Miami • LeBron James has been involved with some heated playoff moments involving Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts.
And now, they could be his teammates — if the four-time NBA MVP decides to stay in Miami. The Heat announced Monday that they intend to sign Granger and McRoberts when the NBA’s moratorium on deals being formally struck ends later this week. McRoberts agreed to a four-year deal that starts at around $5.3 million next season, said agent Mike Conley Sr., with Miami using its mid-level exception to get that contract done.
"He thinks it’s a chance to do some special things," Conley Sr. said, adding that McRoberts has a player option for the final year of his Heat deal.
Yahoo Sports reported Granger agreed to a two-year deal, worth about $2 million annually. Granger’s agent, Aaron Mintz, did not return messages seeking comment.
Those were the first two known moves by the Heat during the free-agent shopping period, but all eyes remain on what James is going to do and if he’s worn a Miami uniform for the final time. Heat President Pat Riley is planning to meet with James later this week, in an effort to persuade him to stay in Miami.
McRoberts averaged 8.5 points in 78 starts for Charlotte last season, and raised Miami’s ire in the playoffs by leveling James with an elbow that some Heat players said looked intentional. McRoberts was issued only a common foul at the time, but the NBA upgraded it to a flagrant-2 and fined him $20,000.
Meanwhile, time may have fixed the fractured relationship between James and Cleveland.
Cleveland, without a major sports championship to celebrate in almost 50 years, is praying for a reunion. On Sunday, Cavaliers fans flocked to social media to feverishly track one of owner Dan Gilbert’s private jets as it flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the plane’s occupants dodged reporters and TV cameras with some deception.
It’s not known if Gilbert was on the jet — or if the trip was even NBA-related — but that didn’t douse the free-agency firestorm .
Knicks hire Rambis
The New York Knicks have hired Kurt Rambis as associate head coach, reuniting him with former teammate and head coach Derek Fisher. Knicks president Phil Jackson made the announcement on Monday. Rambis and Fisher played 10 seasons together with the Los Angeles Lakers. Rambis spent 13 seasons on the Lakers bench, including seven under Jackson.
Frye, Magic reach deal
Forward Channing Frye has agreed to a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with the Orlando Magic, according to a person familiar with the deal. The 31-year-old Frye opted out of a deal with Phoenix that would have paid him $6.8 million next season. After missing the entire 2012-13 season for treatment of an enlarged heart, Frye started all 82 games last season, averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Sterling trial begins
A neurologist testified Monday in Los Angeles that Donald Sterling likely has Alzheimer’s disease as a trial over the $2 billion Los Angeles Clippers sale finally got underway. Meril Sue Platzer testified that she was hired by Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, to evaluate him and made the diagnosis based on imaging tests and a two-hour interview at his home with his wife and an attorney present.
The NBA has moved to oust the 80-year-old Sterling as team owner because of racist remarks he made during a recorded conversation.
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