Miami or Cleveland?
The same choice he faced four years ago is the one facing the four-time NBA MVP now. He became a champion in Miami. He still calls Ohio home. It’s obviously not an easy decision, and the ramifications of what he’s about to say — it’s still unclear when any announcement will be coming, but it’s more than likely sooner than later — will have a massive impact on the Heat and the Cavaliers.
For the Heat, keeping James is likely the only way they can stay a championship-contending team for a fifth straight season next year. If he stays, it would seem likely that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would re-sign with Miami as well, keeping the Big 3 that has played in each of the last four NBA Finals intact for at least another season.
For the Cavaliers, it’s a chance to welcome home the player who fans — and the team’s owner Dan Gilbert — directed so much scorn toward when he left in 2010 after seven brilliant seasons.
Cavs make room: The Cavaliers cleared salary-cap space in their pursuit if James, sending guard Jarrett Jack and swingman Sergey Karasev to the Brooklyn Nets and center Tyler Zeller and a first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics. Cleveland acquired a future conditional second-round pick from the Celtics and the draft rights to forwards Ilkan Karaman and Edin Bavcic from the Nets. The Celtics will get guard Marcus Thornton — and his expiring $8 million contract — from the Nets.
The Cavaliers also announced that star point guard Kyrie Irving has signed his five-year, $90 million extension, a maximum contract.
Sterling trial delayed: A Los Angeles trial that could determine the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers was delayed until after a Tuesday deadline to conclude a $2 billion sale — and a scheduled NBA vote on the deal — but there is hope for more time. Donald Sterling has vowed never to sell the team and he’s trying to block his wife’s single-handed deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Attorneys for Shelly Sterling have accused his side of stalling tactics.
Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas put off the next hearing until July 21 because two of Sterling’s lawyers had plans for a vacation and a wedding anniversary. He set closing arguments for July 28.
ETC.: Former Warriors guard Steve Blake is returning to the Portland Trail Blazers, signing a two-year, $4.2 million deal, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. ... A person with knowledge of the situation says the Phoenix Suns have reached an agreement with forward P.J. Tucker on a three-year contract worth $16.5 million with the third year only partially guaranteed. ... Guard Jordan Farmar signed a two-year contract worth a reported $4.2 million with the Clippers, who also signed reserve center Spencer Hawes to a four-year deal worth a reported $23 million.