NBA Trade Update: LeBron James Heading Home to Cleveland Cavs

( [email protected] ) Jul 09, 2014 02:04 PM EDT
Two teams seem to be taking the lead in the race to land Lebron James.  Cleveland and Miami are talking fast and making deals to lure the summer's best free agent.
LeBron James

(Update July 11, 2014: LeBron James has announced that he will be returning home to play for Cleveland Cavaliers next season.)

Most news and rumors out of pro basketball right now have the Heat and the Cavaliers leading in the Lebron James free agency race.

While most of the NBA teams rack their managerial brains to try and figure out a way to draw him to their team, James is thinking about other things today in Las Vegas at his annual basketball camp, the Lebron James Skills Academy.

Not to be deterred from his quest to re-sign James, Pat Riley will fly there  later this afternoon to meet with the player he calls the 'Boat' or, Best Of All Time.

In an effort to patch up a Heat roster that James said needs "to improve at every position," Riley reached agreements to sign center/forward Josh McRoberts and forward Danny Granger on Monday, in response to James' criticism. Obviously the Heat want Lebron to stay in South Beach.

According to ESPN,The meeting with Riley on Wednesday is believed to be the first meeting James has participated in since opting out of the final two years and $42 million of his current contract.

It is also rumored that the Cleveland Cavaliers will trade Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday as part of a three-team deal with Boston to create more salary-cap space for the pursuit of LeBron James.

Apparently the Nets have already agreed to take on the contracts of Jack and Sergey Karasev from the Cavaliers in a trade that also will have the Celtics acquire Brooklyn's Marcus Thornton, Cleveland's Tyler Zeller and a protected 2016 first-round pick from the Cavaliers.

From Cleveland's side, the deal is designed to give the Cavaliers significant financial flexibility by shedding the contracts of Jack, Zeller and Karasev.

Meanwhile, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Cavaliers, in addition to James, are also now trying to make a deal with free agent guard Ray Allen and/or forward Mike Miller as a means of enticing James even more to consider a return to Cleveland.  Obviously, drawing in good role players makes Cleveland more interesting to many free agents, not just James.

James's agent, Rich Paul, who, like James himself, is from the Cleveland area, met with or spoke with officials from the Mavericks, Rockets, Suns, Cavaliers and Lakers last week.  Apparently James was not present at these meetings.

After being publicly spurned by James before his last contract, the Cavaliers are hopeful that James is seriously considering their proposal this time around.