Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Why Heat need LeBron James, Chris Bosh to decide soon
If NBA free agency according to Pat Riley goes the Miami Heat's way, the next major day and time comes at midnight Thursday.
That's when the free agent moratorium ends and teams can begin actually signing players rather than agreeing to deals, a phase that began July 1.
Riley, the Heat president, plans to meet Wednesday with LeBron James in Las Vegas, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. There, he will deliver the strategy for improving the roster, which began Monday when the Heat reached deals with forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.
James had dinner Monday with fellow Heat free agent All-Star Dwyane Wade.
If the Heat have their business in order and convince James, Wade and third All-Star Chris Bosh to re-sign, the best-case scenario for Riley includes all three agreeing to a specific salaries shortly after midnight and removing their cap holds from Miami's salary structure. That would allow Riley to gain a better sense of how much he can spend on other free agents.
What is a cap hold? It's a pesky but necessary salary cap mechanism essentially keeping a free agent on the books until he re-signs, signs with another team or is renounced. The cap hold prevents teams from signing whoever they want at large salaries then going back and signing their own free agents. It prevents Miami and all NBA teams from stacking their rosters.