News » James didn't tell Ariza his plans, source says

James didn't tell Ariza his plans, source says

James didn't tell Ariza his plans, source says

LeBron James, the current NBA MVP, did not tell free agent Trevor Ariza that he was for sure going to be with the Cavaliers past 2010, according to a source close to James. reported early Tuesday that James told Ariza "I'll be there. Of course, I'll be there" as part of the Cavs' recruiting pitch to land the coveted 6-8 swingman. The report said Ariza deemed the statement to be a ploy to convince him to drop a commitment to sign with the Houston Rockets. The source close to James indicated it wasn't even a ploy.

ESPN also reported Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry and coach Mike Brown met with Ariza on Sunday in Los Angeles - after Ariza had committed to signing with the Rockets last week - in an effort to get him to change his mind. The Plain Dealer previously reported Ferry and Brown were in L.A. on a recruiting mission that day.

James has repeatedly given assurances that he has no plans or reason to leave the Cavs after his contract is up following the 2009-10 season. He fully endorsed the Cavs' trade for Shaquille O'Neal and expressed significant excitement that the team continues to upgrade following a 66-win season.

He's been active in the recruitment for free agents Ron Artest and Ariza and likely other players the Cavs currently are considering. Yet there have been hints throughout the free-agent process that James' contract status is hampering the Cavs to a certain extent in their mission to add free agents.

James has always left his statements open-ended and has given hints that he will become a free agent next summer to allow himself options. The Cavs can present him with a contract extension offer at any time and he can sign it any time between July 18 and June 30, 2010.

James has said he will consider the options and speak with his friends and family before making a decision. Much like friends Dwyane Wade of Miami and Chris Bosh of Toronto, though, it is generally expected James will not commit to the extension this summer and will wait until after next season before deciding on his future.

Also like Bosh and Wade, James owns a one-year player option for $17 million he can pick up for the 2010-11 season.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-5166

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 9, 2009


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