"In a potentially huge turn of events, the Miami Heat is attempting to work out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers for free-agent forward LeBron James, who already has agreed to join the Heat.
Should the Heat be able to pull off the maneuver, it would give Heat President Pat Riley unlimited resources to re-sign remaining current Heat free agents such as Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright and Quentin Richardson -- whichever are not included in such a sign-and-trade -- without having to make those agreements work within the confines of the NBA's "soft" salary cap.
No matter the approach, James is locked into a Heat future.
In addition, such a maneuver would allow the Heat to retain its mid-level salary-cap exception for 2010-11, which it then could utilize to complete its planned signing of Washington Wizards free-agent swingman Mike Miller.
In essence, the Heat is completing its end game.
Regardless of the approach, the Heat is expected to sign Miller, the former University of Florida standout, to a contract in the five-year, $30 million range.
The Heat also is finishing off a sign-and-trade agreement with the Toronto Raptors that will allow recently acquired power forward Chris Bosh to receive a six-year free-agent contract instead of the maximum five-year contract an outside free agent can receive. The Raptors, in turn, will receive a package of draft picks from the Heat and a trade exception of roughly $15 million.
With a sign-and-trade with Cleveland, James also could receive a six-year package, instead of the maximum five-year deal an outside free agent could receive."