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Lakers GM Kupchak to meet with LeBron’s agent; pressure increases on Pat Riley to improve Heat

Jul 4, 2014, 1:30 AM EST

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat

The general feeling around the league is LeBron James still isn’t going anywhere. He ultimately will not leave Miami. That at the end of the day everything he is doing is to put pressure on Pat Riley to improve the Heat roster, and fast. Riley and coach Eric Spoelstra were in Los Angeles talking to free agents Thursday (including Pau Gasol) but this early in the process it’s hard to talk players into discounts.

However, if those roster improvements don’t come, LeBron will have options.

Those will include the Lakers — Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is flying to Cleveland to meet with LeBron’s agent, reports Chris Broussard and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

LeBron’s agent already met with representatives of the Rockets, Mavericks, Cavaliers and Suns. If LeBron gets serious the Lakers and Knicks will want into that conversation.

While all this has been going on, LeBron has been on vacation with his family. He will wait a while longer, then maybe meet with other teams if the Heat have yet to really secure any additions to the roster.

The pressure is on Riley now. LeBron’s agent simply laying a foundation, just in case.

  1. oms0004 - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    In this salary cap era, these players have much more to consider when signing with teams. $$$ is certainly not the final deciding factor. (What does my routine look like? What level of professionalism surrounds me? You know, the types of things we all ask ourselves when deciding a career change) I honestly see one of either James or Anthony signing with the Mavericks along with another top 10 FA . Dallas is prolly gonna land Isaiah Thomas or Devin Harris and be a well rounded team before the addition of MAX player. Max player and cohort (looking at you Bosh, Gasol, Stephenson, etc) sign and put Dallas over the hard cap but not in repeater territory and Cuban is proved right in post championship news conference when he “shark tank” explains how it was a good idea to blow up the championship team. Good teams are consistent. Great teams reinvent them selves.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      Then you woke up.

    • kindasporty - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      So the Spurs and their championships are good. But the Mav’s and their lone championship are great?

      • apkyletexas - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        I’m a Spurs fan, but that lone Mavs championship was as great as anything I’ve seen in the NBA. I wish someone could put the 2011-version of Jason Terry in a bottle, and bring it out once a year in the playoffs just for the pure enjoyment of watching him go insane on a basketball court again.

    • Hard On For Harden - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      That would be all well and good if this was a video game and you could just turn the salary cap off and sign whoever the hell. However, it doesn’t work like that.

  2. campcouch - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    It must curl the toes of these owners to have to fly to Cleveland of all places and talk to LeBron’s agent…not James visiting family in Ohio on the 4th,but Rich Paul. Melo wants the Dwight Howard treatment,but what you really want is the LeBron James treatment. Owners come to your rep to see if they can even get a meeting with you. Clout.

  3. antistratfordian - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Lakers Nation is smitten. They were ready to jump on the Bronwagon yesterday.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    *Correction: a lot of people now believe he may leave.

    You HOPE he doesn’t, and particularly to go to LA, a team that you have spent years taking jabs at; particularly since James initially went to Miami.

  5. smoothaswilkes - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:20 AM

    It would be the best coast option of the Big 3. LeBron is LeBron. Gasol and Bosh are equal. Kobe > Wade. Plus, Randle and all the other players they could sign. Lakers are in the exact same position as the Heat, basically, but they have more cap space and could get more, if need be. Why not?

    • muathjam21 - Jul 4, 2014 at 3:14 AM

      Kobe Bryant’s performance is an unknown at this point, and unlike Wade, he’s making 20mil+ for the next two years. Add in LeBron’s max contract, and the Lakers don’t have as much room as you think.

      In the West, the Lakers are, in no way shape or form, more ready to compete for a Championship than the Heats in the East. Sorry, but not enough substance there for LBJ to uproot and move all the way across the country for a slimmer chance at a ring.

  6. harshedmellow - Jul 4, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    Why do guys keep acting like Gasol is a Laker? He’s a (rather disgruntled) UFA.

    • mazblast - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Laker fans are like Yankees fans. They find it inconceivable (and I do know the meaning of that word) that anyone would NOT want to stay once they are there, or that anyone who’s not there would not jump at the chance to be there.

    • ranfan12 - Jul 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      you wait until someone signs first before you start burning jerseys

  7. lakerade - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:09 AM

    Getting Lebron and Melo would be hilarious, and I’d even feel a little bad Love would miss out. Go big or be patient, there is no wrong at this juncture. Go Lakers.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    The Heat are screwed because Wade & Bosh are going to want too much money. You can still win with 1 bad player making a big salary. If the reports are true that Bosh wants $18 million a year, & Wade wants $15 million a year, with LeBron getting the max, that doesn’t leave much money to get solid role players. The Heat will be stuck with going after guys past their prime like Vince Carter or Shawn Marion. While teams are getting younger & more athletic, the Heat are getting older. All the blame falls on Riley & his inability to draft & develop young talent.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      Four straight Finals appearances mean late draft choices, which means guys who may need some work. The Summer Leagues will tell us more about how the Heat have done with those choices – whether James Ennis’s excellent season in Australia will translate to the NBA, whether Justin Hamilton, who spent development time in Europe, will have a role in the middle, whether Shabazz Napier’s selection as the outstanding player in the last NCAA tournament means “clutch” or “flash in the pan”. Norris Cole had a miserable Finals, but has shown enough over time to still offer some hope.

      Whether Mickey Arison will fork over the green as required to keep the team competitive, as Pat Riley said very clearly that he would, is still to be learned. The total disappearance of that possibility in recent threads here follows the pattern of the annual write-off of the Heat’s chances that fills in the time between the draft and the start of the summer leagues for some folks. We shall see whether they, or the people who bet the serious money that determines the lines at the sports books, have it right.

      • cantonbound13 - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

        San Antonio drafts late every year. That’s a poor excuse.

  9. balsagna - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Nobody thinks Lebron is leaving Miami? Really? I can’t wait until the national media has to back track when Lebron leaves.

    • foz0606 - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      It’s like Kurt hasn’t learned anything from the Dwight saga.

  10. cantonbound13 - Jul 4, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Pat Riley flew to LA to find his fax machine. Hahaha!

  11. groundpounder95 - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Phil Jackson, Mark Cuban, and Gilbert all met with Lebron’s agent Rich P in Cleveland yesterday. Rich wanted all of them to meet in Cleveland. Late last night Lebron’s family met a private jet that landed at Cleveland Hopkins Int. When Lebron got off the plane he met with his wife and kids and Gilbert at the private jet hangar. They all left together with a State Trooper escort. His wife already has their kids enrolled in the schools that start next month, and she is expecting.

  12. bigmeechy74 - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    We get it, you don’t think Lebron is leaving. But you don’t have to repeat it every article

  13. mazblast - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Riley can’t really get going on Chrissy and Dyane until LeBron decides, and he can’t know what LeBron is going to do until he gets going on Chrissy and Dyane.

    Reminds me of the Molasses Man–he can’t run until he gets warm, and he can’t get warm until he runs.

  14. bgm9876 - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Lebron should be able to talk to teams not just his agent. Stupid.

  15. terremotinho - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Lebron: “I want to be a player in the Giannis/Parker show in Milwaukee.” via unnamed source.

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