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LeBron James to Meet With Pat Riley in Las Vegas

Free-agent forward LeBron James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley in Las Vegas on July 9 to discuss his future with the team.

Jul 9 2014, 6:51pm CDT | by

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LeBron James to Meet With Pat Riley in Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Getty Images
 
 

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LeBron James to Meet With Pat Riley in Las Vegas

LeBron James to Meet With Pat Riley in Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Getty Images

LeBron James met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley in Las Vegas on July 9.

The four-time MVP will discuss his future with the team a day before free agents can officially sign with NBA teams, per CBS Miami: 

"The much anticipated meeting between Pat Riley and LeBron James appears finally be taking place.

"Riley and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra will meet with James sometime Wednesday in Las Vegas to discuss James' future with the team and the direction they'd like to take it in. 

"With numerous reports reports floating around the internet taking LeBron in several different directions, it will be nice for Riley and Spoelstra to finally know what James is thinking about a return to the Heat and under what terms he'd like to do so.

"Obviously the ball is in James' court as the entire league is in stanbdy mode, waiting to find out if there is a chance he'll take his talents away from South Beach. 

"Riley's goal has been to keep James happy with the situation in Miami so that he'll want to remain there and continue competing for championships. 

"While most of the league is holding off from making any financial commitments in order to see where players like James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh end up, Riley has already been working hard to build up the team that he expects James to be a part of.

"Free agents Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts have already committed to signing with the Heat, both of whom would be great complimentary players around the Big Three foundation that has had so much success since joining forces in Miami four seasons ago. 

"The meeting between Riley, James, Spoelstra and possibly Dwyane Wade depending on which sources you want to buy into will take place at some point on Wednesday in Las Vegas. James has a previous commitment to appear at a Nike-sponsored basketball camp and is expected to meet with the Heat brass sometime after that.

"We may not find out James' ultimate decision on Wednesday, but at least he and his fellow Heat-mates should know where each other stand so that Riley can make the proper moves in free agency to ensure that Miami is a contending team for years to come.

"UPDATE:

 "The meeting between James, his agent Rich Paul and Riley will take place at 6 p.m. EST. Erik Spoelstra and Dwyane Wade will not be a part of the meeting."

James is also reportedly eyeing a return to the team that drafted him in 2003 -- the Cleveland Cavaliers. Time Magazine's Sean Gregory chimed in on July 8 on James' potential return to his hometown team: 

"But could he really be flirting with a return to Cleveland? Even after the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tore him apart -- in a laughable open letter -- as LeBron made his exit? Even after the Cavs have stunk since he left the team? According to Yahoo! Sports, James' agent, Rich Paul,'has been funneling belief into the organization that the Cavaliers are in a strong position to lure James from the Miami Heat.'

"Getting James back in a Cavs uniform, says Yahoo!,'has been something of a mission' for Paul. Twitter went a bit berserk when veteran LeBron-watcher Chris Broussard, of ESPN, tweeted that 'Cleveland has replaced Miami as my frontrunner to land LeBron James.'

"Now, we're still in the mass speculation stage of free agency -- though we have added that James' wife reportedly wants him to sign with Cleveland, and the Cavs took down Gilbert's manifesto from their official website on Monday? James could very well sit down with Pat Riley this week and be sold that Miami will compete if the Big Three stick together (though Riley's two free agent signings so far to support them, Josh McRoberts of the Charlotte Bobcats and Danny Granger of the [Los Angeles] Clippers, are underwhelming).

"If the LeBron-to-Cleveland chatter isn't true, he needs to squash it, now. Because the longer James actually flirts with the Cavs, the more he risks jilting Cleveland a second time if he stays in Miami of heads elsewhere. And if he jilts Cleveland, again, the move would dredge up bad memories. All the goodwill James has built over his four seasons in Miami could crumble."  

James is entering his 12th NBA season. He has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 842 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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