LeBron James can opt out of his contract this offseason, though he could delay his free agency for 2015 when the New York Knicks have cap space.
According to a source, executives of the Miami Heat are not convinced James will stay though they believe in their "heart of hearts" that he will re-sign.
The presence of Phil Jackson with the Knicks could change things for James.
“There’s no way LeBron would have gone to New York under the current climate,” said a James confidant. “He had a falling-out with CAA (agency) and that was a problem as well. But with Phil there I think he will look at it.”
The role of Pat Riley in the construction of the Big 3 with the Heat has perhaps been overstated.
“I think that’s a little overblown,” says a current GM. “LeBron wanted to go to a place where he could win. LeBron, (Dwyane) Wade and (Chris) Bosh hatched the plan.
“Phil can help the Knicks because he gives them a face and credibility. But these big free agents are only going to a place where they feel they can win. Phil has to build something first.”