Morning Shootaround — July 10


VIDEO: What might LeBron James do next in free agency?

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Reports: LeBron leaves meeting with no decision made | Uncertainty reigns in Anthony’s decision | Report: Nets to pay $90M in luxury taxes | Report: Bulls pick up pursuit of Gasol

No. 1: Reports: LeBron leaves meeting with no commitment to Heat — Well, the LeBron James-Pat Riley-Miami Heat summit in Las Vegas is done and the team has no more of an idea of where LeBron will choose to play next season and beyond. The choices, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, seem to come down to the incumbent Heat and his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Depending on which report you read, the decision may happen soon … or, who knows when. First, here’s Wojnarowski first on the meeting:

Superstar free agent LeBron James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas and left without committing to a new contract, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

No decision date has been set, a source close to James told Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears.

James and his agent Rich Paul met with Riley on the same day the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a three-team trade to clear enough salary-cap room to make James a maximum contract offer, opening a path for his possible homecoming, sources said. The Cavaliers are also pursuing a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, contingent on James returning to Cleveland, sources told Yahoo Sports.

If James leaves Miami, Chris Bosh‘s intention is to also leave the Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Bosh has been speaking with the Houston Rockets, who are prepared to clear enough cap room to offer him a four-year, $88 million contract.

If the Cavs can’t get James, their backup plan remains making a run at signing free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Timberwolves will demand Andrew Wiggins, the Cavs’ No. 1 overall pick from last month’s NBA draft, be a part of any proposed deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.

ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard and Brian Windhorst also have a report on the meeting and what might be next for James:

LeBron James met with Miami Heat officials for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas but emerged without a decision about his future, sources told ESPN.com.

James and his agent Rich Paul are done meeting with teams, according to sources close to the situation. James now will talk with his family and make his choice.

There is no timetable for James’ decision, but with him reportedly planning to attend the World Cup this weekend in Brazil, a decision before then seems likely.

The Rockets’ position, however, got more complicated on Wednesday when their restricted free agent Chandler Parsons signed a three-year offer from the Mavericks for more than $45 million, which the Rockets have three days to match.

If the Rockets match, they will lose the requisite cap space needed to sign Bosh. They can match the offer and still afford Bosh, but only if they sign Bosh first. To make room for Bosh, the Rockets will need to execute at least two trades, likely involving Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, to clear cap space.

The Heat were represented at Wednesday’s meeting with James by president Pat Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg. James was joined by Paul. This was the first known face-to-face meeting James has held since officially becoming a free agent on July 1. James’ agent met or spoke with officials from the Mavericks, Rockets, Suns, Cavaliers and Lakers last week, but James was not present.

James spent Wednesday morning and evening working out, playing pickup and speaking to high school and college stars at his LeBron James Skills Academy basketball camp.

***

No. 2: Uncertainty reigns with Anthony’s decision — What the heck is going on with Carmelo Anthony? Last night, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News was the first to report that Anthony is staying with the Knicks. Over at the New York Post, Marc Berman reported similar news last night, and both papers say that Anthony should make his official intentions known today. Newsday’s Al Iannazzone reports that the Knicks are ‘optimistic’ Anthony is staying put. But, our David Aldridge (see video below) — as well as ESPN.com’s team of reporters — seem to think Anthony’s decision is anything but certain:

Carmelo Anthony remained a free agent Wednesday night, the day before players can start signing contracts with NBA teams.

Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, told ESPN that his client “hasn’t made a decision yet” as of Wednesday afternoon. “No decision yet,” another source said. “Still up in air.”

Newsday reported that New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher hadn’t been told that Anthony had decided to re-sign with the team, despite a report saying he had.

Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that a number of rival teams increasingly believe that Anthony was holding off on announcing any decision about his future until LeBron James revealed where he’ll be playing next season.

Sources said that Anthony — whose decision was widely expected before a resolution to James’ situation when free agency began — has kept the Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and other suitors waiting as he waits for James.


VIDEO: Frank Isola of the New York Daily News talks about his report on Carmelo Anthony

***

No. 3: Report: Nets to pay record amount in luxury taxes — Last summer, the Brooklyn Nets held back no expense in trying to assemble a squad that could challenge the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. They worked out a trade with Boston that netted high-salary players Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and also signed (or re-signed) Andray Blatche, Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson. While the Nets only made the East semifinals, they have a big bill to pay this summer, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

The Brooklyn Nets will pay a record $90.57 million in luxury taxes for the 2013-14 season, sources told ESPN.com.

The NBA released its audit to teams ahead of the start of the new fiscal year at midnight Wednesday and revealed the numbers, including the Nets’ penalty for splurging after trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last year. In all, the Nets paid more than $197 million in salaries and luxury taxes this past season. Only three other teams had paid more than $90 million in total tax since its inception in 2001.

As part of the memo, the new salary cap was set at $63.065 million, a 7.5 percent increase from last season. That is slightly less than the $63.2 million estimation teams had been using. Revenues were $4.5 billion, up 5.3 percent from last year. The NBA also made an early projection of $66 million for the 2015-16 salary cap.

The new luxury tax line will be $76.8 million, a 7.1 percent increase from last season’s $71.7 million. The luxury tax was estimated to increase to $80 million for the 2015-16 season.

***

No. 4: Report: Bulls intensify chase for Gasol — The Chicago Bulls did what they could this summer to try and woo Carmelo Anthony, but it looks like they are the odd team out in the race to land him. As such, they aren’t crying over losing out but instead shifting their focus to another target: ex-Lakers big man Pau Gasol. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Bulls have vastly increased their pursuit of Gasol, whom they feel could immensely boost their frontcourt. He also provides more detail on ‘Melo’s visit to the Windy City:

Though the Bulls had yet to be told officially they’re out of the Anthony sweepstakes, the New York Daily News reported Anthony will make his Knicks’ announcement Thursday. That would intensify the Bulls’ pursuit of Gasol, and league sources indicated the Bulls hope to pursue sign-and-trade options with the Lakers for him involving Carlos Boozer‘s expiring salary.

The window to use the amnesty provision on Boozer’s salary officially opened at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday. But the Bulls all along have been trying to trade him, not only to relieve themselves of their financial commitment to him but more to stay above the salary cap. This would allow them to use exceptions to sign other players. Nikola Mirotic, Trevor Ariza, Shawn Marion, Kirk Hinrich and Ramon Sessions are just some of the possibilities.

Sources indicated Anthony strongly considered the Bulls after feeling a personal and professional connection with their in-person pitch July 1. A source familiar with their presentation said Anthony presented a professional manner throughout, engaging in basketball conversation with Tom Thibodeau and easily bantering with Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, Scottie Pippen and Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf at dinner.

Though Derrick Rose didn’t attend the dinner, his roughly 20-minute talk inside the Bulls’ locker room with Anthony went well, a source said. Gibson and Noah talked up Rose’s desire to win and humble, team-first nature at the dinner, the same source indicated.

Without a sign-and-trade transaction, the most the Bulls could offer Anthony without gutting their team was four years and $73 million.

Conversely, the Bulls actually can outbid serious suitors for Gasol, other than the Lakers. But Gasol, who knew he would be taking a pay cut from the $19.3 million he made last season, is more likely to leave the Lakers without them landing Anthony. In a more advantageous salary-cap situation, they offered Anthony four years and $96 million.

Gasol, 34, is drawing serious interest from the Thunder, Spurs, Heat and Knicks. But those teams are all limited by exceptions that the Bulls could trump. It’s unlikely if the Bulls land Gasol that the deal would be longer than three years.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Former Suns, Sonics and Kings coach Paul Westphal will be an assistant on Lionel Hollins‘ staff in Brooklyn … If the Cavs swing and miss on LeBron James, what will their consolation prize be? … Kevin Durant says he’d love to have Caron Butler back in OKCClyde Drexler as the best Blazer ever? One columnist disagrees

63 Comments

  1. J4CK Nicholson says:

    Hopefully:

    – LeBron to the Cavs (ideally with a reliable big man) and let the 4 #1’s work together
    – Pau Gasol to the Spurs (after being mistreated by the Lakers)
    – Melo stays with the Knicks
    – Bosh to the Rockets

  2. TheNBAMASTER says:

    Heres the outcomes and choices. One team is certainty for a player
    Lebron- Heat
    Wade- Heat
    Melo- Knicks
    Bosh- Heat or Rockets
    Monroe- Pistons
    Carter- Mavs
    Gasol- Spurs, Bulls, NYK, or Lakers
    Nick Young – la

  3. TheAnswer says:

    Mistake
    Wade – Chicago/Miami
    Love – Cleveland/Lakers

    If I had a choice I want Melo as a bulls fan.

  4. TheAnswer says:

    We don’t need a report. All we need is THE ANSWER: so here it is:

    Lebron – Cleveland
    Bosh – Houston
    Wade – Chicago
    Melo – New York
    Gasol – New York
    Parsons – Mavs
    Love – Cleveland
    The rest will all fall into place then.

    Mark my words as this is what’s going to happening. Everybody is going to take a home coming. I am a Chicago Fan and it always goes against Chicago for having MJ on are team. Nobody wants to play in his shadow. They will sign Wade because they have no one else to sign and will hope for a come back like rose.

  5. See red says:

    Dear carmelo anthony. If you are reading this, let me tell you the bulls really need you. If you want your legacy to truly be about winning, you will make the right decision and come to chi-town. Please melo think about it. You can lead the bulls to their 7 the championship. Rose will be your sidekick, and you’ll be ‘the man’

  6. Dustin Taylor says:

    OMG, Lebron is Carmelo will be on the heat with wade welcome to the next big three, They will give their decision together, watch and learn Lebron doesnt want to leave Carmelo wants to leave watch the special the new big the Lebron Carmelo wade and significant others

  7. Bullsfan23 says:

    Why gasol? Let’s get ariza

  8. Melo7 says:

    Melo wont give a cr@p if the Lakers is more known in ASIA. He will join a team that he knows that is capable of winning all the way. As of right now, Lakers is nowhere near that, Kobe Bryant is old(injury prone) & he wants the ball all the time, just like Melo. Nash is not getting younger and dont expect too much from a rookie. Randle is good but he haven’t e even played a single game yet, plus Jim Buss’ management is just,………smh

  9. bill francis says:

    Enough of lequeen and caramelo(peppermint stick) .Espn must be hard up for news when they headline riley and lebron meeting in vegas.Everybody seems to lose track of the fact that if miami loses lequeen or bush it will be cause of the beat down Coach Pop and the spurs put in them.Coach pop broke up that team or forced the heat to retool to compete againswort beating ever suffered by a defending interim champion.

  10. Sandeman says:

    1 Kyrie Irving
    2 Andrew Wiggins
    3 Lebron James
    4 Tristan Thompson
    5 Pau Gasol

    6 Ray Allen
    7 Anderson Varejao
    8 Jameer Nelson or Jerryd Bayless or Mo Williams (pay cut)
    9 Mike Miller
    10 Metta World Peace
    11 Ed Davis
    12 Glen Davis or Michael Beasley

    any thoughts?

  11. Wow says:

    My goodness, how awesome would Gasol at the Spurs be? I’m not even a Spurs fan, but that would be brilliant. I don’t think he would do it, though. If he did, it shows he wants to win, not just make money.

  12. Kobe-James-Melo-Gasol-Nash says:

    We will get him..

  13. Sandeman says:

    Did the Bulls even give Bosh a call? Would he not fit in better Chi town than Gasol?

  14. Sandeman says:

    Maybe the Lakers should consider a sign and trade with Gasol, the Cavs could use him but don’t have the money unless they get rid of a couple more guys. I’d say Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett are expendable if they end up signing someone (cough cough) and they could be useful in LA. Despite what they say I don’t think Waiters and Irving work well together.

  15. Music By Henry Howard says:

    I want to see them battle, not play together…that’s all.

  16. Dom says:

    I would love to see the Cavs sign James and then trade for Love. Wiggins could be great but who knows at this point… Love, James and Irving????? That would be sick. Melo is never going to win a title so who cares where that scrub goes. Gosal is washed up – so who cares about him either. Teams would be stupid to pay big money for him. Same goes for Bosh – although hs is better than Gosal. I wouldn’t pay Bosh more than 12M a year. I also wouldn’t pay Melo more than 16M a year. Sure – he can score but where have his teams gone with him? NOT VERY FAR. He is best used as the second star on a team – not the man guy. Put him with Kobe and the Lakers might win 45 games – but they still get pounded by the Spurs or Thunder or Clippers… Maybe the Mavs or Rockets too. Lakers needs to sto trying to win now and get some young guys who could turn into something. Kobe is NOT going to return as the same player he was five years ago. Don’t be shocked if he gets hurt a third time early next season.

  17. rafael says:

    im my opinion east teams are too easy only miami is a good contender for any west team the nba should be equal teams to be a good games becuase all west teams are good and we know east team is only one

    • Marcus says:

      I forgot you play in the NBA Rafael
      what about the
      Pacers ?
      Bulls ?
      Wizards ?
      Bobcats ?
      Toronto ?
      Hornets ?
      Magic ?
      Your very simple minded man

  18. DJ says:

    If Melo chooses either LA or the Knicks, I honestly think it’s for money purposes only. However, if he choices the Bulls as his final destination, he obviously is a man of his word, hinting that he wants to win a championship now! Money or Titles?

  19. DJ says:

    If Melo chooses either LA or the Knicks, I honestly think money purposes only. However, if he choices the Bulls as his final destination, he obviously is a man of his word, hinting that he wants to win a championship now! Money or Titles?

  20. steven mc says:

    yeah i am an idiot, this is the same idiot who waited four years to win a championship with Elgin,Jerry and Wilt. The only way they are ever going to win again is with high draft choices and good smart vets that still have some gas in there tanks, strong management and coaching. right now i see one smart vet and one high draft what else?

  21. vince says:

    I personally think LAKERS is the better fit for carmelo than the Knicks. LAKERS is well known in Asia more than the Knicks. Knicks hasn’t been in the finals for a decade now. LAKERS has a better fan base than NY.There’s nobody there to help melo if he choose LA Kobe and him would be a one two punch combo. I understand about $129 mil. But he can make more money on endorsement in los Angeles plus the $96 mil frm Lakers. Weather is better in la than ny. Hopefully he choose the Lakers than ny.

  22. LakerFan says:

    @steven mc

    At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. -Billy Madison

  23. harrythehawk says:

    Everyone is staying w their teams. All the hype for nothing.

  24. steven mc says:

    Now Mitch make the transformation complete.Trade Kobi and Pau to Jackson and Fischer and the Lakers have become the Clippers.

  25. uusku says:

    I dont want to James in Clevlend. I want to see the Wiggins Love Irveng Big three

  26. dragoo says:

    A team with Irving Wigins and James is monstrous offensively i would not trade Wigins for Love that would be insane considering what a potential nuke they have in their back court.I would try to sign a god defensive center.

  27. JBR says:

    I loved ‘If the Cavs fail to sign James, they will likely make a run at Trevor Ariza’.

    Worst. Consolation. Prize. EVER!

  28. Truth says:

    Wait, so if LeBron goes back to the Cavs, they will trade for Kevin Love with Wiggins in the mix??? Love, Irving, and James…. hmmmm

    • Kev says:

      That would be awesome and far more respectable than the Miami Big 3 even if they don’t immediately win championships.

  29. ejay says:

    4 years 88 million for Chris Bosh? Am I alone in thinking that Chris Bosh isn’t worth $22 million a year?

    • dd def says:

      not at all good sir. i personally believe that behind Love he’s the second most overrated PF in the league. i know that’ll upset plenty of people, but that’s how i feel about it.

  30. Steven says:

    If Carmelo Anthony signs back with the Knicks it’s mostly about the money and not winning or rings because they haven’t won but one or two playoffs games since he’s been there and they don’t have the team to put around him this coming season and the one after that most of there players come off there books but only big name that is going be out there to try and get is Kevin Love but no guarantee you will get him but that alone isn’t going get you a ring you gotta have other good pieces to go around them, but there are teams out there now trying get Kevin Love for this coming season in a sign and trade deal…

    About LeBron am not sure if he did or didn’t when he sit down with D Wade and Chris Bosh, that he didn’t find out what they wanted to do either take a pay cut so that Pat Riley could have the money to bring in some good players to put around them instead of lesser players which makes it even harder to win a ring and it would again have LeBron playing lots of minutes during the regular seasons and playoffs again, which in the long run is going wear him out when it comes to the tail end of his career… Am not sure why all three didn’t sit down with Pat Riley and try and work out a deal or at least walked into is office and said this how much money I want make and not a penny less, at less that way Pat would had known what he has to work with… The way it is now yes Cav’s have a better roster on paper but most of them are younger players which most of the time a young team doesn’t win a ring or even get close to until a few years together, so am not sure if they would win in the next couple of years even if LeBron was to go there…

  31. gary says:

    melo la is where you need to be kobe will be gone in two years so the team would be yours and you could get love and k d what a big 3

  32. bob says:

    If lebron and Bosh leaves the Heat, Pat Riley needs to trade Ray Allen,Mario Chalmers,Norris Cole,Toney Douglas,Justin Hamilton,James Jones,Greg Oden For Eric Bledsoe,Luol Deng,Greg Monroe,Lance Stephenson,Evan Turner,Rodney Stuckey,Jameer Nelson and Andrew Bynum. Give Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem a raise for everything they have done. SEND THIS TO PAT RILEY.

  33. Jt says:

    Hey Melo Chicago is honestly about winning! I’m sure if you wanted more than 73 million we could make it happen though you would lose some help but if you take a deal for say 2-3 years and give it a shot for a championship think about it a Jordan brand player leading the Chicago Bulls to a championship for the first time since Jordan! Then if you wanted you could go back to N.Y after the contract. Melo N.Y is not getting Kevin Love or anyone that can help and I know you don’t want to go out wrist than Karl Malone who was great but never won a championship and I say worst because at least he made it to the finals N.Y is not even close! So come on to Chicago and let’s do this man!

  34. calvin says:

    why does the whole league and media start to do all this speculating on free agents 2-3 yrs ahead of time? I like kevin love a lot prob the best pf in game today but is every team going to sit and wait til next year hoping and dreaming to get him? nobody in the game today is that good. the best times in nba were 1985-2005!!! players are a little more athletic but not as durable or consistent throughout their careers remember Olajuwon ewing d.robinson the mailman Stockton,r.miller, isiah,magic, Jordan,drexler shaq barkley the iceman,ect.they don’t makem like that no more. alex English,m,aguirre,a.dantley the davis twins man those were the days,back n da day!!!

  35. JJ says:

    Bulls and Gasol? WTF? That is like forcing an elephant to have babies with a cheetah… Gasol…. man… hope that does NOT work out… I am a Bullls fan btw..

  36. Gio says:

    I really don’t know how Gasol would be an upgrade over Boozer. Both are pretty much the same, both good support cast players with somewhat overblown salaries, but no real goto guys.

    • marcospita says:

      Well, check some videos of them playing against each other.

    • LOL says:

      Are you kidding me?! Gasol is way more of a go to player than Boozer will ever be. Gasol is a better shooter and finisher and can create shots for himself. Also, the Bulls benched Boozer last season late in games because of how much of a defensive liability he was. I believe Gasol leaving the Lakers, and being under Coach Thibs and his defensive system will revive Gasol’s defense! He would be a great fit for the Bulls in my opinion. Scoring is needed on that team and he can score the ball.

      Oh, and did I forget to mention he’s a 3 time champion?

    • tom says:

      You have to be kidding me saying gasol is the same player you think the lakers would have went to three finals in a row with weak bozer you know no basketball go read some stats

  37. melo is coming back to ny i think new york is front runner

  38. calvin says:

    yeah tough decisions for a lot of players especially lbj&melo. kinda bad though how the whole league is on hold because of it. I think lbj will leave the heat,but stay in the east because its an easier road to the finals.prob go back to the cavs,but hope he doesn’t because of the way the pompous spoiled ungrateful owner acted when he decided to leave. by the time lbj left clevland the owner had made at least 4-500 million profit because of lbj& the success and everything he brought to the cavs. then because he leaves and makes a smarter career decision hes ridiculed and hated on which im sure only motivated him. it would be great for him to go try to help his home state win its first pro title since 64. it would be a great time in history if he could accomplish that. now my team is the lakers b nice to get melo but ill take pau 3yrs 33-36 mil deng a very underrated two way player 4 years 44 mil an amnestied boozer at a discount3 years 15mil and sign e.bledsoe to offer sheet 5years 45milli.phnx wont match they jus drafted a top flite pg. then keep swaggy p for sure as 6th man,j.hill,x henry,k.marshall j. randle ryan Kelly and sacre to go with kobe these last cpl of years team stay healthy they compete for championship no doub that’s a much more well rounded&versatile team than jus melo kobe and pau.hvnt forgotten nash a great player for a very long time, one of my favorites,but they should amnesty him and use cap space to sign Bledsoe or another good explosive younger player with some success and experience.for sure. but that team healthy would compete for championship. if LeBron does leave the heat fans shouldn’t be mad,he gave yall2 championships&4 hella of a years and left it all on the court for that the heat nation should be thankful.dont hate appreciate,

  39. jibs911 says:

    i personally think melo will land in LA…i think the goal would be to make LA a contender in a year or 2 with kevin love in mind as a long term partner with the franchise…ofcourse it would be a year from now so maybe they are just preparing for love’s free agency to come…if melo does indeed come to LA, with the right pieces(for the right price) can make it to the playoffs…not a championship contender though, but atleast a playoff appearance…

  40. abc 123 says:

    My favorite scenario is if LeBron signs with the Cavs, which would make him likeable again. Carmelo goes to Chicago where he would give them the Offense they desperately need. And Bosh should go to Houston where he would fit in perfectly. Wade should take a year off, heal and find his spirit again, and then help the Heat rebuild.

    • Carlo says:

      Wade’s knees are worn out. The only way he could “heal” would be exchange them with bionic legs.

  41. Kuya Jonas says:

    Dear Melo, join the Rockets and lose altogether.

  42. Carlo says:

    No. 3: NETS paid in salaries+luxury taxes the equivalent of THREE title-winning rosters (see Spurs).

  43. Carlo says:

    No.2: 240 words to say… NOTHING!

  44. Billy Nichols says:

    Melo the Lakers need you