November 23, 2014

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LeBron James still undecided on future team; Cleveland waits impatiently

LeBron James appears in a news conference in Miami last month. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

LeBron James appears in a news conference in Miami last month. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

CLEVELAND — The waiting game continued for the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat.

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James held his much anticipated summit with Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas, but did not commit to signing with Miami or Cleveland.

Both teams have offered the unrestricted free agent a maximum-level contract valued at $20.6 million per season, yet have been unable to convince James to agree to terms.

The 29-year-old small forward is expected to announce his decision before leaving Sin City to attend the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The NBA’s transaction moratorium ended at 12:01 a.m., making James eligible to sign whenever he chooses.

“The Chosen One” and agent Rich Paul conducted their one-hour meeting with Riley and Heat salary cap expert Andy Elisburg between sessions of the LeBron James Skills Academy.

Elisburg’s attendance was notable as the fourth person in the room as it allowed Miami to present James with various scenarios to upgrade its aging roster, according to The Associated Press.

The Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High graduate has yet to negotiate with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert or any other executive from the franchise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

James spent his first seven seasons with Cleveland before signing with the Heat in July 2010. He declared his intentions in the infamous ESPN special “The Decision,” but plans to announce his next move on his website, LeBronJames.com.

In four years with Miami, James led the Heat to four trips to the NBA Finals and two world championships. The 10-time All-Star will turn 30 on Dec. 30, making this the final contract he will sign in the prime of his career.

Though James has never given the Cavaliers a commitment to return, team officials have privately expressed optimism about the possibility over the last two years. His cold war with Gilbert also has thawed, with both parties expressing regrets over their ugly breakup four years and two days ago.

James is the third-highest scorer in NBA history at 27.5 points per game — trailing Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain — and has averaged 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 842 pro games.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder also has proved to be one of the most durable superstars of all time, never missing more than seven games in a season; many of which were strictly for rest purposes.

James shot a career-high .567 from the field in the 2013-14 regular season, then set a personal playoff-best field goal percentage of .565 over 20 games as Miami lost the NBA Finals to San Antonio.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates @BrianDulik

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  • brazengal

    So sick of hearing about him. He is just thriving off all this

  • Simon Jester

    Go away, Lebron.