The Bulls were among the teams with which agent Rich Paul took meetings to discuss LeBron James during the first week of free agency, as Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reveal in a behind-the-scenes look at LeBron’s choice. Regardless, James was no longer willing to accept being underpaid, as Windhorst examines in a separate piece. James decided before free agency began that he’d take a max contract, and no matter where he would end up, he would demand a deal with a player option after year one, Windhorst writes. James wants to continue to sign short-term deals for the foreseeable future to maintain flexibility in case the maximum salary jumps or is eliminated in the next collective bargaining agreement, as Windhorst explains. He also wants to keep the pressure on Cavs brass to improve the team around him, the ESPN scribe adds. Here’s more on the Heat as they pick up the pieces after LeBron’s departure:
- It wasn’t merely a two-team race between the Rockets and Heat for Chris Bosh, as the Nuggets, Suns and Lakers all made offers to the No. 3 player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings, reports Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com.
- The Heat’s contract with Mario Chalmers calls for him to make $4MM for this coming season and $4.3MM in 2015/16, Windhorst tweets. The ESPN scribe pegs the likely salary for Dwyane Wade at $15MM based on the Heat’s other moves this summer and the cap space the team still has available (Twitter link).
Miami renounced its rights to Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem Michael Beasley, Toney Douglas, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Greg Oden and the retired Shane Battier and Juwan Howard, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. That’ll make it difficult to re-sign Allen, but the team continues moving toward a new deal with Haslem, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The Heat would likely use either cap space or the $2.732MM room exception on Haslem.