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LeBron James to Miami? The decision will be televised


The three of us together would be huge! (AP Photo)


Now that Chris Bosh has decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, the rest of the league -- or the entire world, if you believe the inane hype -- is eagerly awaiting LeBron James's choice to join them or not on ESPN at 9 p.m. on Thursday. James will make his announcement in a primetime event called, "The Decision," which will rank somewhere between the greatest moment in television history and Geraldo's infamously embarrassing journey through Al Capone's vault.

Nearly two years of anticipation, coy responses and dubious speculation comes down to James spending time at a Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn., sitting down for an interview with Jim Gray; followed by analysis from Stuart Scott, Jon Barry and Michael Wilbon and even more reaction and discussion about the conclusion of the courtship of the could-be King. The buildup for this spectacle has been unprecedented in NBA history and makes you wonder what this whole circus -- which some view as simply a tool to shamlessly promote the James brand -- would be like if James had actually won a championship, or even an NBA Finals game, in the past seven years.

James will break the hearts of at least five teams that were allowed to woo him in Cleveland last week. One team will celebrate getting the services of a 25-year-old, two-time league's most valuable player. In the hours leading up to his announcement, no team had a firm idea of where James was leaning, although various reports began swirling early Thursday that he had already committed to forming a Superteam in Miami; that his decision to announce his plans in a suburb of New York means that he was headed to the Knicks; that he was going to Chicago after the Bulls reached an agreement with Carlos Boozer; or that he was staying in Cleveland, unable to crush the spirits of one of the most tortured fan bases in all of professional sports.

James would make a huge financial sacrifice to leave Cleveland, with the Cavaliers capable of signing him to a maximum six-year contract for about $125 million. He would have to take a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million to leave for any team other than Miami, where he, Wade and Bosh would have to take slightly less than the maximum allowed in order to play together.

Would he dare leave his home state in shambles? Shouldn't he do the right thing? Whether James's reported desire to play with Bosh and Wade is sincere or another attempt from his camp to generate more suspense, the stage has been set for a dramatic dénouement.



By Michael Lee  |  July 8, 2010; 9:36 AM ET
 
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Next: John Wall on LeBron James' ESPN special: "He can do certain things like that"

Comments

I vote for the vault, and will definitely NOT be watching. Sorry ESPN, your ratings take an even bigger hit in my house, not that your ratings could get much lower around here.

Posted by: glawrence007 | July 8, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Didn't vote in the poll because the last choice said, " ......I don't care anymore......" I NEVER cared.

Posted by: glawrence007 | July 8, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'll watch only if there are cameras stationed in Cleveland so I can get the reaction if he leaves..

For the Cav fan who was here on our blog for the past few years, here's a nice quote from LeBron to the city of Cleveland


"How does my *** taste?"

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Even if he goes to Miami...still don't see them winning a championship. =\

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, though, if I were LeBron this is what he should consider...

Forget Chicago. He'll never be Mike and no use trying. Even if he went and won 4 trophies, he'd be "the guy who was 2 short of Michael".

Forget the Nets, Cavs, Knicks for obvious reasons...they arent ready yet.

Sign a max deal with Miami with a 3 or 4 year opt out. Tell Cleveland, NY and NJ that in 3 years if they have a decent supporting cast, you'll opt out and consider each of them. Do this all over again in 3 years while you're still only 28 years old.
If you get hurt, stay in Miami and collect your max money. If you are winning championships, ditto.

It gives the hometown fans some hope and also keeps the flame burning in NJ and NY.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Another observation:

Sun Yue is playing for our summer league team.

Are we back to the way things were in the 80's when we used to have a few token white guys on the roster to appeal to our large No. Virginia fan base?

Are we looking at Sun Yue and signing Yi Jianling because they can play or because they're Chinese (and we happen to have our place in Chinatown)?

Boston is famous for this and it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a great marketing tactic (rooting for guys who look like you) but I hope it's not being done to the detriment of the development of better players.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Cant see him following Bosh to DWade's team where he'll always be 2nd fiddle and Wade will get all the cred and adoration for making the whole scenario happen.

Plus the whole superteam crap seems like a bit of a cop out....stay in Cleveland and get'er done your own way if you're really all that. Or go to the hapless Nets and do the same, but being the 3rd piece to the puzzle in Miami is decidedly un-regal.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

If James joins Wade and Bosh in Miami, they would probably account for about $45M if they are amenable to come down to $15M each. That's $13M left for 10 other players. I wonder how that roster's going to get filled out, considering they've got about $7M of that $13M already committed to three players, Beasley being one of them.
That makes it $6M for 6 players just to get to the minimum roster size. I suppose it can be done. I hear Juwan Howard is available, Miami will finally get him.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 8, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Lebron is a salesman not a basketball player. What is more boring then listening to someone talk about yourself for an hour. *yawns*

I love the fox poll from yesterday that stated 83% of the listener would not be watching this joke.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | July 8, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Sure the PR-hype angle on this is over-the-top, but I don't blame ESPN for throwing together a 1 hour program on a Thursday night in the summer. Aside from Snooze-ball there are no major sports stories today -- this one provides some filler which should net pretty decent ratings. The production costs are not ridiculous either.

As far as where His Coy-ness ends up, I'd wager either Miami or Cleveland. As far as media campaigns go though, I suspect this is going to be more of a lose-lose. He's alienating the fan bases of 4 franchises -- including potentially in two of the top three media markets in the U.S.. In terms of a negotiating strategy, I can understand not laying the cards on the table in order to maximize a compensation package, but in James's case, he's going to get the max regardless of where he goes, so much of this was unnecessary.

Posted by: JPRS | July 8, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Are we looking at Sun Yue and signing Yi Jianling because they can play or because they're Chinese (and we happen to have our place in Chinatown)?

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2010 10:16 AM

Nobody outside this blog thinks Yi is going to be a player and nobody anywhere is hopped up on Sun Yue. So you gotta think the marketing aspects had to play in a little...and I agree that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of my ruminations above, the Heat can go over the salary cap with the various exceptions available to them. The only trade available is Beasley.
They can sign their own free agents back.
They can sign and trade their own free agents.
They have the MLE of about $6M which can be split up to sign multiple players, not just one.
They might have the bi-annual exception of $2M. Unless they used it already last year.
First round rookie picks are excepted (not 2nd rd though).
MULTIPLE minimum salary exceptions.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 8, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Unless they can convince about 6 or 7 rotation quality players to take some serious pay cuts, it's hard to see the Heat managing to fill out the roster into anything close to title worthy this summer. Finding a decent C alone will eat up a good portion of their remaining cap (esp. in the inflated big man market, thanks to the opening day deals handed out to Darko and Amir), and that's gotta be their #1 priority, unless they want to deal with the carping and pouting that'll come with asking Bosh to play C.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

If james goes to miami the headlines would be the Big Three and the bench of minimum contract players. Be ready for the lowest scoring bench in the history of the NBA. This miserable bench will get Eric Spoelstra fired and Pat Riley would move to head coach

Posted by: jefferu | July 8, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Nobody outside this blog thinks Yi is going to be a player and nobody anywhere is hopped up on Sun Yue. So you gotta think the marketing aspects had to play in a little...and I agree that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 10:32 AM

Further to divi3's observation, the local Chinese market is not much of a consideration at all considering the local Chinese population is low. Now if it were the local Koreans, Indians or Mexicans, wow that would be another thing.

There are Chinese Americans who might start following the Wizards, I expect some folks in New York or San Francisco would watch Wizards games on TV.

On the other hand, it is the international Chinese market that is attractive. Not just mainland China, but Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries with significant ethnic Chinese (Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines). They normally only show the major market NBA games, but the Wizards would be more attractive now and gain more share of the NBA broadcast revenues abroad.

Gilbert Arenas shirts sold some in China & Philippines, but look how many more would buy Wizards stuff as alternatives to Houston (Yao) or Lakers (Kobe Bryant)!

I speculate (SWAG) that additional exposure to the Chinese markets is worth an additional $5M in TV revenue and perhaps $2M in t-shirts and such.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Boston is famous for this and it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a great marketing tactic (rooting for guys who look like you) but I hope it's not being done to the detriment of the development of better players.


Posted by: original_mark

The C's ran with the seldom seen all white lineup yesterday in Orlando's summer league. The lineup featured 4 white American players and a Turk - they were up by a comfortable 13-17 point margin while I watched.

Luke Harongody was looking pretty good. I think Scalabrine might have to move down a spot on the bench next season.

Posted by: elfreako | July 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The only announcement that Lebron could make worthy of the buildup would be a humble proclamation of his willingness to forego pay so the team he annoints can afford to pay their other players.

Posted by: midlevex_ | July 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

That photo and subtitle are hilarious! I'm ready to see what else is going on in the world. I'll read "The Decision" tomorrow morning.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 8, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Harongody was a smart pick, not sure why teams let a guy they know can play slip that far.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of my ruminations above, the Heat can go over the salary cap with the various exceptions available to them. The only trade available is Beasley. They can sign their own free agents back. They can sign and trade their own free agents. They have the MLE of about $6M which can be split up to sign multiple players, not just one. They might have the bi-annual exception of $2M. Unless they used it already last year. First round rookie picks are excepted (not 2nd rd though). MULTIPLE minimum salary exceptions.

In order to create the cap space to give out 3 max deals, the Heat had to renounce the rights to all of their FAs, which means they no longer have any of their Bird rights, which means that they can't go over the cap to re-sign any of them, which means they can't use them in sign-and-trade deals in order to circumvent the cap.

The MLE is only available to teams that are over the cap when the current cap level is set. Because they were well below the cap when the current figure was set (yesterday) the Heat aren't eligible for the MLE. And even if they use up all of their cap space with FA signings this summer, they still won't be able to use to use the MLE because the fact that they were below the cap when the new cap figure was set (yesterday); the soonest they'd be able to use it is next summer (after the next cap figure is set, assuming they're above it).

They can go over the cap to use the vet minimum, but they still have to fill out the roster between now and then with the cap space they have, and finding enough quality players with their limited resources is going to be very tough. By the time they get to the vet minimum, they'll basically be looking at practice fodder.

The idea that multiple starter and/or rotation quality players will take massive pay cuts to be caddies to Wade, Bosh and (maybe) James is wishful thinking on Riley's part, esp. given the near certainty of a lockout, followed by a new CBA with less money available to players. They might get a couple of long-toothed vets or two looking to make a last grab before the clock runs out, but that still leaves a lot of holes to fill and not much cash to fill them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

sounds like a job for DJ Mbenga!

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Scouts get so caught up in PFs being a certain height I think.

Give me a tough American undersized PF (Harongody, Booker, Maxiell, Milsapp etc.) over a 6'10" jump shooting Euro (Radmonovic, Pech & Darko) anyday.

Of course there are exceptions but frontcourt toughness trumps finesse shooting if you're trying to win the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Posted by: elfreako | July 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh and don't forget, the Bullets were the first to visit China in 1979, helping create the NBA following. So the Wizards are considered friends of China.

Coming just months after President Jimmy Carter normalized relations with China, the historic 1979 trip helped infect the land of Yao Ming with hoops fever.

Dick Motta: I did a clinic with some of the players and there were 19,500 coaches there, from every province. We worked for three hours and there was not one sound from the stands. But you could tell basketball was getting popular. Everywhere you went and there was open space, you saw a basketball hoop. They loved it. It was just a matter of time before they developed it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/12/AR2009091202267.html

Posted by: rickgonz | July 8, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Warriors are trading Anthony Randolph for Dave Lee (instead of Monta Ellis). It'll be a sign and trade.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

i think some American players suffer from too much exposure, all their weaknesses are apparent just as much as their strengths because there's so much footage available and they tend to workout for teams much more.

Sometimes it's easier to be the vaunted euro everybody is talking about but very few people have actually seen play.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I know we're rebuilding around Wall and demonstrating prudence as we assemble our roster, but man things are getting tough in the East. First, defections from the West to the East (Stoudamire, Boozer, etc.), and now a super team in Miami. The Wizards have a tough road ahead in the East.

Posted by: quinn3 | July 8, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Scouts get so caught up in PFs being a certain height I think.Give me a tough American undersized PF (Harongody, Booker, Maxiell, Milsapp etc.) over a 6'10" jump shooting Euro (Radmonovic, Pech & Darko) anyday."

What's wrong with tough tall PFs like the young Kevin Garnett or Rasheed Wallace. What's wrong with tall Euros like Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

GSW is perfect for Lee, his stats may even go up while they continue to lose games and go nowhere. Good move for the guy, playing for Avery Johnson seems like it would have been oil and water

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"I think Scalabrine might have to move down a spot on the bench next season."

If Veal moves any further down the bench he'll be sitting on the floor with the towel boys.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with tough tall PFs like the young Kevin Garnett or Rasheed Wallace. What's wrong with tall Euros like Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki?

Posted by: Samson151

Nothing, unless you have a country of origin hang-up.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is involved in covering this debacle? Not surprised.

Posted by: doogiex | July 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Good move for the guy, playing for Avery Johnson seems like it would have been oil and water."

Lee strikes as the kind of player Johnson would love: low maintenance, hard working, fills his role without a lot of drama.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Cross Travis Outlaw off the list...said he's going to the Nets.. 5years/35 million.

Ryan Gomes?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Lee strikes as the kind of player Johnson would love: low maintenance, hard working, fills his role without a lot of drama.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 12:00 PM

Lee plays no defense whatsoever and Avery is obviously a defensive minded coach, thus the oil/water comment.

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Where is Brenda in all this?? Who is his agent, seems he should strike while the iron is hot and get overpaid like everybody else

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

i mean Brendon, sorry Larry, force of habit!

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

No more Lebron James. Give us more Skins, Wizards, and Nationals please.

Posted by: sonofliberty09 | July 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Lee is a terrible individual defender, but so are Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, and half of the Mavericks roster Johnson coached to the Finals. AJ got them to play improved team defense by coming up with a good scheme and getting them to buy in, at least for a while until the revolt started.

Lee strikes me as guy who would buy in and do the work the coached asked without a lot of complaint, which is why I think he'd work well with Johnson (or pretty much any coach).

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: suliman215 | July 8, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I've been looking forward to this since LeBron lost to the Magic in the ECF. It was again Lebron who lost in the '07 finals against my Spurs and it was Lebron who single handedly overcame the Pistons in the 4th Qtr. for a division title. I was lucky to see Lebron in a game last season against the Pacers, where after having won the game was resting on the bench in the 4th qtr. only to see his team on the verge of losing a game he had already won; forced to come of the bench he proceeded to take over the game at both ends of the floor to secure the win. So I hope he goes to Miami to get the support he needs, for too long professional sports has used young players as slaves for their own profit. At thirty-five most of them are old men unable to walk, arthritic fingers and knees often with nothing to show for it. Three superstars on one team will render NBA officiating less subjective or expose the fact that referees control the games' outcome/result many more times than the players. A mini-dream team in Miami will give fans a chance to enjoy "the game" once more. Congrats to Riley for having the foresight and all the best to the players, Cleveland should be happy they got seven years of his professional career; and don't blame him for leaving, blame the team owners for not providing a proper winning environment.

Posted by: karibkween | July 8, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

...The C's ran with the seldom seen all white lineup yesterday in Orlando's summer league. The lineup featured 4 white American players and a Turk - they were up by a comfortable 13-17 point margin while I watched. ...

Posted by: elfreako | July 8, 2010 11:01 AM
__________________________________________

I would totally pay to see an all-white lineup, especially if they all wore black Chucks and took two handed set shots. Otherwise, I couldn't care less about the NBA. The last time I saw coverage like ESPN's on _Chris Bosh_ signing with MIA was when JFK was shot. Ridiculous.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 8, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

THE TRILL IS GONE

Posted by: suliman215
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maybe this is payback from ESPN for LeBron trying to suck up an hour of prime-time tv while running off with all of the ad money in the process.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 8, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, I couldn't care less about the NBA. The last time I saw coverage like ESPN's on _Chris Bosh_ signing with MIA was when JFK was shot. Ridiculous.

Posted by: gbooksdc

lol!!!! so you saying that you do care because you did watch? lol!!!!

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

GSW is perfect for Lee, his stats may even go up while they continue to lose games and go nowhere. Good move for the guy, playing for Avery Johnson seems like it would have been oil and water

Posted by: divi3 | July 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

there was a NJ Nets rumor about Lee? isn't Avery their coach?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 8, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Sun Yue really stands out that much on the summer league roster when the rest of the team is people like Sweetney, Hayes, and my grandma. (Just like I don't think Yi stands out on the Wiz squad when the rest of the team is Thorton, Young, Seraphin, etc.) It's not as if the Chinese guys are in wheelchairs while the rest of the team is NBA all-stars. I think those guys have been picked up because they are marginal players which we're taking a flier on - not because they're Chinese. I really don't think they stand out at all when you look at the rest of the club. Plus, DC's "Chinatown" is a marketing tool, not an actual place where a bunch of Chinese people live. So, in short, I don't think there is any "Chinese strategy," as suggested. I think it's just sort of a coincidence. I mean, both those guys made NBA team already - they aren't 5-footers from the Y.

Posted by: Urnesto | July 8, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

LeBron James has gone a long way to devaluing winning and losing in the NBA. David Stern has long pushed the individual over team, marketed showy over substance, and LeBron James represents the manifestation of it all.

. . . The vacuous star for our vacuous times, live on Thursday night and fitting himself for a ring as the undisputed Champion of Me. All about ‘Bron and all about nothing.

Says it all. Good article.

Posted by: nmik | July 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Now that Chris Bosh has decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, the rest of the league -- or the entire world, if believe the inane hype -- is eagerly awaiting LeBron James's choice to join them or not on ESPN at 9 p.m. on Thursday."

You mean the inane hype you and your sports media cohorts have been engaged in for the past month? Only in the NBA could this contrived drama get more media attention than any actual games.

Posted by: fjc33 | July 8, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

IIGHT LOOKS LIKE MILLER IS GONE!!

"The Heat have offered Mike Miller a five-year deal, worth approximately $27 million-$30 million.

Miami has given Miller a deadline of Thursday night to decide."

-Jeff Goodman foxsports.com

Posted by: kanderson2385 | July 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Cant see him following Bosh to DWade's team where he'll always be 2nd fiddle and Wade will get all the cred and adoration for making the whole scenario happen.

Plus the whole superteam crap seems like a bit of a cop out....stay in Cleveland and get'er done your own way if you're really all that. Or go to the hapless Nets and do the same, but being the 3rd piece to the puzzle in Miami is decidedly un-regal.

Posted by: divi3

Not for nothin, but I don't see the other two with a prime-time special to announce their decision. There would/will always be an element of LeBron joining "Wade's team", but he's not the third piece of the puzzle. That distinction is reserved for Bosh.

"Get'er done your own way" sounds great in theory, but it's dependent on too many things that are out of his control.

And I'm sure LeBron has also realized that it's much better to be debating how you won your rings than why you didn't. Better to be Kobe from a few years ago defending three rings that people say he couldn't have won without Shaq, than Karl Malone or Charles Barkley defending why he doesn't have any.

Posted by: ts35 | July 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Count me as someone who is going to boycott ESPN tonight in protest of this ridiculous "The Decision" special.

Crap like this makes me hate the NBA and ESPN and its culture of coddling and worshipping "stars" who haven't accomplished anything.

In what sane universe does a guy who has never won a single title get to have an hour long "special" on TV merely about where he will go in free agency.

So in closing, screw you and your ego, LeBron, and some goes for all your sychophants in the media. If you surprise everyone and come to Washington, I'll be the guy who gets kicked out of Verizon Center for throwing tomatoes at you during the game...

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Re. how Miami will manage to sign three stars and a bunch of scrubs.
I assume that Miami's finance guy has not released/waived all of its FA Bird rights at the same time. I am also assuming no new contracts have been signed because they weren't allowed to until today. They waived James Jones and offered Joel Anthony his qualifying of $1.06. They then offered to bring in Bosh and James, and resign Wade. Not necessarily in any particular order. Cap space being talked about is only potential cap space until free agents are renounced. Nothing is committed until it is signed.

Totaling up all of Miami's current contracts, cap holds and Wade's new salary of $17M but waiving O'Neal their payroll will be just under the salary cap of $58M.

Some possible continuing scenarios:
Removing Haslem & Richardson cap holds by waiving rights to them, will allow Miami to outrightly sign either Bosh or James and be $7M under the cap. At this point they are just keeping the other cap holds, but not actually signing their FAs back.

To hire the third guy either Bosh or James, they would have to waive a couple more guys maybe Wright and Diawara, do a sign and trade, take in more salary (from either Wolves or Cavs), and give away a pick or two and then would only be at $62M payroll.
It is likely Wolves are more friendly, as Cavs have already refused to do sign and trades. Being over the salary cap at this point, they would have some of their exceptions available. I previously said only Beasley would be available to potentially obtain a traded player exception. They would have the other exceptions like MLE, rookie, minimum salary, etc.

That's the possibility. Obviously Miami will want to be flexible, use as many of their FAs as can be in sign and trades. So the ones they release first won't necessarily be the ones I mentioned.
I don't know if anyone will pay O'Neal anywhere close to $10M, so waiving him (to remove $19M cap hold) is more valuable to Miami than trading him. At least that's how I look at it.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 8, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

LeBron James announces that he will buy the Miami Heat, endorse the New York Knicks, marry two of the LA Clippers’ Spirit Dancers in a Utah ceremony in August, become Executive Vice President of Mining and Distribution for Polyus Gold (NJ Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s gold empire) and play basketball part-time for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Read the FUNNY article here:

http://www.dailygoat.com/2010/07/lebron-james-gives-thanks-god-signing-10-year-100m-endorsement-deal-heaven/

Posted by: eye95 | July 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If he signs with Miami, it's all Grunfeld's fault.

Miami is the only team Grunfeld didn't jinx with a recent trade. Labron knows that any team that deals with Ernie is doomed (unless they can unjinx themselves with even crazier trade voodoo ala Gasol for Kwame). We've delt with Chicago (Heinrich), Nets (Yi), Clippers (Thornton), Dallas (Butler/Haywood), Cleveland (Jamison)...and New York permanently carries Grunfelds mark since he worked there. Thus, Miami is the only un-jinxed team in the Labron sweepstakes.

But because Grunfeld lack of recent trade involvement was the reason for the Labron's decision, the jinx will happen anyway.

Ultimately, the James-Bosh-Wade super-team will provide Kobe a competitor so great that by beating them, he will establish a legacy on MJ's level.

All those nimrods who say Kobe is better than MJ will then have some cred, and the memory of MJ's greatness will start to fade.

And it's all Ernie Grunfeld's fault.

Posted by: cballer | July 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why is this on WIZARDS Insider?!?!?

There is enough LeBron stuff everywhere else. This blog should be for WIZARDS news!

Isn't July 8 the first day the Wiz-Bulls trade can be official? Why not an update on that? Where is the story on what the Wiz might do to fill out their roster on the first day the moratorium end? How about some more perspective on summer league players?

Come on Wash Post! I am starting to get more interesting and timely Wiz info on www.bulletsforever.com

Posted by: travisloop | July 8, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

As a south florida resident (boca raton), and die hard Heat fan, I COULDN'T BE FRIGGIN HAPPIER about what we are hearing down here about 'Bron.

It doesn't matter if they round out the roster with 9 midget martians addicted to crack cocaine... They will compete in the finals for years to come.

Sick of the Lakers.

Glad he isn't going to NY, bad enough they always win the world series. Share the wealth NY.

Chicago? Whew... dodged a bullet there.

So now everyone will slam his decision to join Miami, but only because he didn't sign with THEIR team.

Boo friggin' Hoo

Pat Reilly is now a South Florida GOD

Posted by: jfern03 | July 8, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Although I happen to like LeBron James, the man and basketball icon, I am ashamed that sports contracts have come down to shameless TV viewing!

LeBron, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Posted by: CruiseBoy | July 8, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If this is not the best example yet of the "craziness" of sport in the USA... I don't know what is. The USA, even the entire world, continues to suffer through the "GREAT RECESSION", the oil "spill" (isn't it past being a "spill"?) in the Gulf, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russian spies, our national debt, etc., etc, etc. (Need anyone go on... and on... and on???) Yet... over the past several days the teams with which certain basketball players will play and the truly ridiculous amounts of money they will be paid... to play a game ... has captured headlines and air time. And yet... we wait on one more... the "KING"!!! This is so far beyond RIDICULOUS!!! Athletes and coaches at the pro level and collegiate basketball-football coaches are "laughing all the way to the bank" and likely asking "What recession"?

A caveat to those who may think I'm one of those "intellectual, nerdy" 'sport/athlete bashers'... I was and continue to be a very good athlete in multiple sports... and to some degree and fashion could say that I work in at least a very closely related "field". I owe a lot to athletics in many many ways. I LOVE playing and competing in sports! But this is absolute NUTS!!!

Furthermore, while I'm on a roll... those same players - paid multi-millions to perform at an extremely high level and who indeed have the skills to do that - make an even mediocre play and "celebrate" like some "klutz" would do if he simply got incredibly lucky... either that, or they act as if they are truly angry because a defensive player even attempted to do his job and defend them by "staring" him down with an air of indifference and/or a scowl on their face. Far too many athletes today are from the narcissistic, egotistical "me, me, ME" generation! All part of why I don't watch sport at any level the way I did at one time.

Posted by: EdinNC | July 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The USA, even the entire world, continues to suffer through the "GREAT RECESSION", the oil "spill" (isn't it past being a "spill"?) in the Gulf, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russian spies, our national debt, etc., etc, etc.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Bread and Circuses. Nothing to see here, move on, move on and don't mind that guy behind the curtain.
Furthermore, while I'm on a roll... those same players - paid multi-millions to perform at an extremely high level and who indeed have the skills to do that - make an even mediocre play and "celebrate" like some "klutz" would do if he simply got incredibly lucky
Don't take your eye off the ball, the real crime, and I mean crime, is the robbery of the American taxpayers by the banksters in 2008. They destroyed their banks, the economy, ruined pension funds, and retirement nest eggs that took a lifetime to assemble and then got Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Congress to bail them out. Then they paid themselves multi-million dollar bonuses. Kobe and Lebron can at least claim as Babe Ruth did about being paid more than Herbert Hoover, I had a better year than he did.

Posted by: midlevex_ | July 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

In regards to how Miami will fill out the rest of their roster, Kal had a good catch by pointing out that they will not have the MLE because they were under the salary cap before free agency.

But, he jumped the gun as far as them losing "Bird-rights" to sign their own guys back. Bosh and Wade (not to mention James) have not signed their deals, yet. This is the main reason Miami is trying so hard to workout a sign-and-trade w/Toronto to get Bosh.

Theoretically, Miami could:
(1) sign James, then
(2) sign a bunch of their own guys including D-Wade, and then
(3) trade a few of their guys (enough to make salary total close to Bosh's) and presumably lots of draft picks (in the relm of the first two times CWebb was traded) to Toronto as part of a sign and trade.

The big flaw in Pat Riley trying to pull this off is that Toronto wants no part of Miami's roster. If he pulls it off, it would likely mean lots of player buyouts were pre-arranged w/Toronto to create inflated contracts that match-up.

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 8, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The Wizard's front office should take note of this circus atmosphere created and learn something from it. Hopefully, in the future, the Wizards will take the Kevin Durant contract negotiations route and sign Wall the chilled smooth way that OKC did it the other day. The ironic thing about all of the free agent hoopla is that; when Kobe gets too old or retires, it will probably be Durant that is the face of the NBA, not any of the 2010 free agents.

Posted by: Theone9 | July 8, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Who cares. This whole "Lebron watch" has been an embarrassment. And James himself has irredeemably revealed himself as King Ego. What a disgusting, vulgar display. The league clearly has no idea how detrimental this farce has been to its image. The gulf is ruined, the economy is in the tank, we're fighting two wars in which our best and bravest are being killed, and this guy thinks the world revolves around him. I can't recall in my life a more disgusting, brazen, sickening display of naked ego. What a jerk.

Posted by: monk4hall | July 8, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"James would make a huge financial sacrifice to leave Cleveland, with the Cavaliers capable of signing him to a maximum six-year contract for about $125 million. He would have to take a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million to leave.." -Michael Lee

Someone really needs to explain to the Michael Lee, aka the least intelligent reporter in DC, that LeBron would not be making a "huge financial sacrifice to leave Cleveland." He would be making $20.8 million per year with Cleveland and $20.0 million per year elsewhere. 800,000 a year, after taxes in his income bracket, would be roughly $400,000 per year. Hardly a "huge financial sacrifice" to someone who is worth as much money as LeBron James.

Seriously, Michael Lee, you are simply not a smart human being. This much we know. But perhaps you could have someone proofread your work so you wouldn't embarrass yourself and the Washington Post as often as you do.

p.s. please don't come back with any lame comment about the financial security of a 6th year vs a 5th year. I could just as easily argue LeBron would be in better position to earn another max contract at age 30 when a 5 year contract would be up than he would be at age 31 when a 6 year deal would be up.


Posted by: Barno1 | July 8, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

There Is A Sickening Rumor Cirulating:

some other sites are reporting that news will break out of Chicago tomorrow that Gil tore his acl.

Lets hope & pray that its not true. It just cant be

Posted by: dlts2041 | July 8, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

ok, he's going to Miami. I still like DWade, but LeBron is a loser. They will be like the Yankees. Most people hate them and hope they lose, and they'll get rich and win (but only once in a while). If you're so good, how come you need two other stars to win a championship? Ever heard of the Spurs?
Dick.

Posted by: clocker58 | July 8, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

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