Cavs clear landing strip for LeBron
As of Wednesday morning, the momentum was certainly building for a LeBron James return to Cleveland.
The Cavs agreed to a three-way trade that clears enough cap space to give James a maximum contract. Cleveland sends guard Jarrett Jack and forward Sergey Karasev to Brooklyn; while center Tyler Zeller and a top-10 protected 2016 first-round pick go to Boston. The Celtics also get guard Marcus Thornton from the Nets.
There are also suggestions the Cavs are after former James teammates Ray Allen, Mike Miller James Jones.
There is a conflict in play here. A few days ago, Miami came to agreements with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, with the idea that they would help fortify the supporting cast when the Power Trio returned intact next season.
Pat Riley thinks LeBron is staying. The Cavs think he's leaving. Riley and James will reportedly meet today in Las Vegas, so maybe a decision will arrive soon.
How could this affect the Bulls' pursuit of Carmelo Anthony? There's a slight chance Anthony could replace James in Miami and play next to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but that seems to be a long shot. If James leaves, Bosh might go to Houston or Dallas.
You would think James to Cleveland would push Anthony to get on the best team he can find. If he stays in New York, he's got Derek Fisher's assurance the Knicks will play more like a team, and some cap space in 2015.
The Bulls could have a strong lineup with Anthony and a healthy Derrick Rose. Maybe Anthony would prefer a healthy Kobe Bryant with the Lakers. Pau Gasol might join him in either city.
So the feeling here is a return to New York is getting less likely for Anthony, with the Bulls, Lakers and maybe the Heat in the lead. But we'll see.
Here are some links:
Chris Sheridan at SheridanHoops.com says an informed source believes it's 90 percent LeBron goes to Cleveland. Sheridan used to work for espn.com and before that was AP's national NBA writer, so he's no slouch.
From the New York Post, there's Knicks coach Derek Fisher assuring Carmelo the Knicks will play the right way this season, along with a pipe dream to top them all -- moving Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani so the Knicks can make a run at LeBron. Keep dreaming.
The Post also has Scottie Pippen pushing Melo to Chicago on Sirius XM Radio, pretty straightforward stuff:
In the New York Daily News, Frank Isola is turning pessimistic that the Knicks will keep Carmelo, with the Bulls and Lakers coming on strong: