LeBron James Rumors
May 5 at 2:09pm CST By Zach Links
No surprise here, LeBron James has officially been named the NBA's 2012/13 Most Valuable Player. This marks James’ fourth MVP award and he now becomes just the second player in NBA history to earn at least four NBA MVP awards before the age of 29, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James earned the honor for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in five seasons, becoming just the second player, joining Bill Russell, to win the award in four of five seasons. Additionally, he becomes just the fifth player to capture four MVP’s and the first since Michael Jordan to accomplish the feat.
James totaled 1,207 points, including 120 first-place votes, just one first-place vote shy from becoming the NBA’s first unanimous MVP winner. The one vote that didn't go to James went to Carmelo Anthony, though there's no word on who the intrepid voter was. The panel consisted of 121 voters of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote.
May 1 at 7:51pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Southeast Division champion Heat have plenty of time to chill in advance of their second-round opener, which won't be until Monday. The division's other playoff team is engaged in a much tougher first-round fight than Miami endured, as the Hawks are batting the Pacers in Game 5 tonight with the series tied 2-2. There's news on both the Heat and Hawks tonight, along with more from the Southeast:
- A pair of head coaching candidates are lined up for interviews with the Bobcats next week. TNT's David Aldridge reports, via Twitter, that the team will sit down with former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, while Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets that Elston Turner will also interview for the job. Turner served as an assistant under Gentry in Phoenix.
- When Shelvin Mack signed with the Hawks in March for the rest of the season, the deal included a team option for next season, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). It's probably for the minimum salary.
- LeBron James appears to be a shoo-in for the MVP award, and it's likely he'll officially receive the honor on Sunday, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He has a chance to become the first unanimous selection for the award, and Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida hears all three votes from Oklahoma City went to James instead of Kevin Durant.
April 27 at 9:59am CST By Zach Links
Ever since rapper Jay-Z announced that he would be making a foray into sports representation with his Roc Nation company, there has been speculation that he could sign longtime friend LeBron James. However, there is no reason to believe that James will abandon Klutch Sports to sign on with Jay-Z, a source tells Sam Amick of USA Today.
The theory that James would hook on with Jay-Z's company centers around the star's relationship with William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley. Wesley is a part of CAA Sports, the company that has partnered with Jay-Z but also lost James as a client in September when he left for the newly formed Klutch Sports, captained by former CAA agent Rich Paul.
However, James has long since moved on from the "Worldwide Wes" chapter of his life and according to one source, the two hardly, if ever, speak these days. Without that bridge, there's little reason to believe that James would consider a reunion with CAA. Even if that connection was still in place, it would still be a stretch for him to come back to his old agency less than a year after parting ways.
You can keep up with the latest in NBA player representation with Hoops Rumors' brand new Agency Database.
April 25 at 10:48am CST By Luke Adams
Cavs fans worried about what the hiring of Mike Brown might mean for the team's potential pursuit of LeBron James in 2014 shouldn't put too much stock in the move one way or the other, says Chris Broussard in his latest ESPN.com piece (Insider-only link). Brown's return to Cleveland doesn't mean LeBron is coming back too, but it also shouldn't be a deterring factor, according to Broussard, who notes that there will be plenty of other factors in play over the next 14 months. The ESPN.com scribe explores that topic and a number of others in his article, so let's round up the highlights....
- The Cavs are hoping to upgrade the roster before next summer in an attempt to lure James (or another impact free agent, presumably). As we heard from Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports yesterday, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and draft picks could be dangled as trade chips. Broussard mentions LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love as potential targets.
- The Bucks would like to keep all three of their free agent guards this summer, but recognize that they'll probably only be able to retain two, with Brandon Jennings the player most likely to stay put.
- Several sources around the league believed Lance Blanks, who the Suns fired earlier this week, was a scapegoat for the team's poor season. According to Broussard, the widely panned signing of Michael Beasley was Lon Babby's call, and Blanks had "little to do with" Alvin Gentry's firing as well.
- Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman is viewed as the frontrunner for the Suns' GM opening, says Broussard.
- Former Suns assistant Elston Turner may join Rick Adelman's staff in Minnesota, with an understanding that if Adelman steps down, Turner would take over as the Timberwolves' coach. We've heard in the past that Adelman "badly wanted" Turner on his staff when he first took the Wolves' job.
- While Kevin McHale isn't expected to step down as Rockets head coach anytime soon, Broussard hears from sources that the team would have "strong interest" in Stan Van Gundy if McHale left.
April 24 at 9:34am CST By Luke Adams
Now that the Cavaliers have made it official, announcing that Mike Brown has returned as the team's head coach, one looming question is what effect the hire will have on Cleveland's potential pursuit of LeBron James in the summer of 2014. LeBron told the Associated Press (link via Cleveland.com) that he's "very happy" for Brown, adding that he's a "really good coach," but would James be interested in playing for his former coach again? Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tackles that subject in his latest column, so let's round up the highlights....
- One former Cavs staffer told Wojnarowski that "the way Mike had to bend for LeBron weakened him as a leader. They'd be crazy to put him
through that again. It's pointless."
- One league source tells Wojnarowski "there are still some scars" when it
comes to Brown and the Cavs, primarily centered on the coach's
relationship with Dan Gilbert, who fired him in 2010.
- Agent Rich Paul has created anticipation for LeBron's possible return to the Cavs in 2014, but according to Wojnarowski, "the idea of returning as the conquering hero is probably much more romantic than reality." Wojnarowski suggests that it's "unfathomable" that James would trade Miami, Erik Spoelstra, and Pat Riley for a return to Cleveland.
- According to Wojnarowski, the Cavs have privately pitched the idea of trading young players and draft picks to the Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge.
- Such a deal with Portland is unlikely to ever happen, says Wojnarowski, since the Cavs value their young players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters more than other teams around the league do.
April 19 at 6:28pm CST By Chuck Myron
Heat president Pat Riley held court with the media today for the first time since July, and offered insight on how the 66-win Heat were built, as well as a few hints about his plan to keep the defending champs together. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com all provide detail. We'll round it up here:
- Riley suggested the team may need a new, high-dollar local television contract to absorb the tax hit necessary to keep LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together beyond 2014, when they can all opt out and become free agents. A report last summer suggested the team was in talks with Fox Sports about a deal that would pay them $80MM-$100MM per season, but both the team and Fox denied it.
- Riley thinks keeping the team together is "doable" and said the front office has already begun to craft its plan for doing so, but said it's ultimately up to Micky Arison to decide how much he wants to shell out.
- Coach Erik Spoelstra was the driving force behind the team's midseason acquisition of Chris Andersen. "If I got another text from (Spoelstra) about getting Chris Andersen, I was going to put my hands around his neck," Riley quipped.
- Riley declined comment on Spoelstra's contract, which runs out after next season.
- The team believes Wade can handle point guard duties in case Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole goes down, and that's why they didn't seek more depth at the position this season.
- It doesn't seem as though the Heat will fully embrace analytics anytime soon, as Riley said proponents of advance metrics "make me squeamy a little bit," Haberstroh tweets.
April 6 at 8:55pm CST By Michael Pina
When Heat general manager Pat Riley spoke out against Celtics general manager Danny Ainge last week, it was a calculated move on his part to keep LeBron James around after 2014, writes the Daily News' Mitch Lawrence.
March 30 at 11:56am CST By Zach Links
Last night, Heat president Pat Riley released an official statement to the press that wasn't fit to print regarding Celtics president Danny Ainge. Ainge said that it was "almost embarrassing" that LeBron James complained about the hard fouls he received during the club's loss to the Bulls, and Riley fired back in defense of his star. "[Ainge] needs to shut the [expletive] up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner when he was playing, and I know that because I coached against him," said Riley, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Was there more to that comment than meets the eye? Here's more on that and other notes out of the Southeast..
- The aim of Riley's comment was to show his loyalty to James, who can become a free agent in the summer of 2014, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. While the image-conscious James was reluctant to attach himself to Riley's profane language, he was clearly appreciative of the gesture. "It was big-time to see that," James said after the Heat's win over New Orleans.
- The Hawks' Kyle Korver will be a free agent in demand, writes Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld. The veteran believes that he has a good four or five years left and wants to spend them with a winning team.
- Chris Kaman could have been a free agent target for the Heat this summer, but it won't happen after recent comments made in a radio interview, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. "I’m not much of a Dwyane Wade fan, but I’m a [James] fan..I just never really got along with (Dwyane Wade). I guess I just don’t like his style or whatever. I didn’t like the year the Mavs lost when he got all the foul calls. I didn’t like that," Kaman told 104.1 FM The Ticket.
March 21 at 7:00pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Without leading scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters yesterday, the Cavaliers had the surging Heat against the ropes in Cleveland through three quarters, leading by nine before ultimately losing in a heartbreaker. The last few years have represented some trying times for Cavs fans, although with the rise of Irving as a young potential superstar, Dion Waiters showing flashes as a promising scorer, and Tristan Thompson continuing to improve, the horizon is beginning to look bright in Cleveland. A promising young core on a team with cap space could only be a selling point toward a possible homecoming for LeBron James in 2014, although ESPN's Marc Stein (Twitter link) believes that the Akron native and Dwyane Wade are too close for LeBron to just "bolt Miami." Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the NBA:
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld highlights that several clubs have considered signing Von Wafer, particularly teams looking to bolster their rosters before the playoffs start. The former second-round pick had recently returned from a stint in China and last played in the NBA during the 2011/12 season. In the same piece, Kennedy identifies players who have helped their free agency stock with their strong play this year.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Al Harrington could decide to sit out the rest of the season for the Magic for the sake of their young players benefiting from major playing time. The 33-year-old forward, who overcame a staph infection after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, insists that his knees are fine now and that he will focus on preparing them for next year. Robbins adds that although Harrington is due about $14.7MM over the next two seasons, those years are partially guaranteed and could be bought out for nearly half that number this summer.
- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro discusses his job status with Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times. Now in his third season in LA and nearing the end of his contract, Dwyre writes that Chris Paul's contract status, the level of preference for Del Negro, and the team's performance in the playoffs are all substantial factors that are in play with regard to the coach's future with the team.
- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank tells David Mayo of MLive.com that, considering their record this year, none of the players - as well as the coaches - should feel safe about retaining their role for next season.
March 20 at 4:28pm CST By Luke Adams
Here are a few Wednesday afternoon odds and ends from around the Association:
- Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com takes an extensive look at the decision that will face LeBron James, along with the teams that hope to sign him, in the summer of 2014. While Windhorst suggests that the Heat, Cavaliers, Lakers, and Bulls are among the clubs that could be in the mix for LeBron in '14, he stresses that the former MVP himself has yet to make any decisions about whether he'll even opt out of his contract with Miami.
- If the Cavs hope to recruit James or any other major free agent in the summer of 2014, they'll need to put a more competitive product on the court in 2013/14, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
- Despite not being playoff-eligible, Raja Bell has continued to search for an NBA job, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com (via Twitter). However, nothing has developed, and Bell appears likely to sit out the entire season.
- John Wall continues to tell reporters that he feels he's worthy of a maximum contract, with Michael Lee of the Washington Post the latest scribe to get a quote from Wall on the subject. The Wizards point guard tells Lee he'd be disappointed if he can't work something out with the team before the 2013/14 season gets underway.
- When we asked last night whether Wall deserves a max deal, the response was an overwhelming no. Lee's readers at the Washington Post agree, as their responses indicate.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford answers plenty of draft questions in his latest chat, noting that the situation at Kentucky will be very interesting to watch. Top recruit Julius Randle announced today that he'll become a Wildcat, and three current freshman suggested yesterday that they're leaning toward returning to Kentucky for their sophomore years.
- The NBA has hired former Nuggets and Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe as its vice president of basketball operations, the league announced today. Vandeweghe will report to executive VP of basketball ops Stu Jackson.