CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have gone all-in with their pursuit of four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.
Cleveland unloaded the contracts of point guard Jarrett Jack, center Tyler Zeller and small forward Sergey Karasev in a three-way trade with Brooklyn and Boston, giving them enough salary cap room to offer “The Chosen One” a maximum-level contract.
Unrestricted free agent James is seeking a multi-year pact worth more than $21 million per season, which the Cavaliers can now extend after shedding Jack’s $6.3 million contract for 2014-15.
The Wednesday morning deal occurred just hours before Heat small forward James is scheduled to meet with Miami owner Micky Arizon and coach Pat Riley in Las Vegas, where he is holding his annual skills camp for top amateur players.
ESPN initially reported the trade, which also includes the Cavaliers sending a future first-round draft pick — with partial lottery protection — in exchange for three foreign players whose NBA rights were held by the Nets.
The odds of Ilkan Karaman, Edin Bavcic and Christian Drejer ever physically coming to Cleveland are microscopic, but their inclusion in the trade was necessary in order to make it legal under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Yahoo first reported the names of the players acquired by the Cavaliers, but the teams are not permitted to reveal the details of the agreement until the NBA’s transaction moratorium ends Thursday.
Jack and Karasev will wind up with the Nets, while Zeller is headed to the Celtics. Boston also will receive shooting guard Marcus Thornton and Cleveland’s first-rounder from Brooklyn.
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