TUESDAY, 3:12pm: James is indeed seeking a maximum salary deal for just one or two seasons, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian. Canzano reiterates the details of the discounted figures to which Wade and Bosh have consented to assist the team in its attempt at a significant upgrade.
MONDAY, 12:26pm: LeBron James will insist on the maximum salary in a new deal this summer, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, though it’s not clear whether he’d demand the maximum number of years. James isn’t planning to meet with any teams, allowing agent Rich Paul to do all of the negotiating, and that plus his salary demand has led teams around the league to believe more strongly that James will stay with the Heat, according to Windhorst.
The ESPN scribe suggests that the NBA’s maximum salary for a veteran of 10 or more seasons will rise to $22.2MM for 2014/15. That would be the max for James, but even if the NBA’s max doesn’t surge that high, James’ max will be no less than $20,020,875, which is 105% of his salary from this past season.
James met with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to discuss salaries this weekend, so it appears it will be up to Wade and Bosh to take discounts if the Heat are going to add a free agent of note from another team this summer. All three took less than the max to sign with Miami in 2010.
Windhorst’s assertion that James appears increasingly likely to re-sign counters a dispatch from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who hears that James had begun to distance himself from Heat management during the season. Still, a source tells Amico that James would like to sign a deal that would give him the ability to opt out after one season, and with James apparently undecided on the length of his deal, according to Windhorst, perhaps James is indeed eyeing another shot at free agency in 2015.