Happy 4th of July America. Independence day is the perfect day to discuss LeBron James and his NBA free agency. LeBron informed the Heat via his agent, Rich Paul, that he was opting out of his contract. LeBron wants to see the Heat spend money to get an upgrade. He was reportedly upset at some of the cost saving moves the team made this season that he felt hurt the team.
Instead of taking in person meetings, LeBron went on vacation with his family and has Paul taking early meetings with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They pitched Paul on a core of Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Paul’s client, Tristan Thompson, three first-round picks in 2015 and significant salary-cap space. Plus it would be a return home. We know his wife Savannah misses being in her home state too.
The Phoenix Suns – Paul has another free agent client with the Suns. Guard Eric Bledsoe. Plus the Suns would love to sign Carmelo Anthony too. Melo is reportedly making his decision by the end of the holiday weekend. He’s been offered the max by New York and the Lakers offered four-years $97 million.
And, the Dallas Mavericks too. But, Mavs owner Mark Cuban denied that he met with Paul. He said he was in Cleveland for his ABC TV show, “Shark Tank.
The surprise dark horse, at least that’s what they’re attempting to do, are the Lakers.
@ramonashelburne reports that Mitch Kupchak flying to CLE to meet with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2014
The Lakers reportedly felt they have a strong chance with Melo and can convince LeBron to come west.
And what about the Heat? Some believe that this is all smoke and mirrors. That ultimately LeBron ends up back with the Heat – for max money. But the real issue is how much of a discount are DWade and Chris Bosh willing to give the team. It appears that the “Big 3” aren’t on the same page when it comes to money. The Heat are in an interesting game of chicken. But with Pat Riley at the helm, the only fireworks we’ll witness are the ones in celebration of America’s birthday.
LeBron is the blue print of the new age athlete. One that never forgets this is a business and has laid the path for the next generation of marketing savvy athletes like Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel.