After more than a week of waiting, NBA superstar LeBron James will meet with Miami Heat team president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas to discuss whether LeBron will be part of that future, according to a person close to the situation who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Riley and his staff were in Las Vegas for the meeting as of Tuesday night. LeBron and his advisers have been in Vegas for a few days and he was joined by longtime Heat guard Dwyane Wade Tuesday for a workout, meal, and just to hang out with his friend and teammate for the last four years.
Wednesday, LeBron is expected to get down to business with Riley and the Heat. It’s been reported that LeBron wants a maximum value contract, which would be in the neighborhood of 5-years, and around $130 million.
The main competition to getting LeBron back to Miami appears to be his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have met with LeBron’s agent and depending on what happens on Wednesday, may get a face-to-face meeting with James.
James has said he wants the Heat’s roster upgraded if he is to re-sign. Riley agreed to terms on contracts with power forward Josh McRoberts and small forward Danny Granger this week and drafted point guard Shabazz Napier to help get James back in the fray.
While LeBron continues deliberating what to do, the Heat also has to deal with Chris Bosh. The All-Star center/power forward has a maximum contract offer from the Houston Rockets. Houston would have to juggle some contracts and trade players, but believes it can be a player for Bosh.
Throughout the free agency process, reports have stated that Bosh prefers to stay with the Heat if James re-ups in Miami. At the same time, if LeBorn left Miami, Bosh might be willing to move back to his home state to team up and form another Big Three with Dwight Howard and James Harden.
Miami’s moves have allowed the team to offer maximum contracts to both Bosh and James, while also making a substantial offer to Wade to keep him a Heat member for the rest of his career.
The Heat also has to keep money in the bank to give a new contract to shooting guard Wade. The longtime Heat member opted-out of his contract to give the team more flexibility to acquire more players this offseason.
Miami has to have a backup plan ready to execute in a hurry if James decides to leave the team, which Riley likely has in his back pocket. However, the moves Riley has made have given every indication that he expects James back with the team next season.
Still, LeBron is the linchpin to break the logjam of major players in free agency. Once the man called “King James” chooses his kingdom, other big name free agents like Carmelo Anthony will also likely follow suit and the 2014 rosters will start to take shape.