constant news cycle/social media landscape opinions — and the emotions of fan bases — swing on droplets of news. Especially where it concerns LeBron because he swings the balance of power with him — whatever team he plays for is instantly a contender. Other players will come there. He brings that kind of power.

But clearly the man is in no rush to use it. He went on vacation right as free agency started and has another one planned within a week.

Why should he be in a rush?

The message he sent to Pat Riley about improving the roster got through and is still hangs over the Heat, forcing actions. LeBron can let his agent sort through potential Plan B options, to meet with other interested teams. LeBron can even sit down this week with a handful of those other suitors.

And then still not make an instant decision.

Would LeBron like to get this wrapped up before he heads to Brazil to watch the World Cup final? I’m sure he would. That’s different from real pressure to get a deal done — what real pressure is on him to make a fast decision? Other teams may get frustrated with the waiting, so what?

Right now the pressure is on Riley, but he is caught in a vicious cycle — quality free agents don’t want to commit to the Heat until they know LeBron is on board, LeBron doesn’t want to be on board until some more quality players are.

Then there is the money issue — Riley doesn’t know exactly what he can spend. That’s thanks to LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade not giving Riley firm numbers to go by. Our own Aaron Bruski reported that contenders speaking to Isaiah Thomas were giving him a $6 million to $7 million starting number. Other free agents were told the starting salary was $5.5 million, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, although the Heat talked of trying to make a sign-and-trade deal. Luol Deng and the Heat spoke but could only go so far because there are no solid numbers, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com.

Those are strikes against the Heat, but every potential landing spot has its own big strikes, especially for a guy such as LeBron who wants to win instantly. The Cavaliers roster is talented but very, very green and untested (plus there is some ugly history with the last exit). In Houston, can two ball dominant wing players — LeBron and James Harden — share the ball, plus get Dwight Howard enough touches? In addition the Rockets are in the West and any trip to the West is a much tougher road to the Finals. In Los Angeles it would still be seen as Kobe Bryant’s team, plus that roster is a long, long way from contending. The Bulls can’t offer a max contract like LeBron wants. The Suns have cap space and a nice core, but if LeBron wants to play for an owner really willing to spend does he trust Robert Sarver? The list goes on and on, there is no easy, clean answer for LeBron, especially since moving again to chase a ring likely leads to another public backlash (even if it is Cleveland).

So he can be patient. Let the suitors tweak their rosters and make their pitches. All the while Pat Riley keeps pulling things together to round out the Miami roster. LeBron can sit back and let it play out much longer.

And all the while, the NBA rumor mill will just keep on cranking. Droplets of information will produce wild swings, at least until LeBron reaches an actual answer.

Report: Sixers, Bucks likely landing spots for Jeremy Lin if Rockets pull trigger

Houston Rockets v New York Knicks

Whether it is Carmelo Anthony (not very likely) or Chris Bosh (still not likely) or Pau Gasol or Luol Deng or anyone else of note, the Houston Rockets need to clear out more cap space to make the signing.

Having already moved Omer Asik, next up was trying to find a home for Jeremy Lin, finding a team where the Rockets can ship him and get no salary back (just picks or a player who can be waived).

That appears to be the Philadelphia 76ers. Or maybe the Bucks. That according to Marc Stein at ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Sixers, who have ample room on their payroll to absorb Lin’s contract, have emerged as a leading contender to take on Lin in a trade that sends no salary back to the Rockets, which would enable the Rockets to extend a rich offer in free agency to either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh.

Sources say that the Milwaukee Bucks are another team that would consider trading for Lin if the Rockets add a sweetener or two to the deal for the privilege of shedding Lin’s contract to a team that can comfortably absorb it.

Why would the Sixers do this? A future first round pick. They are rebuilding and GM Sam Hinkie is a pick hoarder. They get a backup point for a year (who they can use as a trade asset down the line) but mostly it’s about the pick.

Just something to watch. First, the Rockets need to land that star free agent to need the space. There has been a lot of flirting at the bar that is very different from going home with someone.