Blog Entry

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:38 am
About 12 hours after Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in committing to the Heat, two reports emerged Thursday morning saying LeBron James was leaning toward joining them.

Newsday first reported via Knicks beat writer Alan Hahn's Twitter account that James "has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami." The Long Island newspaper followed up with a published report saying that James "is expected to choose the Heat," citing multiple NBA sources.

ESPN's Chris Broussard, who first definitively reported Bosh's decision to team up with Wade on Wednesday, followed up about an hour later on Twitter, saying that James "will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart."

James' agent, Leon Rose, did not return a call from early Thursday. A high-ranking member of the Cavaliers organization was unaware of James having made a decision.

On ESPN News, a sister station of the NBA rights-holding network that will air the announcement of James' decision at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, Broussard said James "still has time to change his mind" and called it "a fluid situation."

Even with the higher than expected $58.044 million salary cap announced Wednesday by the NBA for the 2010-11 season, the Heat don't have the space to fit two max contracts starting at $16.57 million next season under their $31.4 million in cap space after accounting for Wade's deal starting at the same amount. With only Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers under contract heading into the signing period that began at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, that leaves only three options for Miami to form its Dream Team: 1) Send Beasley to Toronto in a sign-and-trade arrangement for Bosh, which sources have indicated is highly unlikely; 2) trade Beasley to another team with cap space, such as Sacramento, Minnesota or Washington; or 3) persuade its new Big Three to accept less than maximum salaries -- a shade less than $16 million in the first year of the deals would work -- for the right to play together.

The $1.944 million increase in the league salary cap above the most recent estimate of $56.1 million given by the league in April meant that the superstar triumvirate wouldn't have to leave as much money on the table as previously thought to fit into the Heat's space. Plus, Florida's lack of a state income tax would mitigate any losses the three superstars would incur.

It's a fluid situation, indeed. The buzz among NBA front office executives Wednesday pointed toward the Knicks making a late push to persuade James to join Amar'e Stoudemire in New York. Another executive within the league -- who has ties to all three of the top free agents -- said the most likely scenario was for James to announce Thursday that he's returning to the Cavaliers. Front office sources with teams in pursuit of James still were in the dark Wednesday about what team James would choose.

"Everyone is on the LeBron yo-yo a little bit," one front office executive said.

Ya think?


Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 6:23 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

i just talked to lebron on the phone ... he said hes retireing

Honestly, that would be the funniest thing I've ever seen.  A one hour press conference to say, "I'm not playing for ANYONE!  Bet you didn't see THAT coming!"

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:34 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Smart Lakers fan...

Even if he only signs for two years with the Cavs...

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:17 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

I guess Queen James finally realized he can't win anything on his own so he better play with someone who can.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:13 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Sure they'll win, but at what cost. I'm not really sure what going to Miami does for him exactly. If anything I'm going to be less interested cause what's the point really. Heat will win it all and I'd put a whole lot of money on it. Maybe i will actually. They'll win a bunch of titles but it'll have a bit of that tainted feeling to it. Where's the competition and intrigue?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:32 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Why does he do a one hour show to give Cleveland the big middle finger?  This entire thing seems planned going into free agency and this parading around of free agents was such a charade. 

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:24 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

what a bunch of sniveling, groveling nonsense.  Micheal Jordan is the best the world has ever seen.  Jordan was the best, is the best, and will always be the best.  LeBron is forever playing for second place.   And LeBron will need to do a bit more than "believe" to achieve - the Cavs will actually have to go out and sign players to help him win.  As it stands now, the Cavs are mediocre.  The Heat will smoke the Cavs in the playoffs if the Celts or Magic don't do it first.  If LeBron leaves it will be for good reason

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:20 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

 If LeBron goes to Miami for less money to play with his friends and win championships who could blame him? It's his choice and it would the easiest path to winning. Believe me verterans will come out of the wood works to play for the minimum to be on the Dynasty that will be Miami. He who underestimates Pat Riley would be foolish. Although I too can see why writers and fans of other teams would be haters and jealous, but how does winning championships hurt your image? Also note that Miami has only one championship and lots of room on the rafters and record books for superstars to leave their mark unlike Chicago where he will never be Jordan and in New York who can't compete with the roster Miami will put together. Finally he already gave 7 years to Cleveland now its time to move on and get his rings. They had their shot and its too late for them now. I know how bad this will hurt Cleveland and its fans but they should be happy they had such a great player for so long. People remember Lebron earned his right to be a free agent and he deserves to play where he wants and where he will be happy. 

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:57 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

All the people who are mad about James potentially going to Miami are only mad for two reasons.

1. he isn't going to their team.

;     &nbs
p;   OR

2. They are Miami fans to busy sucking DWade's d*ck to realize how amazing this could be.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:40 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Kobe is not a team player?  He of the 5 championships?  Huh?

Sounds like you're a Miami fan with Miami-colored glasses.  The rest of us think he would be crazy to do this to his reputation and his legacy.  How hard is it to win championships when you stack the deck like this?  Answer: not that hard.  He'll always have an asterix by his name.

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:25 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Hey, EVERYONE, even if he goes to Miami, he needs to remember that he will not be the focus of that team. That distinction goes to D-Wade. That is his team and his city.

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