They wined. They dined but they never committed.
After meeting with Miami Heat President Pat Riley, superstar forward LeBron James did not make a commitment to sign with the team. This development coupled with the Cleveland Cavalier's early day trade to clear more cap room has led sources to believe that the King is coming home.
James and his agent Rich Paul met with Riley but the latter came up empty handed. This comes as the Cavaliers, James' former and hometown team cleared more cap room by agreeing to send out Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev in a three team deal with the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.
In the event that the four-time Most Valuable Player jumps ship, a domino effect on the rest of the league is expected to follow. The first one will be Chris Bosh who is expected to take the max offer from the Houston Rockets of four years in the vicinity of $80 million. Carmelo Anthony, the second best free agent out in the market, is also expected to re-sign with the New York Knicks barring any last minute changes. This will leave Dwayne Wade as the odd man out in the equation with all the transfers as he is expected to remain loyal to the franchise.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the rumours of LeBron's homecoming were also fuelled by reports that James has reached out to two veteran free agents to join him once he transfers to the Cavaliers. The Heat cannot sign back Miller after they waived him last summer. Speculations are ripe that James is also recruiting back sharpshooter Ray Allen in the fold.
The Cavaliers are also doing its part to further sweeten the comeback of their prodigal son. Cleveland is also targeting disgruntled Minnesota power forward Kevin Love by dangling two number 1 picks in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. Cleveland is hopeful that a mix of a youthful roster and proven veterans will lure back the King. Aside from these names, LeBron can unload both his offensive and defensive burden to players like Kyrie Irving, Dion, Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.
The Cavaliers also have a contingency plan in place if ever LeBron does not choose them. They are targeting Washington Wizards forward Trevor Ariza as an alternative.
According to reports, Pat Riley has requested for an extra day from James to pitch his final offer before the two-time NBA champion makes his Decision 2.0.