LeBron James finally came face to face with Pat Riley on July 9 in Las Vegas. The last time James was up for grabs, one meeting with Riley was enough to make him join the Miami Heat, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. However, things are more up in the air this time around, as James and Riley's latest summit came and went without any sign that a new deal was struck.
According to ESPN, James "emerged without a decision about his future." The report also alleged James and his agent won't meet with any other teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers. This may be a promising sign for the Heat, yet the worst could still happen within 48 hours.
James will fly to Brazil on July 12 to attend the World Cup final the next day. Unless he wants questions about his decision to hover over him and the World Cup all weekend, it would be logical to settle things by Saturday. With no more meetings scheduled, it would seem to suggest he will decide by then.
That would finally free up every other important free agent to make a move, along with the teams pursuing them. However, new speculation is that Carmelo Anthony isn't waiting around, as he may officially take the New York Knicks' maximum, $129 million deal on July 10, according to the New York Daily News.
The player truly tied to James' fate is Chris Bosh, as ESPN alleged he would take a maximum four-year, $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets if the Heat can't keep their leader. If James stays, Bosh would have to take a pay cut to stay as well -- and then the Rockets would have to focus on matching the Dallas Mavericks' three year, $45 million offer for Chandler Parsons.
Once upon a time, the Rockets looked like contenders to land James or Anthony. Now it appears the James sweepstakes are coming down to just the Heat and Cavaliers, who cleared space on July 9 in a three-team deal that included sending Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets.
Yet if it doesn't pay off, the Cavaliers would be stuck with $21.7 million in cap space, no James to entice other free agents and the loss of a 2016 first round draft pick. But in 48 hours, the Cavaliers and the rest of the NBA may know their future for sure.