1:59pm: Heat assistant GM and salary cap expert Andy Elisburg will also be at Miami’s meeting with LeBron, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
12:31pm: James and agent Rich Paul will meet with only Riley today, according to Broussard, who corrects his earlier report that Spoelstra, Arison and Wade would take part (Twitter link).
11:51am: Several teams believe Anthony is delaying his decision until he knows what James is going to do, as Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com write. There’s been a strong belief of late that Anthony is likely to choose between the Lakers and Knicks, the ESPN scribes say. The Lakers are waiting on both Anthony and James, but they’re beginning to get impatient, worried that they’ll miss out on Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza, among others, as they hesitate, according to Begley and Shelburne. The Lakers, like the Suns and Cavs, have explored the notion of clearing cap room both Anthony and James, but they haven’t gotten far, according to the ESPN report.
10:38am: There’s still a belief among GMs that James will end up re-signing with the Heat on a one- or two-year max contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That conflicts with Mannix’s report that James is seeking a three-year commitment.
8:47am: Carmelo Anthony dreams of playing with LeBron James on the Knicks, a friend of Anthony’s tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman reported earlier this week that the Knicks were worried that Anthony was hesitating to make a decision while the possibility still exists that he could join James on the Heat or the Lakers, but it appears that ‘Melo’s ideal setting for that scenario would instead be New York. Still, Anthony’s friend says the Knicks star hasn’t made up his mind about returning to New York.
Most NBA executives are confident that Anthony will return to the Knicks, given the inherent financial advantage of re-signing with the team, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Still, money won’t be the only factor in the decision, a person close to Anthony tells Isola. Anthony worked out with Thunder star Kevin Durant in Los Angeles recently, and Durant gave Anthony a strong endorsement of new Knicks coach Derek Fisher, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Knicks president Phil Jackson is attempting to clear cap room to facilitate Anthony’s long shot hopes of teaming with James in New York, as Berman hears from Anthony’s friend. The Knicks have reportedly shopped Amar’e Stoudemire, and perhaps Andrea Bargnani as well, to open up space. Yet there’s a growing belief that Jackson would be open to a sign-and-trade with another team should Anthony decide to play elsewhere, Isola writes.
The friend of Anthony’s who spoke to Berman insists that James is fond of Jackson and would like the chance to play with ‘Melo. Another source tells Berman that the buzz surrounding the possibility that James would sign with the Cavaliers is coming from the Cavs themselves in an effort to enhance their reputation. The Mavs expect another meeting with LeBron’s representatives again this week in Las Vegas, although it isn’t clear whether or not LeBron will attend, a source tells Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
James is meeting today with Heat president Pat Riley, and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com hears coach Erik Spoelstra, owner Micky Arison and Dwyane Wade will also be in attendance (Twitter link). Miami’s contingent enters the sitdown with “nervous anticipation” and no real sense of how James will react to the club’s offseason moves, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. James is looking for a three-year commitment in his next deal, Mannix adds (Twitter link), contradicting earlier reports that indicated he would look for an opt-out after one season.
Ryan Raroque contributed to this post.