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Report: Suns planning to pursue LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony with offer for them to play together

Jun 29, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

lebron carmelo Getty Images

The Suns are set up as well as anyone in terms of having young, affordable talent along with draft picks and salary cap space to make a convincing run at any star free agents on the market — and that includes LeBron James.

While Miami’s Big Three have all opted out of their deals and are technically unrestricted free agents, the reality is that they’re working together to structure their future contracts in a way that will give the team financial flexibility to add talent to the Heat roster.

It doesn’t appear at all likely that James is in play this summer. But if the door is open even slightly for him to listen to new possibilities, Phoenix is ready to make what they believe is the most convincing offer of all.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Armed with an offer that no else in the NBA can make – a chance to partner with Carmelo Anthony on an instant championship contender – the Phoenix Suns are planning an aggressive pursuit of LeBron James on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Suns officials understand the bid will be something of a long shot, but are determined to get a meeting with James to convince him how the possibilities of two full max contracts, a roster stocked with talented, young players and the chance to pick the superstar free-agent partner of his choice ought to make Phoenix one of his most appealing suitors.

Phoenix is determined to emerge as a legitimate destination for James and Anthony, who have privately shared an affinity for playing with each other in the NBA. Salary-cap structures make it prohibitive for teams elsewhere to fit these two stars together without completely gutting a roster, but Phoenix’s general manager Ryan McDonough has constructed a far different reality to sell them in potential meetings next week, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The key here is that the Suns could add James and Anthony, while still maintaining a roster that featured Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Miles Plumlee — arguably a more formidable starting five than the Heat currently have, and one more capable of sustained success given the youth and athleticism that would be in place at the guard positions.

It seems as though LeBron is well on his way to re-signing with the Heat — he’s working on the aforementioned salary situation with Wade and Bosh, and he’s been unwilling to schedule free agent meetings anywhere else.

But if James happens to change his mind, and if the Suns can get Anthony to similarly listen to what would be a very compelling pitch, Phoenix might be the only place that both of these superstars end up seeing as a realistic free agent destination.

  1. fanofthegame79 - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Living in Phoenix….if the Suns could pull this off, it would be nothing short of amazing. But, it won’t happen. Not even close.

    • rohlo - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      yeah there is no way this happens..phoenix is not a destination city and not a major media market team which the two demand..LALA melo’s wife wants to be in a major city with major media!

  2. antistratfordian - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    It’s not happening. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try though.

  3. bigtalljoe - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    No way LeBron goes into the Western Conference….it’s much tougher to get out of then the East!

    • antistratfordian - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      It wouldn’t be if he was on HOU, GSW, LAC, OKC, DAL, MEM, POR or SAS. It would be a breeze.

      • zoomy123 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        It wouldn’t be a breeze but if any of those teams except maybe DAL got Lebron James they would instantly be favorites. It’s hard to see how any team in the West beats another team that has LBJ.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Nah, it would be a breeze It’s only “easy” for Miami to get out of the East because LBJ is on their team. If you replaced him with Melo, George or Durant it wouldn’t be easy at all.

        It would be just as “easy” for any Western contender to get out of their conference if they also had James.

      • JHathwell - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        That Phoenix team with LeBron and Melo on it would be as good or better than any of the Western teams.

  4. themagicfanguy - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Right…well we all know this isn’t going to happen.

  5. cantonbound13 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Get your suns jersey anti… Hahaha!

  6. ripdipbob - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Owner Robert Sarver was one of the major owners pushing for a lower salary cap during the holdout!!! Why would a big star play for an owner who wants to make all the money and not pay the stars? Ain’t going to happen

  7. ravenswhat - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    No chance.

  8. davidly - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Yeah, right. Like– “Hey, I could go play somewhere where it’s hotter than Miami, and it’s only twelve hours to the ocean! Where do I sign?” If LBJ went for this deal, it would official signal that he wants to see how many different cities he can win a championship in.

  9. rexgrossman8 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    that would be a fun team to watch.

  10. azcards - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Haha davidly, you have obviously never been to Phoenix. As a transplant city, all the smartest people from the east always move to Phoenix. Always. Not Cali because the taxes are way too high there. It’s also the 6th biggest city in the USA. So not a small market like people want to believe.

    • anythingbutyanks - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Sixth largest city, but only the 12th largest metro area and decidedly in the middle of the NBA pack for market size.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      I think you’re lying.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        About smart people and Phoenix. When you make elite level sports money, you live in California. If everybody had an ocean…

  11. money2long - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Basketball world shouldn’t mind seeing these two phenoms on the same team. With Bledsoe. My goodness.

  12. 88heatnation - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Not as far fetched as it seems, 9th seed last year with Bledsoe out, now add Melo and Lebron with 2 potential all-stars in Bledsoe, Dragic just may be interesting.

  13. delusionalcardsfan - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Phoenix is a 1 hour flight to the Pacific Ocean genius, not 12. And during a majority of the NBA season (Nov-April) Phoenix has great weather.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      You are right about that. And the NBA season is primarily winter time, when the desert is the nicest place in the world.

  14. haaaaasoooooo - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    This just in: the Cleveland browns are willing to offer Lebron a contract to play tight end.

  15. atlbrave5 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    The Suns need to buy a clue and realize that LBJ is NOT leaving South Beach. Yes, he may enjoy everything that Phx has to offer, but he is not leaving Miami..and why should he?? He has 2 rings and 4 Finals appearances IN 4 YEARS..basically only playing with 2-3 other players. The Suns would be better served with just trying to build up their roster with PLAYERS that can play and not wasting time trying to convince over paid star players to come there. Melo hasn’t won squat since he has been in the league yet the Suns are ready to back the brinks truck up to his front door! This is exactly why the Suns are no longer one of the leagues best teams. It doesn’t matter how exciting their offense is when they are sitting at home watching the Playoffs every year. Stop wasting high drafts picks on projects like Alex Lin (BUST) and go out and get a Kevin Love or a Chandler Parsons that will automatically put the Suns into the Playoffs next year and then build around that. Melo and his wife need the bright lights, LBJ is not leaving Miami…HE IS NOT EVEN TAKING PHONE CALLS. So just stop PLEASE! They wonder why they can’t sell out games anymore like they did in the 90’s and early 00’s well take a good look at the management and the executives and you will find you answers! Going after free agents that they don’t have a shot in H(e)LL getting is just part of the problem with the culture in Phx.

    You already got a great coach, a couple of solid position players at the guard spots, good productive bench, capable big man in the middle (Plumlee..NOT Lin) now get PJ Tucker back to the bench and find two star forwards and you’re done LOVE and Parsons would look great in a Suns uniform! ..look out WEST!!

  16. angulocarlos1 - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Love Phoenix, that would a fun team to watch

  17. miamatt - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Tough to make a pitch when you can’t get a meeting

  18. thegloriousone - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    There are like 4 cities who care where LeBron is going. The rest, having no shot at a championship in the NBA ever, will just round out the schedule.

  19. khmerson562 - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Phx not getting melo or Lebron but they can sign Joel Anthony and mike james tho.

  20. thegloriousone - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    If LeBron was smart, he’d only sign if the Heat agreed to NOT sign Wade. That guy is done.

  21. fnc111 - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Shows how rigged the league is when Phoenix was never mentioned in the last two weeks until now. Who wouldn’t want to play there in the winter? The cap is clear for max contracts. Perfect time for the Suns to fight for a championship team and no star players will listen. Hmmmm Stern rules still in effect. Suns, Bucks, Wolves, Raptors, and on and on not allowed to win in the NBA. They might as well be in the D-League.

  22. raygutierrez2000 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Well we all know Lebron and the other bigs are returning to The Heat. The question is how much will Lala allow Carmelo to cut his pay and go to Miami. Carmelo wants Miami, and if it were up to him he would take the pay cut, but Lala runs the show. The deal has to have her involved in something on South Beach, then she would let Carmelo play with his friends. There may be someone else like Kevin Love or Trevor Ariza waiting in the wings. There are also some kind of hush mystery in Miami that speculates that there
    is another big name that will opt out to come to Miami.

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