After four years apart, the Cavaliers and LeBron James have taken the first step toward a reunion.
Rich Paul, James’ agent, met with multiple teams this week in Cleveland while James was on vacation, ESPN reported Thursday. A league source with knowledge of the meetings confirmed the Cavaliers were one of the teams to meet with Paul, while ESPN reported the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets also met with him.
Yahoo Sports reported three finalists could return to Cleveland next week to make another presentation in front of James. It’s not clear yet if the Cavs will be on that list.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert also has met with Paul or will do so soon, ESPN reported.
The Cavs met with restricted free agent Gordon Hayward on Wednesday, but aren’t expected to make any moves in free agency until understanding James’ intentions. The Cavs believe they have two major selling points that can separate them from James’ other suitors: this is still his home and Gilbert’s history of spending.
The Cavs planned to remind James about how the Miami Heat released Mike Miller to save $15 million in tax penalties. Part of the Cavs’ pitch to James is how Gilbert has never based a decision off money. Gilbert makes decisions on the Cavs based on talent, not on financial costs.
A Cavs-James reunion seemed far-fetched only a few weeks ago, but the Heat seem to be struggling to attract pieces to surround their Big Three — should all three elect to return.
Thirteen teams entered free agency with at least $10 million in cap space, meaning there is plenty of money to go around this summer. The Heat are operating with a tighter budget and reportedly are looking at complementary pieces such as Anthony Morrow and Alan Anderson. It’s doubtful those types of signings would excite James, who is expected to base his decision on talent level of the various rosters.
By Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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