Cavaliers go extra effort to try to lure LeBron James
Cleveland completes three-team trade to free up cap space for James, and also is reportedly trying to trade for Kevin Love. James meets with Heat in Las Vegas, but makes no decision.
Seattle Times news services
CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have cleared a path for LeBron James to return to Cleveland.
They’ve made their moves. They’re just waiting for him to make his.
The Cavaliers created enough salary-cap space to offer the superstar free agent a maximum contract on Wednesday, agreeing to trade guard Jarrett Jack, swingman Sergey Karasev and center Tyler Zeller in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and Boston, a person familiar with the deals told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because teams are not permitted to discuss trades until the league’s moratorium ends Thursday.
The maneuvering is designed to open room under the salary cap so they can re-sign the Akron-born James, the four-time league MVP and most sought-after player on the market.
With open roster spots, Cleveland isn’t done.
Not long after making the trade with the Celtics and Nets, the Cavs had exploratory discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a possible trade for three-time All-Star Kevin Love — if James does return to Cleveland, said a person with knowledge of the inquiry.
The Timberwolves would be looking for No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to be part of any potential package from Cleveland in order to consider parting with Love if the talks were to become more serious, the person said, speaking with the AP on condition of anonymity because neither team publicly announced the conversation.
Whatever the Cavs’ next move is — with or without James — they could package together their other assets, including future first-round picks, to make a run at other All-Star players.
Meanwhile, James had his meeting in Las Vegas with Miami President Pat Riley.
James has not made a decision and will not make any announcements before Thursday, a source said.
And as he takes fans on another summer thrill ride, James has one more offer to consider in deciding where to play next season: Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park is promising to rename one of its roller coasters “King James” if he returns home to play for the Cavs.
• A raging Donald Sterling denounced his wife, her lawyers and the NBA from the witness stand, saying he will never sell the Los Angeles Clippers and vowing a lifetime of lawsuits against the league.
“Make no mistake today,” Sterling shouted toward the end of his second day of testimony in the trial to determine his wife’s right to make a $2 billion deal to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, “I will never, ever sell this team, and until I die I will be suing the NBA for this terrible violation under antitrust.”
He was followed to the stand by wife, Shelly Sterling, who tried to approach him in the front row of the courtroom after she was done for the day.
“Get away from me, you pig!” Sterling shouted.
• Carmelo Anthony appears committed to re-signing with the New York Knicks, and it could become official Thursday. A league source close to the situation said the Knicks are “optimistic” that Anthony will remain with the team he forced a trade to in 2011. He is expected to accept the Knicks’ maximum offer of five years and $129 million.
• Gregg Popovich has agreed to a multiyear contract extension to continue coaching San Antonio. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
• According to multiple reports, Dallas has offered Chandler Parsons a three-year offer sheet that will start in excess of $14 million per season.