Sources: LeBron James leaves meeting with Pat Riley without committing to deal with Heat
Superstar free agent LeBron James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas and left without committing to a new contract, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
No decision date has been set, a source close to James told Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears.
James and his agent Rich Paul met with Riley on the same day the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a three-team trade to clear enough salary-cap room to make James a maximum contract offer, opening a path for his possible homecoming, sources said. The Cavaliers are also pursuing a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, contingent on James returning to Cleveland, sources told Yahoo Sports.
James reached out to two veteran free agents last week about joining him if he were to leave Miami, sources told Yahoo Sports. Sharp-shooting forward Mike Miller was one of them. Miller could not go back to the Heat because they amnestied him. The Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets are among the teams pursuing Miller with his market price rising to $4 million to $4.5 million annually, sources said.
If James leaves Miami, Chris Bosh's intention is to also leave the Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Bosh has been speaking with the Houston Rockets, who are prepared to clear enough cap room to offer him a four-year, $88 million contract.
If the Cavs can't get James, their backup plan remains making a run at signing free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Timberwolves will demand Andrew Wiggins, the Cavs' No. 1 overall pick from last month's NBA draft, be a part of any proposed deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Cavs have already made a salary-cap-clearing move to create room to possibly sign James by reaching agreement on a three-team trade that will send Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev to the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
As part of the trade, the Boston Celtics will receive Marcus Thornton from the Nets and Tyler Zeller from the Cavs, along with the Cavaliers' top-10 protected 2016 first-round pick. The top-10 protection on the pick remains for the 2017 and '18 drafts. If the Celtics still haven't received the pick, it will be unprotected in 2019.
The Cavaliers receive the rights to Ilkan Karaman and Edin Bavcic, all former draft picks. The deal will free up more than the $20.7 million in cap space needed to offer James a max contract.