BOSSIP sources tell us that Lebron James just put an offer in on a home in Coral Gables, FL… which makes for a strong sign that Bron Bron plans to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.
Another source also confirms to BOSSIP that James plans to sign with Miami, which coincides with ESPN reports that Bron Bron is leaning toward the Heat:
Barring a late change of heart, sources say James has decided to join fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a potential NBA powerhouse.
James’ family and friends are divided over his decision to play in Miami, according to sources. Opinions range from understanding his desire to play with All-Star teammates, to feeling he is selling himself short by joining Wade’s team, to concerns that playing on such a power-packed squad will hurt his brand even if he wins championships.
ESPN.com reported June 28 that James, Wade and Bosh held a scaled-down version of the free-agent summit originally suggested.
Sources in the initial report told ESPN.com that the sitdown took place in Miami during the weekend before free agency commenced, which was subsequently denied by Henry Thomas, agent for Wade and Bosh. In reconfirming Wednesday that the three players did convene for at least one face-to-face meeting, sources now say the three players met in Ohio on James’ turf on the Saturday before the NBA draft.
James averaged 29.7 points for Cleveland last season, Wade averaged 26.6 points for Miami, and Bosh averaged career bests of 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds for Toronto.
By joining the Heat, James would leave nearly $30 million on the table, unless the Cavaliers agree to an unlikely sign-and-trade. The Cavaliers could give him a six-year, $128 million contract, while Miami can offer him only a five-year deal worth up to $99 million.
Wade does not know what the terms of the next contract he’ll sign with Miami will be, nor when he’ll sign the paper. Bosh doesn’t have terms of his next deal done, either. It’s all contingent on what James says Thursday night, and Wade insisted he knows nothing about what the two-time MVP will say.
Contracts cannot be officially signed until Thursday.
Asked why he didn’t agree to a sign-and-trade that would have paired him with James in Cleveland, Bosh said he decided Miami was the best choice.
“I wasn’t sure if LeBron was coming back [to Cleveland] and I just wanted to leave that decision up to him,” Bosh said. “I wanted to choose the best situation for me and my family, and Miami was the best decision for me.”
The salary cap released Thursday for the 2010-11 season was just more than $58 million, about $2 million more than teams expected, and that extra money could be yet another free-agency edge for the Heat.
“We’ll see what the best thing is for us to win,” Wade told The Associated Press. “I’m going to make a lot of money, no matter what happens. I’ve been blessed. I’m not counting every dollar and every cent. Let’s sit down, let’s see what the best thing is for us, for the long haul.”
Miami came into free agency with what turned out to be roughly $46 million of cap space, not including $16.5 million or so earmarked for Wade, thanks to years of avoiding just about any deal in which money would have been committed for the 2010-11 season.
“We want to build a dynasty,” Miami Heat president Pat Riley had told fans entering free agency.
By scheduling his special show and essentially putting a deadline on himself to make an announcement, it would appear that James has made up his mind. If he does, however, change his decision, the Cavaliers, the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls would all be possibilities, according to the sources.
Would Lebron, D-Wade and Bosh create the kind of dynasty Pat Riley has been talking about?