Tag: Miami Heat

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers

Reports: LeBron James’ agent has Cavaliers believing they can sign LeBron


LeBron James has remained in the background of free agency, not getting personally involved yet.

All the while, LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, has been meeting with teams. Presumably, that was just to lay the groundwork in case something went awry in Miami.

Perhaps, a little more is afoot now.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

At the urging of LeBron James’ agent, the Cleveland Cavaliers are pursuing a maximum contract salary slot to bring back the free-agent superstar, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Rich Paul, the president of Klutch Sports, has been funneling belief into the organization that the Cavaliers are in strong position to lure James from the Miami Heat, sources told Yahoo Sports.

For years, Paul has confided to people that bringing back James to Cleveland has been something of a mission for him, and he’s encouraging Cavaliers officials to offer no restraint in the recruitment of James, sources said.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

James’ agent, Rich Paul, has already sat down with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in what is regarded as the first formal step toward trying to shrink the gulf between James and Gilbert after the ocean of hard feelings stemming from James’ departure from Cleveland in 2010 to sign with the Heat.

Sources say that the Cavs’ pitch made to Paul last week — which they also hope to make this week to James in their own face-to-face meeting — revolves around Kyrie Irving and the other young prospects they have, in addition to the numerous options Cleveland possesses to add to the roster over the next year.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

That is a heck of a lot of smoke for there to be no fire, but I’m not really convinced.

For one, it’s quite possible – maybe even verging on likely – Wojnarowski, Windhorst and Broussard share the same sources. A small number of people could be controlling the echo chamber.

As Wojnarowski reports, Paul – also an Ohio native – might be the most committed to bringing LeBron back to Cleveland. Until LeBron himself gets involved, only so much can be read into this.

Then there’s the little matter of cap space.

Even if they renounce all their free agents and waive the unguaranteed contracts of Scotty Hopson and Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers are $6,666,564 shy of offering LeBron a max contract. It wouldn’t be that difficult to trim the necessary payroll, but the cost of doing so would likely make Cleveland less desirable.


The Cavaliers have found a landing spot for Jack and his $6.2 million annual salary in the Brooklyn Nets, but only if the Cavs can find a third team to take on Brooklyn’s Marcus Thornton, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland is offering Thornton and future draft considerations as incentive to absorb his $8.7 million expiring contract, sources said. The Cavaliers need to unload more contracts and have made 2013 first-round pick Sergey Karasev, among others, available in deals, sources said.

Thornton ($8,575,000) will actually make more money than Jack next season. If the Cavaliers attach a good enough draft pick to Thornton, they can trade him. That’s true of any player. But it should be telling that after shopping Jack around the league, the best they could draw was Thornton. Swapping one nearly immovable piece for another isn’t progress toward cap room.

Still, there are many other ways Cleveland could clear cap space. Just $4 million of Varejao’s $9,704,545 2014-15 salary is guaranteed – though removing the last LeBron-era holdover from the roster, as Wojnarowski reported, is probably a non-starter. Varejao can still contribute to a win-now team, and whether or not they land LeBron, the Cavaliers hold aspirations for quick success.

Clearing a few mid-level salaries – the combination of Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller andSergey Karasev for example – would work and probably net the Cavaliers picks in the process, though they’d be selling low on those players. Cleveland has all its own future first-round picks and incoming ones from the Grizzlies and Heat if needed to grease the wheels of a trade.

Then there’s the biggest issue: Dan Gilbert.

Gilbert’s heinous letter when LeBron left hangs like a raincloud over all this. Maybe LeBron has forgiven the Cavaliers owner, but the letter was personal and cut deep. I wouldn’t blame LeBron for holding a grudge.

Even if those two can patch up their personal differences, there are still professional issues to solve.

Without LeBron keeping him afloat, Gilbert has made several missteps as meddling owner. The Cavaliers went 33-49 last season, easily their best record since LeBron left.

Gilbert and general manager David Griffin must convince LeBron they could assemble and maintain a championship roster at least as well as Pat Riley can, hardly an easy sell. Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins offer a bright future, but it would take more tinkering in coming years to fulfill the potential dynasty LeBron would offer.

Getting the No. 1 pick every year is not a sustainable plan.

Soon, LeBron will meet with Riley, and I believe these reports mostly serve as a way for the NBA’s biggest star to apply pressure beforehand. But if Riley has struck out on upgrading the Heat’s roster around LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Cavaliers’ challenge – proving they can outdo Riley – gets a lot easier.

Report: Dallas Mavericks getting closer to deal to retain Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Dallas has always been the clear front runner to retain Vince Carter.

While Miami reportedly expressed some interest (Toronto, Oklahoma City and Portland also reportedly had reached out as well) Carter was happy in his sixth man role for the Mavericks last season, and they were happy to have him. Especially against the Spurs in the playoffs.

While Dallas waits for word on Carmelo Anthony (not likely coming) and to see if LeBron James opens the door fully to free agency, they have continued to go after Carter — and they are getting somewhere, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.

Carter averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists for Dallas last season, and did all that fairly efficiently at age 37. The athleticism that made him must watch in his youth only shows in flashes now but he has evolved his game into a reliable, steady scorer and a smart, veteran player.

One it appears headed back to Dallas for another season.

Carmelo Anthony decision could come Monday, at least expected early in week

New York Knicks v Toronto Raptors

Carmelo Anthony said from the start he had a timeline: Meet with teams the first days of free agency, think through his options over the long holiday weekend, then make his decision.

Well, he flew around the country and met with teams, now we’re through the long holiday weekend, so…

The buzz around the league is to expect word on Monday. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports is a little more vague gut sees an answer soon.

The decision appears to be down to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers can offer a max contract of four years, $97 million dollars. Anthony would get to play with Kobe Bryant (and possibly Pau Gasol), plus the Lakers’ pitch played up the off-the-court Hollywood opportunities he would get. Anthony spends his off-seasons in Los Angeles already.

The Knicks can offer more money and one more year — five years, $129 million — and the pitch is that Phil Jackson is going to turn around the organization with his vision. And Anthony likes that vision. Plus he loves living in New York.

The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks also all made pitches but seem to have not caught Anthony’s eye. All three have started to make moves to go after other targets more aggressively, a sign they know how the Anthony movie ends for them.

Anthony choosing a team would be the first of two moves needed to break open the bottleneck that has slowed free agency. The other is LeBron James, who is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley the first part of this week and make a decision one way or another on his future in Miami. Once those two decide a lot of things will likely start to happen fairly quickly around the league.

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

T-Mobile Magenta Carpet At The NBA All-Star Game - Arrivals

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.

Boris Diaw breaks news he is staying with Spurs

Boris Diaw

This was one of the most sure things in what has become a roller coaster free agent period — Boris Diaw was going to stay with the San Antonio Spurs. He loves it there, his versatile game has become integral to how the Spurs attack teams (his offensive game flummoxed the Heat in the Finals), and both sides wanted to go get it done.

The only question was money. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has the details there.

That’s a fair price for both sides.

The Spurs are pretty much brining their championship roster back, now they are just trying to add a piece with their mid-level exception. The primary target there is Pau Gasol reports Wojnarowski. Gasol would be a perfect fit but has multiple options on the table — Oklahoma City and Miami also pitched him in the same price range, if the Bulls miss out on Carmelo Anthony (and LeBron James) they will go hard at Gasol, plus the Lakers are in the mix (particularly if they land Anthony).