LeBron James is headed to free agency for just the second time in his career, and rumors say that he could end up with the same decision as the last time he made The Decision.
James famously picked the Miami Heat on a televised special in 2010, and now the Heat are again shuffling to land James in free agency.
The Heat have reportedly been telling free agents that they plan to have James back and expect as much as $12 million in salary cap space. If true, that would mean the Heat are signing Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to smaller deals in order to give James a raise.
LeBron James has reportedly been steadfast in his demands. After playing all 11 seasons in the league without being the highest-paid player on any of the teams he’s been on, LeBron is seeking a maximum contract starting around $20.7 million.
If LeBron’s demands are true, and if Miami’s information given to free agents is true as well, that would mean Bosh and Wade are clearing some salary in order to give LeBron what he deserves.
The signings would also give Miami the space to go after some big free agents. The team ran out of gas at the end of the 2014 NBA playoffs, and the lack of depth was one of the biggest reasons. There are rumors the Heat are now going after free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry, which would improve one of their weakest positions.
But there are conflicting reports on whether that all will go down, ESPN notes:
Agent Henry Thomas, who represents both Wade and Bosh, denied to ESPN a report from the Portland Oregonian on Tuesday that said Bosh has plans to accept a five-year contract starting at $11 million and Wade would accept a four-year deal starting at $12 million. If that were the case, combined with James and a representative number for Haslem, the Heat would indeed have the space to go after top free agents.
The Heat could have some competition for LeBron James. The Phoenix Suns are one of a handful of teams with the cap space necessary to offer LeBron James a max deal, and are reportedly trying to attract both James and Carmelo Anthony. Sources told Yahoo Sports that Phoenix plans to move aggressively on James when free agency starts.