NBA: James' decision opens door for more signings
LOS ANGELES, AFP Saturday, July 12, 2014, 3:41 pm TWN
LOS ANGELES - LeBron James' decision to leave Miami, after winning two titles with the Heat, and return to Cleveland is expected to start a chain reaction of free agent signings around the NBA.
The wait for James to make his move shut down most major free agency decisions in the league. But now that James has landed back in his hometown with the Cavaliers it opens the door for teams to begin re-tooling their rosters through trades and free agency.
Just hours after James' announcement on Friday, the US media were reporting that his former Heat teammate Chris Bosh had re-signed with Miami for US$118 million over five years.
The 30-year-old Bosh joined the Heat in 2010 to play alongside James and Dwyane Wade. Miami made the NBA finals all four seasons the three stars were together, winning two titles. They lost in five games to the San Antonio Spurs in last season's final.
All three opted out of their contracts last month, leaving the future unclear for the Heat. If the Bosh re-signing becomes official then Wade is now the only one without a new deal.
Everyone lined up behind James, but Bosh is considered one of the top free-agents available on the market along with Carmelo Anthony, Eric Bledsoe, Luol Deng and Pau Gasol.
Among the teams reportedly going after Bosh was the Houston Rockets, who were said to also have offered him a mega deal but not as much as he got from the Heat.
Bosh has averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in four seasons with Miami after playing his first seven seasons for the Toronto Raptors.
The Rockets were reportedly one of the first to get busy after the moratorium ended by trading point guard Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Rockets made the deal to clear salary-cap space so they could try and sign free-agent Bosh, according to Yahoo Sports.
Along with the 25-year old Lin, Houston would send a first-round draft pick to the Lakers. The Rockets received cash and the rights to an overseas player and in return, according to Yahoo Sports.
Houston signed Lin in 2012 on the heels of the "Linsanity" phenomenon in New York, when Lin became a surprising star for the Knicks before suffering a meniscus tear in his knee.
Lin averaged 13.0 points and 5.2 assists in the past two seasons for the Rockets.
All-star forward Anthony has narrowed his decision down to a couple of teams. Reports earlier this week had him re-signing with the New York Knicks but Chicago the Los Angeles Lakers are also believed to be on his radar.
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