LeBron's pending decision has NBA world holding its breath

Tue Jul 8, 2014 1:17pm EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - On the four-year anniversary of a nationally televised special called "The Decision" where LeBron James announced he would sign with the Miami Heat, the NBA world was in a holding pattern for the free agent's next decision.

James is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley about re-signing with Miami, while widespread reports say the league's four-time most valuable player feels a tantalizing tug to return home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When James declared in 2010 that he was going to "take my talents to South Beach" and leave behind the Cavaliers after seven seasons to form a Big Three with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, an instant contender was born.

After four successive trips to the NBA Finals and a pair of National Basketball Association titles, James is once again a free agent, thus putting the balance of power in the world's top professional basketball league at play again.

The complicated puzzle of NBA free agency could set off a domino effect across the league once teams are able to sign players starting on Thursday.

Reports that free agent Bosh was offered a massive four-year $88 million deal to join the Houston Rockets and their tandem of Dwight Howard and James Harden further stoked the imagination.

High-scoring forward Carmelo Anthony was told he could get a maximum deal from the Los Angeles Lakers worth some $95 million for four years, though the New York Knicks, where he has played since early 2011, under NBA rules could give him $129 million for five seasons.

The Chicago Bulls, a threat to contend in the NBA's Eastern Conference, are also in the hunt for Anthony, but have less money to offer given their salary cap situation.   Continued...

 
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