Where in the world is LeBron James?
Almost a week into the start of free agency the best basketball player in the world has been mum of his plans.
While reports of the Houston Rockets preparing to offer sweet shooting stretch four Chris bosh in the $80 to $90 million dollar range, the silence in the LeBron James camp has applied some tension to the Miami Heat triumvirate of James, Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted July 7th on the growing weariness of the Bosh/Wade camp over the indecisiveness of King James:
Around Bosh/Wade, there's uneasiness about James' intent; uncertainty. No one's sure -- yet. Heat aren't done, but empire's teetering.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
With reports of wobbling of the Miami Heat empire, positive news are ripe that team president Pat Riley is set to meet with LeBron himself and his agent, Rich Paul, early this week to flesh out the plans of the organization in meeting the requisites of the high flying James. LeBron has reportedly set two conditions to remain in South Beach, a maximum contract and new pieces to right the ship of the Heat.
This comes as a breath of fresh air to the Heat nation when in the past week Paul has sat down with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers to discuss the prospects of two-time NBA champion to join their teams.
Among those teams, Cleveland seems to be most focused to bring home their former superstar. They are dangling Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets for Marcus Thornton and are looking for a third team that can absorb Thornton's contract. This move will allow them to offer LeBron a maximum salary and sort of heal old wounds if it materializes.
The challenge of James to improve the roster is eerily similar to the demands made to former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant in 2010. This is a tall task for Miami given that it has only enough legroom to sign another marquee free agent and that free agent must sacrifice a lot of money to play with the Big Three.
Their targets have gone by one by one in the last few days by signing up for big bucks such as Kyle Lowry (4 years, $48 million to Toronto) and Marcin Gortat (5 years, $60 million to Washington). Other players who are available are either considering other destinations like Pau Gasol (Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Chicago Bulls) or Deng (Dallas, Los Angeles). The names attached to Miami lately such as Marvin Williams and Anthony Morrow would not make much of an enticement to James to re-sign.
Media will sure be on the lookout for the next few days as it will be crucial to the Miami Heat free agent situation. LeBron's Nike-sponsored camp will run through from Tuesday to Saturday in Las Vegas and his camp has also mentioned that the star athlete will be in Brazil for the World Cup. How he squeezes Riley and his other suitors will be worth the watch.