Ken Berger: ‘Floodgates Open When LeBron, Melo Sign’

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 9: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat controls the ball against Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 9, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James (Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finally, some free agent headway.

Well, sort of.

Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger have committed to sign with the Miami Heat, according to a statement released by Pat Riley on Monday. McRoberts will receive a four-year, $23-million deal, while Granger has agreed to a two-year, $4.2-million deal.

Will this have any effect on the Big Three’s decision to return to Miami?

“Well, I think it’s beneficial to LeBron,” CBS Sports NBA insider Ken Berger said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think when LeBron and Pat Riley have their face-to-face meeting this week, Riley wanted to have made some kind of progress on the free-agency front – and he did today, getting that commit from Josh McRoberts. It’s a good fit for Erik Spoesltra. He can defend, he can rebound, he can do some dirty work – so I think that’s potentially beneficial as far as what LeBron needs to see from Pat Riley to get this roster fortified so he can see a sustainable future there.”

But don’t count out Cleveland. Yes, the Cavaliers are reportedly one of the frontrunners in the LeBron Sweepstakes.

“I try to stay away from all that stuff,” Berger said. “There are way too many unknowns about this whole process. This free agent foray for LeBron and the Big Three in Miami is very, very complicated.”

Indeed, Chris Bosh is considering a deal with Houston, but the Rockets first need to trade Jeremy Lin to clear cap space. Cleveland, meanwhile, can’t offer James a max contract until it trades, say, Jarrett Jack.

“There’s a lot still to be determined,” Berger said. “But the way LeBron is handling this – having his agent, Rich Paul, collect all the information from the potential teams, including the Cavs – means that’s a situation that’s intriguing to LeBron. We have to remember, though, that there are way too many question marks to be answered before anybody can be a frontrunner. It’s too complicated a process to boil down that simply. But the fact that the Cavs are in the mix with LeBron’s agent means that that’s something he wants to consider.”

In other free agent news, Carmelo Anthony remains in limbo as the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls all make their best pitch for the former NBA scoring champion. Berger hopes that a decision from Anthony will come sooner rather than later.

“I heard you say he’s going to make a decision sometime this week,” Berger said. “Geez, I hope so. How much more of this can we take? Let’s go already. We’re getting well into our second week of free agency, and the two biggest pieces on the board – LeBron and Carmelo –  are still undecided. One of those boxes needs to be checked soon.”

For Anthony, though, it’s tough. The Lakers can offer Kobe Bryant and potentially Pau Gasol, while the Bulls can offer Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Tom Thibodeau.

“It’s still very much up in the air,” Berger said. “At some point, when those two names come off the board – when LeBron and Carmelo decide what their future is going to be – you are going to see the floodgates open. The Chandler Parsons and Gordon Haywards of the world – Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza – everything will happen. But nothing can really happen of any consequence until those guys decide what they’re going to do.”

 

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