‘World Wide Wes’ won’t be at LeBron’s meetings

There has been a lot of talk about William ‘World Wide Wes’ Wesley lately, especially his assertion that LeBron and Chris Bosh are headed to the Bulls, but it appears that he will not be attending tomorrow’s free agency meetings that LeBron is holding in Ohio.

But Maverick Carter, James’s longtime business manager, said Tuesday that Wesley would not play a role in James’s deliberations and would not be present as various teams visit his client in Ohio.

“All the Wes rumors are untrue and he will not be at the meetings,” Carter said. “Wes has nothing to do with where he goes.”

James, Carter and James’s agent, Leon Rose, are scheduled to be at the meetings, which are expected to begin shortly after the free-agency period officially starts at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. James is expected to meet with the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and the Nets and Knicks.

Maybe there is some dissension within LeBron’s camp.

If anything, this would indicate that the LeBron-to-Chicago rumors were probably overblown, and the other teams on LeBron’s list all still have a puncher’s chance of signing him. In fact, a source close to LeBron told the Plain Dealer that the Cavs still have the edge.

But if that’s the case, why doesn’t LeBron come out and say he wants to stay in Cleveland like Dwyane Wade did with the Heat? Is it because the Cavs have no salary cap flexibility and can’t quickly reshape the roster?

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How World Wide Wes’s agenda affects LeBron

Adrian Wojnarowski writes that ‘World Wide Wes’ wants LeBron out of Cleveland…badly.

For basketball’s biggest dealmaker, there’s little personal benefit to James re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. To team executives in the chase and those familiar with the dynamics of James’ inner circle, World Wide Wes’ agenda is clear: Get LeBron out of Cleveland and push himself into a prominent place of power.

To be considered the architect of the sport’s grandest transaction, World Wide Wes needs James out of the clutches of the Cavaliers.

“If LeBron leaves, Wes is going to get carte blanche wherever he signs,” one source told Yahoo! Sports. “He’s going to have the run of the place, and he doesn’t have that in Cleveland. He has access there, but Maverick Carter is the guy with the keys there. …[Carter’s] much more influential, and would always be in Cleveland.”

This is the push and pull on the inside of Team LeBron, sources say – agendas colliding in self-interest as the start of free agency creeps closer on Thursday. In the end, James is too strong to let someone else make a decision for him, but there remains strong influences deeply immersed in this process with him.

Wojnarowski goes on to say that Carter and the rest of LeBron’s childhood crew have tremendous stature in Cleveland that probably won’t be the case if LeBron signs elsewhere. This may be why World Wide Wes has been telling people that LeBron and Chris Bosh are going to Chicago, even though they took the time to meet with Dwyane Wade in South Florida about joining forces in Miami.

If there is indeed an internal struggle going on within LeBron’s camp, it may explain why the messages have been so mixed.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

LeBron headed to Chicago?

Adrian Wojnarowski writes that William “World Wide Wes” Wesley may be tipping LeBron’s hand.

To listen to World Wide Wes, LeBron will never look back on Cleveland. “He’s up out of there,” is the way he tells it to people, but LeBron’s Akron crew has to tsk-tsk such public talk because they all live in Northeast Ohio, and maybe always will. “We’re going to Chicago,” William Wesley tells people, “and Chris Bosh is coming, too.”

The Bulls believe they’re going to get James, and that’s why they so confidently cleared the cap room needed to sign James and Bosh. The Bulls think they’re getting James and Toronto’s Chris Bosh, that the supporting cast of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah make them the most attractive destination. Nevertheless, the biggest myth of free agency, some executives pursuing James say, is that recruiting Bosh is telltale to the cause. “Bosh is attaching himself more to LeBron, than LeBron is to him,” one official said.

Of course, that’s not a direct quote from Wesley. Wojnarowski is paraphrasing what Wesley has apparently been telling people. But this flies in the face of what Wesley told a radio show just nine days ago that he hadn’t “even conversated” with LeBron about his future. So unless Wesley has had a strategy session with LeBron in the last nine days and came to the conclusion that Chicago is the place to be, someone isn’t telling the truth.

If LeBron does indeed land in the Windy City, it will put his decision to change jersey numbers into a new light. If he had been planning a move to MJ’s team the whole time, it makes sense to announce the number change early, so it seems like he’s choosing to make the change (out of respect for His Airness) instead of being forced to make the change.

Don’t laugh — this is perfectly plausible. This is LeBron we’re talking about.

As for Bosh, the notion that he’s “attaching himself to LeBron” contradicts just about everything he has said over the past few weeks. He has publicly stated at least twice that he doesn’t want to be a sidekick.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Who is on LeBron’s team?

Roland Lazenby outlines the team that surrounds LeBron and will influence his decisions this summer:

It’s an impressive group that tightly encircles James these days, mostly people who knew LeBron before he became royalty. Randy Mims handles logistics and travel. Richard Paul deals with image and publicity issues.

But the central figure is Maverick Carter, his older high school teammate, who returned from playing college basketball at Western Michigan to take up a main position in LeBron’s life. They have called themselves the “Four Horsemen” and quite some time ago formed LRMR Marketing to handle James’ many opportunities.

Carter’s known as one of the smartest players to ever emerge from the Akron hoops scene. When LeBron ended his relationship with agent Aaron Goodwin with a text message notice in 2005 and turned things over to Carter, there were immediate suggestions that Carter, just 23 at the time, was in over his head, that he would fall on his face.

That hasn’t happened, though. Carter has prospered in the role.

Lazenby also touches on William Wesley’s influence. Apparently, he moved into the same apartment complex that LeBron lived in as a rookie. Wesley was the one who introduced LeBron to Michael Jordan when he was still in high school.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Thibodeau hire a sign that LeBron is coming to Chicago?

Adrian Wojnarowski thinks there may be a connection

World Wide Wes has been telling everyone that he believes LeBron James(notes) is leaning hard toward signing with the Chicago Bulls. No one can be certain if basketball’s most famous middleman has been whispering honest insights to friends or amping the anxiety of Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert. Just know this: It wasn’t until Tom Thibodeau – who swore he never again wanted an agent – signed with William Wesley’s CAA that the Chicago Bulls grew serious about the coach’s candidacy.

Something pushed Bulls officials to get on a plane, fly to Los Angeles on the eve of the NBA Finals and meet with the Boston Celtics assistant coach. Within 48 hours, the Bulls had a deal for Thibodeau to become their head coach. For several weeks, the Bulls had chances to interview him. They never did. Just a year ago, Thibodeau couldn’t get offers from the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia Sixers and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics see him as a career assistant and wouldn’t even consider him as a candidate to replace Doc Rivers.

Only now, Tom Thibodeau has a three-year contract to coach the Chicago Bulls.

William Wesley is a known confidant of LeBron and if he’s running around telling people that LeBron is headed to Chicago and Thibodeau signed with his agency just before being hired by the Bulls, there could be something here.

Wojnarowski also discusses the Heat’s situation as well as what happened to Danny Ferry in Cleveland. It’s a good read.

Another interesting bit came from an unnamed front office exec:

As one front-office executive with a franchise that has significant salary-cap space this summer said, “I think all the big free-agent deals will be done by July 1, if not the draft. The NBA would have a cow if [it] knew what’s going on now.”

If this is true, it makes LeBron’s planned free agency tour all the more ridiculous.

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