From NBA.com staff reports
Free-agents could sign deals yesterday and we saw some movement on that front Thursday, but the guys everyone is waiting to hear from — LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony — still haven’t revealed their choice. We’re here to keep up with everything going on in the free-agency world, so be sure to check back often …
Update, 12:17 p.m. — LEBRON IS GOING TO CLEVELAND
He tells Sports Illustrated in an exclusive.
Update, 11:58 a.m. — Report: Letter a non-issue?
News about LeBron James, Dan Gilbert and the impact of Gilbert’s letter posted to the Cavs’ website four years ago are flying about. Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel has an update on just what that letter might actually mean to LBJ …
No decision has been made. Basic holding pattern as frenzy continues.—
Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) July 11, 2014
LeBron sources: Gilbert letter a non issue. Pull of "saving" Cleveland considerable. If just about hoops, stays in Miami w short term deal—
Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) July 11, 2014
Update, 11:55 a.m. — That ‘other’ contender in the East
While folks are worrying where you-know-who might be headed, let’s not forget the team that did finish with the best record in the East, the Indiana Pacers. Coach Frank Vogel had a couple of things to say about LeBron, the team’s efforts to land Lance Stephenson and more
(And, ICYMI, the Pacers added to their roster today by adding C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez and re-signing Lavoy Allen)
Vogel on LeBron's decision impacting Pacers: "Wherever he goes becomes 1 of best teams in the league. It's not like he's going to Europe."—
Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) July 11, 2014
Update, 11:03 a.m. — Report: Wade unsure of James’ leaning
LeBron James reportedly boarded a flight to travel from his basketball skills camp in Las Vegas to Miami with his Heat teammate, Dwyane Wade, who was said to be on the flight. Who knows what they talked about, but Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski ventures a sourced report that Wade may have been there to provide a last-minute sales job to James on staying in Miami
Wojnarowski provided another update on that flight and chat, which basically keeps the LeBron decision as ambiguous as its always been …
Dwyane Wade left cross-country flight with LeBron James to Miami still unsure of which way James is leaning, sources tell Yahoo Sports.—
Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
Update, 10:56 a.m. — Magic officially ink Gordon
The Orlando Magic aren’t expected to make a lot of noise in free agency this summer, but they’ve made one move official that was one of the early shockers of the offseason — signing Ben Gordon to a multi-year deal:
Update, 10:34 a.m. — Pierce out at WSOP
Paul Pierce is one of those many, MANY free agents waiting to make his next move in terms of a roster decision. While he was doing so, he spent some time participating in the World Series of Poker tournament, but, alas, he’s out of the running.
Paul Pierce made a remarkable run in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event.
But his dreams of cashing were squashed early Friday morning, when he was eliminated just shy of the money.
According to ESPN.com’s poker expert Andrew Feldman, Pierce finished in around 800th place. The top 693 finishers get paid.
Nevertheless, Pierce has nothing to be ashamed of. This year’s tournament field featured 6,683 entrants, and the future Hall of Fame forward, who played last season with the Brooklyn Nets, nearly made it to Day 4 in the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em event.
Pierce was ousted in tough fashion. He went all-in with a board of A-J-3-6-4. Pierce held A-4, two pair, but his opponent, after thinking for a few minutes, called and showed A-J, top two pair. (You can find more details here).
Update, 10:27 a.m. — Hulk Hogan & LeBron James, world changers
Fans of the NBA (and late 1990s pro wrestling) might like this little piece from SI.com’s Extra Mustard crew about how the decisions Hulk Hogan and LeBron James made forever changed sports fandom …
Update, 10:12 a.m. — Morrow getting attention
Most free agents are waiting it out to see what Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James do next. One free agent that continues to draw interest — as our David Aldridge tweeted last night — is New Orleans Pelicans sharpshooter Anthony Morrow …
Despite free agency in a holding pattern until LeBron James makes up his mind, Anthony Morrow still drawing plenty of interest from teams.—
John Reid (@JohnReid64) July 11, 2014
FA guard Anthony Morrow still considering the Clippers, Heat, Wizards, Raptors and Suns, per source. All willing to use some portion of MLE.—
David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 10, 2014
Update, 10:02 a.m. — Some dollars-and-cents facts on LBJ
If LeBron James ends up shifting from Miami to another destination, how does it affect the Heat’s bottom line? ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell spells it out a bit …
Biz impact in Miami is softened if LeBron doesn’t return: 60%+ of Heat season ticket holders have 2 years left on 3 year contracts—
darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 11, 2014
Update, 9:18 a.m. — A little look inside the LBJ’s Vegas Camp
The main reason LeBron James was in Las Vegas the last few days was to hold his LeBron James Skills Academy for top-flight high school and college players. The folks over at BallIsLife.com and PointGuardU provide some insight into what went on at the actual camp on the court …
Update, 9:05 a.m. — Just in the neighborhood
He might be in Miami (or who knows where), but hopeful Cavs fans have set up a camp of sorts near LeBron’s home in Ohio
Update 8:46 a.m. — Cleaning up the Bath …
One of the big storylines last night in regards to a potential LeBron James-Cleveland Cavaliers reunion was that the police in Bath Township, Ohio, had been notified by LeBron’s crew to alert them to an announcement last night.
The Akron Beacon-Journal‘s Jason Lloyd clears up what that was all about:
Regarding yesterday's report on LBJ flight: Bath police were expecting him to arrive last night. Were informed in a.m. he wasn't coming home—
Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 11, 2014
Update, 8:15 a.m. — Report: Gilbert’s letter still an issue for LeBron
Shortly after LeBron James famously made his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert authored a scathing takedown of James that was published on the Cavs’ website. The letter lingered on the site for years and was recently removed (SB Nation details the process here), but it seems that letter might be hurting the Cavs’ chances of getting James back.
One reason, if not the major reason, that LeBron James has taken so long to decide whether to play in Miami or Cleveland next season is the infamous letter Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert penned about James after the superstar left Cleveland in 2010, sources said.
In the letter, written in Comic Sans font, Gilbert called James a “coward” and mocked the many nicknames and catchphrases attached to James, such as “King James,” “The Chosen One” and “Witness.”
The letter remained on the Cavs’ website for the past four years until the team removed it earlier this week.
While James recognizes that informing Cavs fans and Gilbert, who was told of James’ decision to leave Cleveland in a telephone call five minutes before it was announced, on national television was a mistake, he is still wrestling with whether or not to return to play for Gilbert’s team.
“If it wasn’t for that letter, this would’ve been done awhile ago,” one source said.