As agent Rich Paul pushes for the return of LeBron James to the Cavs, Cleveland executives were told to clear max cap room for him, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The execs pressured their counterparts with the Celtics and Nets to finish the final paperwork on this week’s three-team trade, Wojnarowski reports. The Cavs believed they had to get that cap room open as quickly as possible Thursday, and they started calling the agents of players who would serve as role players on a contending team, as Wojnarowski hears. They operated with the belief that James would be coming, as the Yahoo! scribe chronicles, pointing out that yet they hadn’t received confirmation from James himself. While the Cavs, Heat, and most of the rest of the league simmer at a virtual standstill awaiting this year’s version of The Decision, here’s the latest on the No. 1 player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings:
- Wade is still unsure of which team James will sign with after riding with James on a flight from Las Vegas to Miami within the past several hours, Wojnarowski tweets.
- One executive called described Paul’s meetings with teams last week as a waste of time, Wojnarowski notes in the same piece linked at the top of this post.
- James left Wednesday’s meeting with Heat president Pat Riley and GM Andy Elisburg unconvinced, but James and Heat teammate Dwyane Wade have been spending time together over the last day or so, as Wojnarowski details.
- A source tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com that one of the reasons that James remains undecided is that he’s still stung by the infamous comic sans letter that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote in response to James’ departure for Miami in 2010. The idea that the letter is a sticking point in any return to the Cavs would be news to the Cleveland organization, which has never received any such indication, tweets Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.