In a move that will free up enough cap space to sign LeBron James to a maximum contract, the Cavaliers have agreed in principle on a three-team trade with the Celtics and Nets that will send guard Jarrett Jack, forward Sergey Karasev to Brooklyn and center Tyler Zeller, guard Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick to Boston, according to a league source involved with the deal.
Cleveland’s first-round pick is top-10 protected in 2016, ’17 and ’18 and unprotected in 2019. In return, the Cavaliers acquired a second-round pick.
ESPN first reported the deal.
The move clears max-contract cap space ($20.7 million) for Cleveland to offer James. While the Cavs have been given no guarantees James will sign there, according to a source, they are taking an aggressive approach in the hopes of luring back the player who left the franchise four years ago.
James is meeting with Miami officials -- including Heat president Pat Riley -- in Las Vegas today. James dined with Dwyane Wade at a Vegas restaurant on Monday night. The Heat have no real feel for what James will tell them in the meeting, according to a source, but are hoping that the team’s offseason moves (agreeing to terms with forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger) coupled with James’s faith in Riley and respect for head coach Erik Spoelstra will be enough for him to return.