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Report: LeBron James, annoyed with Micky Arison, not ready to commit to Heat

Jun 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

LeBron James reportedly doesn’t want to take a salary cut in order to save Heat owner Micky Arison money. That’s apparently not a new concern.

It’s been festering.

The Heat paid the luxury tax the previous two years, and they’ll pay it again this season. But in the last year, they’ve really dialed back their spending.

Miami has allowed its roster to stagnate and age, creating a lack of depth really showed in the Finals.

If the Heat had spent more to build a deeper team, maybe they’d be NBA champions – and not waiting on a mum LeBron.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

a victory for the Heat at this stage likely means getting James to commit for one more season. Again, this is not ideal. When that infamous “not five, not six …” speech was delivered, James was under the impression that he would be staying in Miami for a second long-term contract. Despite a strong and historic run, James isn’t ready to commit to that given the current state of the team.

The Heat are the favorites; this is not in question. But there is a window of doubt due to the way the season ended, Wade’s health and some bitterness James harbors that Micky Arison put the brakes on spending over the past year.

That is why his most likely path is to opt out of his contract after the draft so that he will maximize his flexibility while putting teams on the clock.

This would force the Heat to take action on the free-agent market to improve the roster and, essentially, spend money even though they are facing significant luxury-tax penalties. It would also buy time for James to meet with other teams and examine plans and for rival teams to make trades or signings to potentially make them more attractive. Some deals are more likely to happen in July rather than in late June.

Like Windhorst, I believe LeBron will stay with the Heat, the odds-on favorite to keep him. Nearly all the reasons he signed with Miami in 2010 remain in place.

But this is absolutely a time to apply pressure.

[RELATED: Clippers, Rockets to pursue LeBron if he becomes a free agent?]

Chasing Carmelo Anthony has been presented as a way to upgrade the roster. But if Miami creates cap room to sign him, there’s nearly no way they’ll pay the luxury tax season. It’s just too difficult, under Collective Bargaining Agreement Rules, to dip that far below the salary cap and then exceed the luxury-tax line within a single year. It’s not coincidence the Heat didn’t pay the tax in their first year with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Really, a run at Melo is a great stealth way to trim payroll.

In 2015-16, especially if LeBron signs a reduced one-year contract this summer and then sought to re-up for a max deal once Melo was in the fold, the tax hit could be large. But maybe by then, Arison will have found other ways to trim salary. Would LeBron give Arison a year’s cushion on the hope spending increased the following year?

LeBron could opt out now, and that would really apply pressure on the Heat. But if they’re not motivated already, something is wrong.

[RELATED: DeSean Jackson continues to troll LeBron James on Instagram]

The big three, especially LeBron, generate a lot of revenue for Arison. That doesn’t mean Arison must spend like the Nets to appease them, but quite likely, being thrifty and losing LeBron would be a net loss.

LeBron is just reminding Arison of that fact. If he opts out to really hammer it home, so be it.

  1. pondersucks07 - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    LeBron is gone the writing on the wall. wade is just a shell of himself, Bosh cant be the 2nd option. He better as the 3rd option were players don’t concern themselves with Bosh as they did with James and Wade, Making Bosh better than he really is. Goodbye Miami, Hello NY OR LA OR Cleveland

    • manhandler1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Hopefully it will never be with the Warriors. I’ve been a Warriors fan for a long time and if he somehow ended up there, I’d have to find another team to root for.

  2. turkbox420 - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Why not Come to Indy and play with PG???!!!! Indy has a great team to build around and they play hard. West is better than Bosh, PG better than Wade and Larry can make him a LEGEND too.

  3. estamalbob - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    LeBron should be singing on a stage with Kobe Bryant and Aretha Franklin. Why? Because they’re all a bunch of divas.

  4. kamauthabiti - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    the Heat lost, so why keep trying to make them the better team. they didn’t have enough, so why all the if’s and maybe’s. the spurs won, give them their credits. sick of this story.

    • tominma - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      As Bill Parcells often said” You are what your record says you are!” The Spurs are NBA Champs–therefore the best team—EASILY!

  5. 1509lucky - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Geezuz You Cleveland people! Show some PRIDE for goodness sakes! The Guy left because your Owner wouldn’t do. What it takes to build a Championship Team. Get over. It already. The Guy left town and he’s NOT coming back!

    • justtoldya - Jun 20, 2014 at 4:49 AM

      You may be eating your own words soon if he leaves Miami.

  6. manhandler1 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Anyone think this arrogant self centered person was concerned about anyone else other than himself? The word “Team” is not in his vocabulary. It’s catching too. When they’re playing, the commentators act like it’s just James out there playing and the others are just window dressing. I’m thinking they should all just get a room with James and get it over with.

    • cwilson6843 - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      You need help lol. You are lost bro. Big time

    • kevindoc593 - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      I just love how everybody takes the word of this fat troll Brian Windhorst as the word of God as if the fat cupcake is sitting next to LeBron getting all the “Inside” info….. These so called writers/journalist don’t even have to be correct anymore they just write made up articles and feed it to you losers who actually believe them. You’re all sheep keep following your fat cupcake Shepard.

      Seriously, go through all the LeBron titled post’s from Brian Windhorst and all the rest of the usual sports writers, Guess what more than half of all that they write is made up for Internet clicks. If you believe the BS that spews from their moths thats on you for being as stupid as the writers thought you were. losers.

  7. cueghost - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Lebron, I am your father….

    -Phil Jackson

  8. tominma - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I cant remember ANY NBA player/star that was THIS self centered and LESS team oriented! He talked about building his “brand” coming out of high school! Well, he sure has done that and many people don’t exactly admire how it all turned out!

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