LeBron's agent meets with select teams

Fri Jul 4, 2014 2:41pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - The prospects of NBA fireworks loomed on the Independence Day holiday weekend as speculation grew on Friday about the future of four-time league most valuable player LeBron James.

James, who four years ago left the Cleveland Cavaliers in a messy divorce to join the Miami Heat, is a free agent and his representative has been quietly meeting with select clubs about the future of a player widely regarded as the world's best.

James's agent Rich Paul met with three teams in the past week in his Klutch Sports offices in Cleveland and fielded a call from another to listen to their pitches, according to a report on the league's website.

The Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers have all touched base with Paul, and representatives of the Los Angeles Lakers are heading to Ohio for a meeting, according to reports.

Another splash could be even sooner in the making, as high-scoring free agent forward Carmelo Anthony is weighing options including maximum contracts offered by the Lakers and New York Knicks, with whom he averaged 27.4 points last season.

Anthony can earn up to $95 million for four years from the Lakers, while the Knicks can pay Anthony $129 million for a five-year deal under NBA rules.

The developments have turned up the pressure on the Heat to find ways to augment their roster despite severe salary cap restrictions, and encourage James to stay following a humbling loss to the San Antonio Spurs in last month's NBA Finals.

The NBA's balance of power could well be at stake.   Continued...

Jun 10, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts during the second half of game three against the San Antonio Spurs of the 2014 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3T573