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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / February 27.
  • Nets to Meet James First, but Thorn is Leaving

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    So the Nets will reportedly get the first crack at LeBron James on July 1.

    But with the news that president Rod Thorn will step down after July 8, will the uncertainty surrounding the franchise discourage James from coming to Newark and Brooklyn?

    Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z will be the first to meet with James in Ohio sometime after midnight Thursday, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine.

    There will be no Lebron Across America Tour, as had been reported, and King James won’t arrive in New York Thursday to be wined and dined by Garden chairman Jim Dolan at a Manhattan restaurant.

    “LeBron is not going on a tour,” James’ business manager Maverick Carter told Broussard. “He never planned to go on a tour and has not been a part of any team’s plans for a recruiting trip.”

    Instead, James will host free agent suitors in Ohio so as not to make a spectacle of the situation.

    Against this backdrop,  Thorn, the longtime Nets president, will step down after the free agency negotiating period begins July 8, according to The Star-Ledger.

    The Nets have nearly $30 million to spend on free agents like James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but you have to wonder if Thorn’s departure will hurt their chances of landing these stars.

    “We expect to be players and we expect to be in the mix,” Thorn said Friday, according to ESPN.com. “Hopefully, it will work out and we will be successful. Until you get out there, you don’t know.”

    The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls have both cleared significant cap space in an effort to land James. The Heat have some $43 million to spend and could theoretically re-sign Wade, add James and have another $10-$11 million to lavish on another free agent.

    The Bulls have perhaps the most attractive core in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng.

    So the latest developments don’t appear to be good news for the Nets or Knicks.

    Even taking his friendship with Jay-Z into account, would James want to come to a Nets franchise that is undergoing a major transition in leadership?

    As for the Knicks, their only players returning are Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas, not exactly Bill Bradley, Willis Reed and Walt Frazier.

    Is that going to be enough to attract James and/or Bosh to the Big Apple?

    (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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