Report: LeBron James' agent meets with Suns, Rockets, Mavericks and CavaliersPosted: Updated:
As the Heat continues to scurry to find talent to put around Le-Bron James, the four-time MVP has started looking at other teams for a potential move out of South Beach.
James' Cleveland-based agent, Rich Paul, has met with representatives of the Suns, Rockets, Mavs and Cavaliers since the free agent period opened on Tuesday, according to league sources. Suns owner Robert Sarver met with Paul on Wednesday, reportedly trying to entice James to Phoenix to play with either Carmelo Anthony or with Chris Bosh.
Although James still is expected to re-sign with the Heat, the fact that he's had Paul meet with potential suitors means that Miami is no longer seen as a lock for his return. More meetings could come early next week as James continues to be intrigued by exploring his options outside of Miami.
As far as the Heat goes, James reportedly is OK with the idea of taking a two-year deal, with perhaps on opt-out after one season, at the maximum salary of $21.7 million for the first year. Along those lines, Heat free agents Bosh and Dwyane Wade would take less money, leaving Miami with about $12 million in cap space.
But so far, Miami's efforts to upgrade its roster around the Big Three has been thwarted. The Heat tried to bring in Kyle Lowry to play point guard, but he decided to stay in Toronto for four years and $48 million.
Miami also had interest in center Marcin Gortat to provide rebounding. But he stayed in Washington for five years and $60 million. The Heat is also interested in Trevor Ariza to help out on the perimeter, but sources close to the Wizards' free agent believe he wants to go to the West Coast to be closer to his family.
As James returned Thursday from a family vacation, Heat president Pat Riley had plans to meet with free agent candidates in Los Angeles this coming week.
The Suns were one of several teams to clear out cap space in hopes of luring James. They went into the free agency period with about $35 million to spend. They're also committed to re-signing their own free agent, Eric Bledsoe.
"We are in a good position," Sarver said earlier this week. "We have a lot to offer, too, with the depth of our roster compared to some of the other teams. We think we have a favorable opportunity, but obviously he'll make his decision when he wants to make it. He's a smart player and a smart businessman. He'll look at the facts and make a decision."
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