LeBron James to Meet With Pat Riley This Week
When last we checked on the LeBron James, Miami Heat free agency situation, were were in a things are kind of all over the place scenario. So now the update: The things are kind of all over the place scenario has gone ludicrous speed.
Over the weekend, things went nuts as reports began to fly that Chris Bosh was getting courted by the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavalier's owner was flying his personal jet into Miami, and that LeBron had set up a meeting with the Heat.
So far, the only thing that is concrete is that LeBron and the Heat are, in fact, scheduled to meet this week.
According to the Associated Press, James and Pat Riley are set to meet in the next "two or three days."
Meanwhile, LeBron's agent has reportedly had talks with with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, L.A. Lakers, and Phoenix Suns, though LeBron has yet to schedule any meetings with any of those teams.
The Cavs have also had a conversation with James' agent.
Moreover, rumors began to swirl that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert flew into South Florida.
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) July 6, 2014
Gilbert, however, denied those reports:
". @LullOnSports:Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is currently en route to south Florida." I am? Sorry folks but enjoying weather in my backyard today
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) July 6, 2014
And yet another report said LeBron's former Cavs (and Heat) teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas was the one on the plane, implying that maybe he was in Hollywood to recruit LeBron back to Cleveland.
Been working on this for two hours but can now confirm from second source that LBJ's friend and former Cav Zydrunas Ilgauskas was on plane
— Anthony Lima (@AnthonyLimaFAN) July 7, 2014
On Monday morning, ESPN put out a report that the Cavs are confident that LeBron is open to hearing them out. The Cavs have also reportedly removed from their team website the infamous Comic Sans letter Gilbert bitterly wrote to LeBron following his departure to Miami in 2010.
Also, a cupcake store said LeBron is returning to Cleveland. So, there's that.
Yet in all the madness, the only true news is that James and Riley will have a sit down either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Until then, the speculation storm will continue to swirl.
So, a few things to consider in the coming days: 1. The Dwyane Wade, Undonis Haslem Factor: With all the talk and speculation, the one thing that has actually happened, is that Wade and Haslem both opted out of contracts that would have given them huge contracts. They did this to accommodate Miami's salary cap constraints to sign free agents and give LeBron what he needs. If LeBron signs with Cleveland -- or any other team -- he would essentially be screwing over two friends and teammates in the most egregious way possible. Is he capable of that? Or do all these guys have a plan and just haven't shared it with the rest of us?
2. The Chris Bosh Factor: All the talk lately is that Bosh wants max money and is being courted by Houston. But Bosh, as his Instagram can attest, has been on vacation with his family, traveling the world. His agent recently said Bosh wants to remain in Miami. Bosh has repeatedly said that as well.
3. The Larry Bird Rule: The Bird rule means that LeBron has more flexibility with the Heat. While all other teams are limited to offer him a four year deal, Miami can offer a five year deal. Basically, the Heat can exceed their own salary cap to re-sign LeBron, while all other teams cannot. As the rule was designed to encourage players to remain with their team, the Heat remain on the inside track to re-sign LeBron.
4. The Pat Riley Factor: It's hard to believe Riley is in the dark when it comes to LeBron and what other teams might be offering him. And, as it stands, Riley has first crack at James. Pat Riley is the best closer in all of sports. People can fly in jets from all over the country, and speculate until their face melts off. But all the Heat need is for Riley to have LeBron in a room. Heat fans need to like those odds.
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