Feb 1, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) stand side by side during the fourth quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. The Heat defeated the Knicks 106-91. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Another day of NBA free agency madness brings us closer to nothing. As Carmelo Anthony weighs his options, Dirk Nowitzki gets a deal done, and LeBron James starts looking at options.
After meeting with Houston and Dallas yesterday, Carmelo jetted to the west coast to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant flew back from vacation to meet with him, but was delayed and not able make the initial meeting. Instead Jeanie Buss, Jim Buss, and Mitch Kupchak held court, along with the brass from Time Warner Sports. Their pitch was simple…come to LA, be apart of the glamour and glitz, make your wife happy, win championships, and make $95 million in four years. A pitch compelling enough to get the New York Knicks on the next plane to LA to make a last ditch effort to offer him a max deal with an additional year and $34 million more.
Does it seem ironic to anyone else that Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson are wooing the same player? Kobe is scheduled to meet with Carmelo when he arrives from Europe and may get the last say after all.
Meanwhile in Dallas, Mark Cuban gets his Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki squared away with a three-year deal for around $30 million. This was expected, but the immediacy of getting it done after a short two-hour meeting with Melo at Cuban’s house could symbolize that the Mavs are ready to move on. The “Tim Duncan” like deal assures Dirk a chance to win it all again before he retires as the greatest stretch-four in history.
The biggest surprise of NBA Free Agency, other than Jason Kidd electing to coach the league’s worst team, is the news that Rich Paul, agent for LeBron James has met with a short list of teams. That list includes Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs reportedly will go to visit with Paul and Lebron face-to-face and the Lakers are reportedly flying out to meet with Paul tomorrow. The thought of LeBron heading to another team will always take the headlines, but the real story is the pressure that is being applied to the Miami Heat. Pat Riley is in a precarious position. He can’t go after the top free agents because he has no idea what it will take money-wise to get the “Big 3” to stay in South Beach. At least that is what we have been led to believe. I think the Heat know that LeBron wants a max deal, but can’t seem to convince Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to take peanuts. I can’t blame either one of them from not settling for less either.
The meetings with the Suns, Lakers and Cavs should really bother the Heat. The Lakers and Suns could offer James to form another “Big 3” with flexibility to get better. The fact that James would even meet with Dan Gilbert after all the things he said about him should keep Pat Riley awake a few nights. The Cavs have been active by signing Kyrie Irving long-term and drafting Andrew Wiggins.
Chris Bosh needs to take the hint and start meeting with teams on his own.
Follow me on Twitter @RodneyFisherNBA