|LeBron Watch, 5 p.m.: Cuban believes LeBron staying in Cleveland||07.08.10 at 5:02 pm ET|
Saying he believes King James will end up re-signing with Cleveland, Cuban explained, “The sports world is full of uncertainties. When in doubt, go for the love.”
James, who joined the Twitter world Tuesday afternoon, already has over 300,000 followers and gave his fans an update Thursday morning, encouraging them to send questions regarding where he will end up.
|LeBron Watch, 4 p.m.: Heat reportedly eye Beasley trade||at 4:25 pm ET|
In order to free up space to sign LeBron James to a max contract of nearly $130 million, the Heat reportedly have been in discussions about a four-way deal with the Raptors, Bobcats and Rockets.
According to ESPN.com, the complicated deal would have Michael Beasley and his $5 million leaving South Beach. Although the Heat could give near-max contracts to James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, getting rid of Beasley would go a long way toward helping reshape their roster.
|LeBron Watch, 3 p.m.: Boozer, Stoudemire hold out hope||at 3:34 pm ET|
Carlos Boozer, who agreed to a five-year, $76 million contract with the Bulls, is attempting to woo LeBron James via text messages. Boozer said he sent LeBron a message Wednesday night and hopes to get the superstar forward to join him in Chicago.
The Knicks are hoping that their recent signee, Amar’e Stoudemire, will be enough to get King James to choose New York. General manager Donnie Walsh spoke about the possibility of signing James at Stoudemire’s introductory press conference Thursday.
Said Walsh: “I was pleased with the meeting we had in Cleveland. I thought we were able to present our franchise the way we wanted to. I did think New York was the perfect place for LeBron.”
Meanwhile, Magic GM Otis Smith, at a press conference in Orlando to introduce Chris Duhon, told WEEI.com’s Kirk Minihane that he still believes James will stay in Cleveland.
|Magic GM Smith: ‘Surprised’ if LeBron leaves Cleveland||at 2:19 pm ET|
ORLANDO, Fla. — I just spoke to Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith after a press conference announcing the signing of Chris Duhon. Smith was impressed by the Celtics‘ ability to keep the core together and add Jermaine O’Neal.
“They did a great job,” Smith said. “To sign Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] and add a piece like Jermaine O’Neal? They are going to be tough again next year.”
Smith, who wouldn’t comment on the status of free agent J.J. Redick, was asked about LeBron James. If James signs with the Heat, would it signal a shift of power in the Eastern Conference?
“I still think you have to put teams together,” Smith said. “That’s it. If all three of those guys go to Miami, that’s a very good team. But three guys don’t give you anything, you need a team. It gives them a chance to win a title, but doesn’t guarantee anything.”
Does Smith think James will end up in Miami?
“I would be surprised.”
Does he think he’ll end up in Cleveland?
FoxSports.com writer Jeff Goodman is reporting that free agent Mike Miller has been offered a five-year deal worth somewhere between $27 million and $30 million, with a deadline of Thursday night for him to accept the offer.
Meanwhile, the Knicks and Cavaliers are holding out hope that LeBron will have a change of heart. WEEI.com’s Kirk Minihane reports that one source claims the Knicks still are confident he will choose the Big Apple.
The Cavaliers are doing their best to make their team more appealing, with rumors circulating that they are pursuing a trade with the Timberwolves involving point guard Jonny Flynn.
Wherever LeBron James decided to play next season, he’ll be in Florida this upcoming weekend for a celebration on his announcement, according to a magazine report.
Two sources confirmed to UsMagazine.com that James has rented six cabanas at the W Hotel South Beach for the weekend, which could be telling after reports that he’s leaning toward playing for the Heat.
|LeBron Watch, noon: Cleveland is ‘cautiously optimistic’||at 12:04 pm ET|
Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com joined Eric Frede and Mike Giardi on the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning to talk about the upcoming LeBron James announcement. Goodman said he hears strong indications that James is heading to Miami but no one can know for sure. Stationed in Cleveland, Goodman gauges the city as being “cautiously optimistic” and having hopes that its hometown star will stick around.
Meanwhile, in Greenwich, Conn., the site where James will make his announcement Thursday night, Jeff Valin of the Hartford Courant writes that everything is normal 11 hours before the event. The Greenwich Boys & Girls Club shut out the media, forcing it to wait outside the building. Fifteen-year-old Knicks fan Mike Correa of Stamford appears to be the first fan to have arrived, hoping to get a chance to see one of his favorite players.
Outside James’ house in Ohio, the Bath Township police department is tightening up security, reports Michael Sangiacomo of the Plain Dealer.
Police Chief Michael McNeeley is hoping to avoid a large gathering outside of James’ home.
“Whether we get loads of happy fans or unhappy fans showing up outside his home, we will be prepared to keep the traffic moving,” he said.
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