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Suns, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Rockets met with LeBron’s agent; LeBron ‘seems ready’ to explore the market

Jul 3, 2014, 9:29 PM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

The Suns are doing what they can to enter the LeBron James sweepstakes, even if it’s only a theoretical competition at this stage of the proceedings.

Most believe that James isn’t going anywhere, and that he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are working together to structure their contracts so that they can stay in Miami, while creating some additional cap space to allow the team to add talent in free agency at the same time.

But LeBron hasn’t said a thing since opting out of the final two years of his deal, and while he’s sitting out this initial round of meetings — again, possibly because he has no intentions of leaving — his agent will be exploring options with at least a few teams on his behalf.

The Suns are one of them, and the team’s owner reportedly had his shot with James’ agent on Wednesday.

From Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

Sources: Suns owner Robert Sarver was n Cleveland yesterday & met with LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul. Teaming LJ/Melo or LJ/Bosh n Phx discussed

The Cavaliers, Mavericks and Rockets also reportedly met with LeBron’s agent this week. The most interesting news of all may not happen until next week, however, when James himself may be present for meetings with three finalists, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Suns are the most intriguing here, mainly because the players currently in place are talented enough and young enough to keep contending for years to come. And, the team’s GM has demonstrated an above average ability to play this game correctly, by assembling draft picks and creating cap space while also putting a product on the floor that won 48 games last season in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Teaming James with another star like Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh, while keeping Goran Dragic and re-signing Eric Bledsoe would obviously make the Suns into an instant championship threat. It still feels like an extreme long shot, but if nothing else, Phoenix can take some solace in knowing it was on a very short list of teams James would potentially consider if, for some reason, he seriously would consider leaving Miami to try to contend somewhere else.

One more thing to add here, and that’s the fact that the little wrinkle of LeBron potentially attending free agent pitch meetings would, in theory, seem to complicate things. Miami needs to add talent to upgrade the roster, but the market we’ve seen so far isn’t one where bargains are there to be had — guys are being overpaid more than anything else, and if that trend continues, the Heat will end up missing out.

It was never perceived as a serious threat that LeBron would leave Miami. But based on the information we have at this stage of things, it at least seems possible — and that in and of itself is going to make for a frenzied finish to free agency.

  1. clevelandrox - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    “it at least seems possible” talk about an understatement! the Sun’s would probably lead the race but they’re in the western conference, so ahem, with the Cavs he would be in the eastern conference at the least…

    • casualcommenter - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Agreed. I’d love him on the Rockets, but for a guy turning 30 years old next season, it makes no sense to leave the East when chasing rings. The East should be better this upcoming year, but I think the West will still be the stronger conference for at least a couple of years because of all the teams with relatively young cores of talent.

      LeBron should stay East for now. For public relations reasons, the only team LeBron can leave the Heat for without getting killed in the press is the Cavs, but I don’t know if LeBron trusts that young talent to help him win a championship now. I think LeBron likely stays with the Heat, unless Riley strikes out with all the good free agents.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        What I would do as LeBron – take a 5-year deal with the Heat with a player option after 3 years. At that point, Wade will be 35, Bosh will be 32, while the Cavs’ young core will be just hitting their primes.

        Then I would head back to Cleveland as a 32 year old and spend a few years trying to win a ring for Cleveland and hopefully regain all the fans I lost by leaving.
        Cavaliers have too many guys under 24 years old to be an immediate championship favorite, even if LeBron joins.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:23 AM

        I just heard an interesting idea floated on ESPN. What if LeBron does go back to Cleveland…they trade Wiggins for Kevin Love, and then you have LeBron, Irving, and Love to build around (not to mention a decent team already with Hawes, Thompson, Waiters, Verajao, and Jack – or use any of them for trade bait). You also have the story of the prodigal son returning home to win the long-awaited Championship. Nothing but positives there.

      • tomasekradek - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        Hawes, Varejao, Jack, Love, Irving, LBJ, Waiters, Thompson and at least 5 other players

        I don’t know man, I’m to lazy to calculate but to me it seems like at least 80m$ payroll

  2. rexgrossman8 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Can’t wait for the season to kick off. Love this game.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Not sure why you’re getting downvoted.

      The USA is out of the World Cup, NFL preseason is still a month away, it’s still a long time before the baseball playoffs…

      NBA free agency is one of the most exciting things in sports right now.

      • daddyghi - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        i agree… even lebron is so in to the game, he’s now flopping! i hope the NBA doesn’t fine him for flopping in the free agency game…

  3. balsagna - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    I am almost starting to feel bad for Heat fans. I went through this 4 years ago, and it doesn’t end well.

    • clevelandrox - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      you emphasis ‘almost’ right… : p

    • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      They’ll be fine. If everything goes south they still have 3 glorious championships to remember (only 1 of 6 franchises to have more than 3 in the modern era). You Cavs fans can only recall heartache and despair.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        Oops. That was supposed to say, “more than 2.”

      • balsagna - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Losers live in the past.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        In Cleveland they live forever.

      • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        So I guess you will become a Suns fan if he goes to Phoenix!

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        Their fan base would see an immediate IQ boost. But I don’t expect him to go to Phoenix.

      • clevelandrox - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        oh, its OK doe, we can handle it… beside Cleveland creeping on a come up… we got more movies made than hollywood, Indians went to playoffs last year, Johnny Football in town, Kyrie sign his max, we got Wiggins and yeah Bron Bron’ll be back, im pretty sure im missing a few, but hey… im freaking out right now LOL…

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        LeBron will probably be back in Cleveland again one day. I think he’s going to retire a Cavalier. Not for a while though.

        His greatest achievement is going to be when he brings the Larry O’Brien trophy to Cleveland. Might be the first time we see him crying in public.

      • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        At this point, what message? Almost all the FA are gone and the rest are pretty much on record as stating “they won’t go to Miami on the cheap” for Lebron to win championships – this notion that Riley is going to show up and come back to Miami with Gasol & Melo in tow is folly!

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        Nobody is “on record” as saying anything. Everything we’ve heard is 2nd and 3rd hand.

        We’ve got a long way to go before rosters are set. And there are always points during the season where guys are released and names become available and we go through a mini version of this all over again.

      • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        Would that IQ Boost be with or without you???

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        Even without me. LeBron fans are the most intelligent fans in basketball.

      • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        Haha…good one – Thumbs up!

    • seattlesuperchronic - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      balsagna has to be one of the funniest names I’ve seen in a while!

    • enigma2742 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      SORRY FOR HEAT FANS THEIR NO SUCH THINGS AS HEAT FANS IT’S CALLED HEAT BANDWAGONERS

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        WE’RE YELLING! I DON’T KNOW WHY WE’RE YELLING BUT WE’RE YELLING!

  4. elwaysagenius - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Lebron on the Suns is a match made in heaven with their offence.

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Please come to Dallas.

  6. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    @anti- he has to be at least CONSIDERING the Suns, right? That would be a young, loaded roster. Lebron works well with players that stay in motion off the ball. And that’s a LOT of active legs in Phoenix.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      Hmmm… I wouldn’t think so. They’re probably too young. He wouldn’t want to wait 2 years for those guys to learn how to deal with playoff pressure. They don’t have any proven pieces right now so I don’t see him rolling the dice on that roster in the West.

    • robigd - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Are you really looking to anti for wisdom?

  7. antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Do you feel that? It’s called hope. It’s every fan base hoping LeBron joins their team.

    I welcome all of you onto the LeBron bandwagon. It’s got a very comfy ride.

    • balsagna - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      The concept of rooting for one played in a sport comprised of teams is mind boggling to me. Being from Cleveland we have lost our fair share of players and couldn’t care less what happens to them when they leave.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Yeah, well you’re from Cleveland so you’d naturally be more loyal to the land than you would be to anything else. Understandable. But I’m the man from nowhere. I don’t have a city. I don’t have a hometown. But as a former highly skilled player and tremendous athlete who used to be pretty damn good (I can still break a few ankles), I respect game more than anything else.

        Don’t take my adjectives too seriously…

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        couldn’t care less after a cathartic temper tantrum of burning jerseys, you mean

    • drewzducks - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      You should stop referring to them as the Big 3. Anyone who has watched basketball for at least 20+ years knows there is only one Big 3, created by the draft and a trade for the #1 overall pick. Also, the Big 3 came together when they were all in their early or mid-20’s at a time when the competition throughout the league was at an all time high, not the watered down, talent lacking version of today’s NBA.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:13 AM

        Mikan, Pollard, Mikkelsen? Russell, Cousy, Havlicek?

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        yeah, Father Time strikes again…

        2010 they WERE the Big 3

        2014 they are the Big 1, the Soft 2 and the Done 3…

        doesn’t take anything away from what they’ve done…

        nothing lasts forever…

    • bhunter1995 - Jul 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      @Anti – When are you going to get the message that you are an ignorant basketball fan. 95% of your comments end up with 5 thumbs up and 40 thumbs down and you still think your opinions are even remotely correct. Not every person who disagrees with you is a “Hater” which is what a fool like you would say as a cop out, you are just plain wrong 100% wrong on almost every topic, you are either an idiot or a troll and if you are the first of the two you are one of those rare few idiots who actually think they are intelligent.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 4, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        You know who else got a lot of thumbs downs? Socrates and Galileo.

        In other words, today’s thumbs down is tomorrow’s thumbs up.

        Or, as was eloquently said by Arthur Schopenhauer: “All truth pa sses through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

        So I do not mind if I’m ridiculed or opposed. For an innovative thinker it is a rite of pa ssage.

      • seansull83 - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        You aren’t as smart as you claim. Or an innovative thinker. You watch a game, look at stats and comment on boards. But tell yourself whatever you need to qualify yourself.

      • Rob - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        Agreed. Anti and LBJ have a couple of things in common however: Huge egos and the desperate need for attention. The biggest difference is that LBJ is actually talented at something.

        A fanatic who regularly compares himself to Socrates and Galileo because he gets a bazillion thumbs-down on the basketball boards is both delusional and mentally bankrupt. The fact that he thinks he’s that important and how he grasps desperately at LBJ’s heels for attention speaks volumes about his life and emotional state.

        What he does is throw a bunch of random darts out there (opinions) about his LBJ “knowledge” and realizes that some of it has to stick, while the rest he gets wrong can be ironed over with a thousand excuses, changing the subject, or simply not truly addressing his many blatantly erroneous statements. .

        Thus, he’s not only emotionally crippled, he’s also morally bankrupt and can’t admit his mistakes like a real man. But I’m waiting to be proven wrong on that one. Maybe there’s hope for this kid yet.

  8. seasickcecil - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    And sales of Depends are skyrocketing in Miami with all the cheat fans pooping their drawers right now. Anyone know what company makes Depends. I want to buy some stock.

  9. seasickcecil - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Pat Riley is all excited because he is going to be talking to a free agent. So he wakes up in the morning and sticks his head into his bucket of lard. He sticks his head in the bucket a second time because he wants to look pretty for the free agent. The free agent enters the room and Pat says “how would you like to sign for 1/4 of what your worth to play with Lebron and contend for a championship?” The free agent says “last time I checked Lebron was still a free agent. And what’s with all that lard on your head?” The free agent leaves signs with another team and Riley goes shopping on Amazon for a fresh bucket of lard.

  10. capspats - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Enigma

    Na, there’re plenty of real heat fans, including me. Remember, d wade was very entertaining before lebron came, and the heat weren’t that far removed from 06 championship. Yes, there’s some obvious bandwagoners on this site but some of ya guys act like there’s not a single real heat fan in the whole world

    • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Yeah…pretty much!!!

    • kenyante - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      …Because there isn’t. Heat fans are just a figment of our imaginations.

  11. seasickcecil - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    http://www.fanatix.com/news/nba-rumors-dwyane-wade-and-chris-bosh-unsure-of-lebron-james-plan/279553/

  12. Hard On For Harden - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    What if Broussard’s wacked out “hey I’m on drugs!” scenario of LBJ signing with the Rockets who subsequently ship James Harden to NY for Carmelo in a sign and trade comes true? I will sell my username to a Knicks fan for 50 USD.

    • clevelandrox - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      speaking of whacked out on drugs…^^^^

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:23 AM

        speaking of whacked out on drugs…

        you CAN move AWAY from Cleveland you know…

        I USED to live in Ohio for 5 miserable years…

      • clevelandrox - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:22 AM

        LOL, REAL Clevelanders LOVE their city, we take the good with the bad, aint no room for the faint of heart, only pu$$ie$ move away.. I get homesick away from home… ask Lebron about it…

  13. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    LBJ is certainly weighing his options, and considering the possibility of playing elsewhere…but more than anything, I think Lebron is just going through the motions in this free agency period with the intention of lighting a fire under the Heat’s front office. He wants to make it clear that if the Heat aren’t willing to make drastic changes when necessary, and do whatever it takes to win championships…than maybe he should look elsewhere to accomplish his goals.

    If I had to take a guess…I’d say that in Lebron’s heart he wishes to stay in Mami and continue working towards the many rings he once spoke of obtaining.

    • clevelandrox - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      LOL, yeah buddy, been there, done that…

    • kinggw - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      I don’t think he’s really considering playing elsewhere and his choice of meetings says as much. Wojo reported that one of the executive in the meetings with James’ agent thinks its all a smoke screen.

      These meetings are a message to Riley, nothing more, nothing less.

      • gatorfan1 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        At this point, what message? Almost all the FA are gone and the rest are pretty much on record as stating “they won’t go to Miami on the cheap” for Lebron to win championships – this notion that Riley is going to show up and come back to Miami with Gasol & Melo in tow is folly!

  14. scorp16 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    So……….Riley and Spo are in Los Angeles right now..hmm. Wonder who they are meeting with. Maybe Pau. Maybe not..Wonder who else could be in LA today?

  15. seasickcecil - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Kinggw. All Riley can do do is add a bunch of Mickey Mouse free agents. I think Lebron is starting to realize this and is thinking that there are much better choices elsewhere. Even if he did resign with Miami there would be an opt out clause every year. Why do that. Find a place with some young talent where you don’t have to play 45 minutes a game and drag old fading players like Wade around.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      Yup. Cuz right now, they’re talking about Anthony Morrow and Pau Gasol being the saviors of this team. Wait, don’t forget Shabazz Napier!

      I just don’t see that being the case. Gasol would be a nice compliment but Morrow would be a bench player. I’ve heard Isiah Thomas coming to the Heat, too…and he would help…I just don’t see those additions putting Miami over the top. Wade is still the biggest question mark, to me. Bosh would instantly benefit from Gasol being the starting center. But Wade will still have his knees, regardless of who they get to sub for him.

      • bhunter1995 - Jul 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Actually I think Thomas/Pau could put them over the top, Thomas had a stat-line of 20-6-3 this season, and he shoots the three extremely well, he can drive/finish and collapse defenses, he is a good playmaker and a legit PG something they haven’t had. Pau is still a guy who can bring 17-10-4 to a team and a steady locker room presence. If they could somehow get Isiah Thomas, and Pau, they would be filthy. All that being said, I really don’t see that happening, it is a pipe dream in my opinion but if it could somehow happen it would rejuvenate the Heat and return them to dominance.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        You could be right, but I still have serious doubts about the longevity and availability of Wade.

  16. seasickcecil - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    gofinsgoheatfloria/ yeah right. 24 people were downtown that night of the decision and burned jerseys. Which pretty much equals your iq.

  17. beach305 - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Miami doesn’t need another star, what they need is a bench. Something that was lacking this year.

  18. campcouch - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Only drastic changes that could be accomplished would be to not sign Bosh and Wade. They’re still handcuffed by money. Once you move away from the superstar FAs,it becomes apparent that the next tier talent doesn’t want to take a pay cut to be a bench player. To get quality,they’ll need to not sign one of those guys or sign and trade (which I seriously doubt any of them will agree to). The pitfall of having franchise players grouped on one team,they all want to get paid (SA is an exception,some kinda voodoo going on there). The Clippers are starting to feel that pinch,the recent Big 3 Celts experienced it, Pacers and Rockets to an extent and we see what happened with the Lakers. The current CBA made players realize that they need to get paid now, not hope and wait until they win a championship and cash in,only the elite players get that money.

  19. luz56 - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    What they have in Miami is DONE!!! Congrats for the last 4 years but Wade and Bosh are not going to contribute in the future what they did in the past… I believe there is a lot if mileage on those LBJ tires and with those other two that have leaks it’s finished in Miami… Just look no further than this years final…they have their rings now it’s about the money

  20. cameltoehoe - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Ima set my DVR to tape ESPN’s upcoming Special, The Decision 2: Electric Boogaloo

  21. illadelphiasphinest - Jul 4, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    Sam Hinke calling on line one. Philly has the cap space for Lebron, and Melo plus have room to fill with role players…… It won’t happen, but it could financially.
    1-MCW
    2-Melo
    3-Lebron
    4-Thad Young
    5-Noel

    Then next season have Embiid at the 4. Things could get ugly in the East.

  22. lakerade - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    Minnesota could make out really well if they keep an ear out. With everyone waiting on Lebron, attaining Love could be a deciding factor.

  23. undagroundnbablogspot - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    Ever since the 2003 Rookie All-Star Game I, and I would presume many others, fantasized about LBJ and Melo playing on the same squad in the NBA. I mean they seemed to have so much fun together on the court, and what can be better than playing on a team with your best bud? Thus even though Melo would have to take less money, the Western Conference is more competitive, blazi-blah, seeing LBJ and Melo on the Suns together would be a fan’s dream. By the way, it’s quite an insult to insinuate a player(s) would avoid the Western Conference just to dodge competition, especially when it’s the unanimous best player in the game.

  24. shays82clev - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Cleveland or Knicks would be ideal if he wants to stay in the east. Cleveland would have to trade parts away to get enough salary for Lebron’s max contract. So Waiters, Varajao, and Jack would probably be traded. Cleveland had 22.5 million in aprox cap space but could be more if cap is higher. They are trying to resign Hawes and need a couple shooters to go with Lebron, a lot of work left to try to make this Cavs team ready for the finals.

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