2014 Free Agency, Latest News / Jul 3, 2014 / 11:45 pm

LeBron’s Agent Talks With Teams; James Could Meet With Finalists Next Week

LeBron James

LeBron James (Bob Donnan, USATODAY Sports)

LeBron James’ second decision could be a lot like his first one after all. Sources from around the league are reporting that James’ agent has met with several teams in the past few days and that LeBron could meet with three “finalists” next week.

UPDATE: Apparently the Lakers are in play for James, too.

PREVIOUSLY: A story by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein says that Rich Paul, James’ agent, has already held meetings with several teams courting his client.

The agent for LeBron James has met this week with officials from multiple teams interested in courting the four-time league MVP in free agency, according to sources close to the process.

The exact number of teams to secure face-to-face meetings with Cleveland-based agent Rich Paul was not immediately known, but sources told ESPN.com that the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks have had the opportunity to make presentations to Paul in recent days.

Dan Gilbert, owner of James’ home state Cavaliers, also has met with Paul or will do so soon, a source told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard. Gilbert, who lives in Detroit, is in Cleveland, according to the source.

Sources told Broussard that Suns owner Robert Sarver met with Paul on Wednesday and pitched the idea of luring James from the Miami Heat to the desert by trying to sign Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh as well.

According to Windhorst and Stein, the Suns, Mavericks, Rockets, and Cavaliers have all made successful contact with James’ camp.

Conspicuously absent from that list are the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, two teams that are known to covet LeBron. It’s also headline-grabbing that James is open to hearing from Cleveland. Some assumed that Gilbert burned all bridges after his scathing response to LeBron’s departure in 2010, but ESPN’s report makes it seem possible that he could return to the Cavaliers despite Gilbert’s presence and the team’s consistently awful performance since LeBron left.

The Suns have been vocal about their wish to bring James and Anthony aboard, while the Mavericks and Rockets have reportedly expressed similar desires, too.

Just as important as news that LeBron’s contingency has talked with multiple teams is that he could be prepared to visit with his three favorite potential destinations next week. Hearing from suitors is one thing; meeting them face-to-face is another entirely.

It’s been apparent over the past few days that James isn’t the veritable lock to re-up with the Heat that the consensus has assumed. If Dwyane Wade and Bosh are unwilling to accept large pay-cuts and LeBron is intent on receiving the maximum salary, Pat Riley won’t have the financial firepower to add the quality free agents it will take to substantially improve Miami’s roster. And if that’s the case, it shouldn’t be a surprise that James would take his free agency seriously.

That LeBron is openly considering leaving South Beach is huge news. Now the question is whether or not it becomes anything more than that.

Is this a sign that LeBron will leave Miami?

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  • Russ Carver

    Lebron, come to Phoenix, you can do something no one else has been able to do: a championship with the Suns. You would play against the best, like Jordan did against Detroit, NY, Boston, and even the Mark Price, Larry Nance Cavs. . . Play against the best to be the greatest.

  • Russ Carver 1

    you wish

  • Cece

    He left the Cavs to go to Miami right ??? If the Suns are willing to sign Both him and Bosh , We wouldn’t he SERIOUSLY consider that ?? The Suns have a MUCH deeper bench than Miami does , AND YOUNGER . Suns have the cap room , great talent , and 3 potential 1st round draft picks next year . Hell they won 48 games last year ( With starter Eric Bledsoe out for about a quarter of the season )
    The Suns record last year tied the Raptors and Bulls record at 48-34,,,,,That would of seeded the Suns as the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Right behind the second ranking MIAMI HEAT ,,,,,,,,,,,Hell , The Heat only won 6 more games than the Suns did last year,,,,,,,,,,and remember,,,,,,,Eric Bledsoe was out for 39 games,,,,,,,,,,,,39 games !!! And the Suns missed the playoffs by ONE GAME .,,,,,,,,,,,,So keep talking about ” Best chance is in Miami “,,,,,,,,,,Thats hogwash !!! And the Lakers ?? Cmon now,,,,,,,!!!

  • Shawn Rakar

    If Anthony doesn’t stay in New York, he’s coming to Chicago. That is basically a done deal so the Suns might as well give up on Anthony. Although, if Melo actually resigns with New York for more money, he’s going to piss off a lot of the NYK fanbase for forcing Phil’s hand for more money so he can’t build an ample team around him. Basically, Anthony pigeonholed himself in an awkward position.

    LBJ isn’t coming to Phoenix. The Suns made a dire mistake on this free agency season; this effort that is being displayed by them should of happened a week before Carmelo and LeBron both opted out. Coming too late to this kind of race can be detrimental on Phoenix. Anything is possible but signs aren’t looking good for the Suns.

    If anything, LeBron will stay in Miami for the max but if that happens, the Heat are in trouble! I could actually see LeBron either going to Houston or Dallas, though. LeBron to Dallas would be a better fit because if LeBron went to Houston, he would be in the same position that he is in currently with Miami AND Cleveland before he left!

  • Bob Fusky

    LeBron is going back to Miami. All these rumors are just to generate headlines, he’s not going anywhere: http://straighthoops.com/sorry_youre_not_getting_lebron.html

  • JEK

    Arizona is too hot for James. He might get leg cramps