VIDEO: GameTime: Aldridge on LeBron
Update 11:30 p.m. — Raptors, Vasquez agree to terms
While so many teams are wondering who’s coming and going, the Toronto Raptors keep re-signing their own. The latest to agree to terms is backup point guard Greivis Vasquez, a key player in the team’s resurgence after coming over from Sacramento in the Rudy Gay trade.
Update 10:57 p.m. — No more meetings; LeBron decision looms
After meeting with Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday, LeBron James has all the information he needs to make his highly anticipated decision: Miami or Cleveland. Multiple reports suggest that James and his agent, Rich Paul, will not entertain meetings with any other teams, and that James will talk with his family and then make his decision.
Interesting about this decision is that James — unless privately or through back channels — has not met with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, new general manager David Griffin or new coach David Blatt.
Update 9:45 p.m. — Bosh to Houston if LeBron bolts Miami … Or will he?
Hours after news broke of the Mavericks and Rockets restricted free agent Chandler Parsons coming to terms on a lucrative offer sheet came a report that Chris Bosh will accept the Rockets’ offer if James leaves for Cleveland.
However, our own David Aldridge is hearing a different tune.
If this development is true, it could potentially help quicken a decision by James, who likely wouldn’t want to interfere with Bosh’s chances of joining the Rockets if James is indeed headed back to Cleveland. Once Houston receives the Parsons offer sheet, which Parsons can sign tonight when the clock strikes midnight, Houston will have 72 hours to match. But until general manager Daryl Morey knows where James is headed, and, thus, where Bosh is headed, they won’t have a clear indication of how to proceed with Parsons, which was Dallas’ intention.
The Rockets could theoretically sign Bosh and match the Parsons offer sheet, but it would take some hasty work to carve out enough cap space.
Update 9:30 p.m. — No Love for Cleveland
In a frenzy to boost its roster as it guns for LeBron James, Cleveland reportedly was trying to push for a trade to acquire Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. Love, of course, wants out of Minnesota, but it appears team president and coach Flip Saunders isn’t ready to make a deal.
Update 8:08 p.m. — No decision expected tonight
According to several reports, LeBron James is not expected to announce his decision tonight.
Update 7:40 p.m. — LeBron, Riley wrap up meeting, direction unclear
The highly anticipated meeting between LeBron James and Heat president Pat Riley in Las Vegas has ended, and there is no clear indication of James’ intentions.
One media member, Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com tweeted that James has decided to return to Cleveland.
However there has been no further confirmation.
Update 7:01 p.m. — Mavs make move for Rockets’ Parsons; Cavs want Love
Seeking to upgrade at small forward, the Dallas Mavericks have put the Houston Rockets on the clock by coming to an agreement with restricted free agent Chandler Parsons on an offer sheet reportedly for three years and in excess of $45 million.
Parsons can’t officially sign the offer sheet until midnight ET. When he does, the Rockets will have 72 hours to match, a move they have consistently vowed to make.
However, those plans could change depending if Heat free agent Chris Bosh accepts an offer already on the table from the Rockets. If Bosh remains undecided on his plans as the clock ticks down on a decision on Parsons, Houston could be put in a situation of having to decide to pass on Parsons at the risk of not getting Bosh — or matching on Parsons at the risk of losing Bosh if he indeed leaves Miami.
Bosh’s decision, in all likelihood, will revolve around James’ decision to either stay in Miami or bolt to Cleveland. And at this point (as James is currently meeting with Heat president Pat Riley in Las Vegas), there is no telling how much longer James might take to reveal his plan.
In more LeBron James machinations, the Cavaliers are reportedly seeking to put together a trade for Minnesota’s discontented power forward Kevin Love, on the contingency that they sign James.
Update 5:05 p.m. — It’s about this money
The NBA announced its salary cap for the 2014-15 season — an all-time high, 7.5 percent more than last year. It’s a bit of news that will come in handy in the Heat’s talk with LeBron James in about an hour.
The release from the league:
The National Basketball Association today announced that the Salary Cap has increased by 7.5% to an all-time high of $63.065 million for the 2014-15 season. The tax level for the 2014-15 season increased by 7.1% to $76.829 million.
The Salary Cap and tax level go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 10, when the league’s “moratorium period” ends and teams can begin signing free agents and making trades.
The minimum team salary, which is set at 90% of the Salary Cap, is $56.759 million for the 2014-15 season.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for three different mid-level exceptions depending on a team’s salary level. The non-taxpayer mid-level for this season is $5.305 million, the taxpayer mid-level is $3.278 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the Salary Cap is $2.732 million.
Update 4:50 p.m. — Reports: LeBron’s meeting with Heat
After all the rumblings earlier in the day about Cleveland making room for a LeBron James return (scroll below), remember, James still has a meeting with Heat brass to talk things over … and who knows what might happen there.
James, evidently, will have company when he talks to boss Pat Riley:
Elisburg is the Heat’s senior vice president of basketball ops and a salary cap specialist.
Update 3:46 p.m. — Report: Melo Back to the Knicks
Carmelo Anthony isn’t waiting on LeBron James or anyone else. He is sticking with the New York Knicks, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. The official announcement is expected to come Thursday, the first day free agents can sign deals and trades can be stamped by the NBA:
A person close to Anthony told The News on Wednesday that barring a last minute change of heart Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks after “agonizing over this” for the past week.
“He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” said the friend who was with Anthony before Anthony’s scheduled workout with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.”
The Knicks offered Anthony a max deal of $129 million, some $33 million more than any other team could offer. The team, according to many sources, has yet to be told of the decision. But the Knicks had been considered by many to be the front-runners.
Isola’s source, who quotes ‘Melo, may have spurred an immediate catchphrase, as NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan points out:
Almost an hour after Isola broke his story, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne put a brake on it:
Update 3:39 p.m. — No stress
This man has the entire basketball world on edge and yet he seems totally relaxed … SMH!
Update 3:26 p.m. — What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!
What would this day be without a shameless plug from the fine folks of Sin City?
Update 3:17 p.m. — It’s about forgiveness in Cleveland
Can all really be forgiven in Cleveland?
Update 2:40 p.m. — Celtics still chasing Love
Don’t be fooled by the Celtics involvement in any deals this summer. They have one player and one player only on their minds and that’s Kevin Love.
Update 2:20 p.m. — LeBron ready to turn the other cheek to Gilbert?
J.A. Adande weighs in with the best question surrounding this LeBron-back-Cleveland narrative that has ruled the day, the one that includes LeBron’s face-to-face meeting with Heat boss Pat Riley.
How could you even consider going back to work for an owner like Dan Gilbert?
If I could get a meeting of my own with LeBron James, I’d ask him how he could even consider compromising his values and stepping down from the moral high ground he ascended to during the playoffs by weighing an offer from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
LeBron produced the sharpest and most noteworthy criticism of Clippers owner Donald Sterling after TMZ made Sterling’s racially offensive diatribes public, saying “it’s unacceptable in our league.” No one has accused Gilbert of holding the same misguided racial perceptions as Sterling. With Gilbert, it’s about the personal attacks on LeBron’s character, and his diametrically opposed views on the business of the NBA.
Gilbert, for those who never bothered to read his unhinged response to The Decision in 2010 before the Cavaliersrecently purged it from their website, called LeBron’s departure to the Miami Heat a “cowardly betrayal” and said LeBron was a bad example for the children of Cleveland. This wasn’t just a critique of the televised announcement; it was a tantrum about the very premise of free agency, as if anything other than a career-long commitment to the team that drafted a player constituted treason.
A year later, Gilbert was among the group of owners holding to the hard line when the NBA locked out its players, willing to sacrifice games in order to institute a new collective bargaining agreement that limited player earnings and hampered the formation of superteams.
A return to the Cavaliers by James would be a tacit endorsement of all that he rejected. It wouldn’t represent just a swallowing of his own pride — it would be a surrender in the battle for self-determination for NBA players.
As much as people blasted LeBron about “The Decision,” Gilbert’s letter was the most egregious transgression made by any single individual in the summer of 2010.
The idea that all could be forgiven now is rather remarkable.
Update 2:06 p.m. — James arrives at his hoops camp
As we mentioned earlier, LeBron is in Las Vegas for his LeBron James Skills Academy, which just began and features many top-flight high school and college players …
Update 2 p.m. — LeBron silent as Cavs jockey for him
While Cleveland seemingly works to land him, LeBron James has had little to say the last few days …
Update 1:31 p.m. — A look into the (free-agent) future
If LeBron James takes a two-year deal with the Heat, who else would join him on the free-agent market in 2016?
Update 1:17 p.m. — LeBron more valuable to Cavs than Heat?
LeBron James has allowed the Miami Heat to reach a new level as a franchise. What would his return mean — in dollars and cents — to Cleveland?
Update 1:14 p.m. — The real reason LeBron is in Vegas …
We all know LeBron James is meeting with Heat boss Pat Riley today in Las Vegas, but the real reason James is there is to host his LeBron James Skills Academy, which begins today (sorry the list is upside down) …
Update 12:48 p.m. — Recapping the action thus far
We’ve hit a bit of a lull in the Cavs/LeBron/free agency news, so take a second and catch up on what you might have missed …
Update 12:22 p.m. — Report: LeBron talked to Miller; Heat moves impress James?
Update: 12:04 p.m. — No Love-to-Cavs deal lined up (yet)
Thinking this salary cap purge is being done to line Cleveland up to land Kevin Love? Think again …
Update: 11:57 a.m. — Parsons on Cavs’ radar; some crucial LeBron-to-Cleveland points
Informed observers Marc Stein and our own David Aldridge bring up key issues regarding a potential LeBron-Cavs reunion …
Update 11:42 a.m. — Cavs eye more ex-Heat players; what might Bosh do?
The Cavs are after two more ex-Heat players (Mike Miller and James Jones), but if LeBron does return to Miami, will Chris Bosh come back?
Update 11:39 a.m. — Deal may not be harbinger of anything
Hold off on those celebrations there, Cleveland …
Update 11:36 a.m. — Don’t fret just yet, Heat fans
Many GMs see a LeBron-Heat reunion as possible, but just maybe for not as long as some thought …
Update, 11:33 a.m. — Options aplenty in Cleveland
The Cavs will have some explaining to do whether or not this trade helps them land LeBron … or not …
Update, 11:28 a.m. — Cavs reportedly after Allen, too
If the Cavs are trying to get LeBron James back in the fold, maybe going after one of his old teammates wouldn’t hurt?
Update, 11:26 a.m. — Detailing the three-team deal
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal spells out in further detail why the Cavs made this trade