Wade's agent: Don't call it a summit
Last week, Wade told the Chicago Tribune that he planned to talk with fellow free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson before making a decision on where he would sign this summer. A source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Bosh also would be part of those talks, and Amare Stoudemire, who is likely to opt out of the final year of his current contract with the Phoenix Suns, told AOL Fanhouse that he planned to be part of those talks, too.
But Henry Thomas, who represents Wade and Bosh, says conversations among players are not the same as a "summit."
"Dwyane never made reference to a summit," Thomas said, according to CNBC.com. "He said that he'd have conversations with some of these guys and that still will happen. These guys came into the league at the same time and they're in similar situations, so it's unrealistic to think that they won't talk. But there's no summit of any kind planned where they'll all be in the same location."
Kreidler: Are Free Agents Colluding?
When Dwyane Wade talks about sitting down with LeBron James and Joe Johnson (and perhaps Chris Bosh), he's suggesting a tiny handful of elite players could conspire to determine the future of the NBA, Mark Kreidler writes. Story
James, however, left little doubt the top free agents will discuss their futures together before July 1. James told CNN's Larry King, in an interview that will air Friday, that he will be the "ringleader" for the conversations.
"I don't know to that extent, but it will be fun. It will be fun to get all the free agents together and, you know, figure out a way how we can make the league better," he told King, according to a transcript posted by The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.
Wade insists he still hasn't started thinking about free agency. But having settled four lawsuits on Tuesday, the Miami Heat star says that's finally about to change.
Before leaving a Miami courtroom Tuesday, moments after the settlements in a restaurant case and three others were announced, Wade told The Associated Press he has not put together his "wish list" for the offseason, nor has he asked any other potential free agents about their plans.
"No question, I will be able to [think about free agency], even though I've still got the other things to handle," Wade said. "But I will be able to start focusing on my wish list, focusing on the things I want to do for my future. Even though I've still got other things to worry about, this kind of is a big burden off my shoulders. Now I'm able to go to Chicago and focus on something totally different."
He did repeat one thing: He wants to stay in Miami, saying "you know that hasn't changed." But to do that, he wants to see roster upgrades, which Heat president Pat Riley will desperately try to make happen starting with the July 1 opening of the NBA free-agency window.
Wade told the AP in April he thinks he and James would play well together, and it's nearly a lock that the Heat will take a run at trying to woo James away from the Cavaliers.
The word "summit" -- which invokes images of world leaders meeting at a central location to talk about global issues like economics, the environment and security -- is simply not what's going to happen, Thomas said, according to the report.
"The way it was first characterized and the way it continues to be characterized -- as if the only thing left to determine is a date and a location -- is not the reality," he said, according to the report.
"They're all friends and they all talk," added Happy Walters, who represents Stoudemire, according to the report. "But the idea that they're all in this together and they're going to say, 'OK, you go here and I go there,' that's not happening. People just need something good to talk about."
Thomas is part of CAA, a sports agency that also includes Leon Rose, the agent for James. That fact, Thomas acknowledged, does give the agency an advantage in pursuing deals for its clients, according to CNBC.com.
These guys came into the league at the same time and they're in similar situations, so it's unrealistic to think that they won't talk. But there's no summit of any kind planned where they'll all be in the same location.” -- Player agent Henry Thomas
"To some extent, we do have control because we're all under the same umbrella," Thomas said, according to the report. "We're going to have really solid information on what's going on that will clearly benefit our guys. And that's the goal -- to get our players the best deals they can get."
James, Wade and Bosh became close while playing together on the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal at the Beijing Games. While they've pondered the possibility of playing together in the NBA, only two of the stars are likely to wind up on the same team once the dust clears, given their likely salary demands.
Last week, the NBA said Wade did not break any league tampering rules with his comments.
Under league rules, players cannot tamper with other players, though it's a given that players talking among themselves not only happens, but is impossible to regulate.
The NBA metes out discipline only in what it said are "the most egregious" cases, and said Wade's comments "do not meet that standard."
Tuesday, Wade said he wants to stay in Miami, if the Heat upgrade the roster and take big steps toward becoming an NBA championship contender again.
"Nothing's changed. You know me, the person I am. I'm not going to change," Wade told the AP. "The biggest thing is I want to win and I want to make sure that we can do that here in Miami. If we can't, then I've got to think about another decision, think about something I don't want to do. It's the business side of it.
"But at the end of the day, everyone knows, it's not any secret that I want to be in Miami," Wade added. "It's just steps, a lot of steps, have to be taken to get to that point."
The Heat did not comment Tuesday. They're fully aware of Wade's desires -- Riley often has said he wants to build a "dynasty" around Wade, who was the MVP of Miami's run to the 2006 NBA title. The Heat haven't won a playoff series since.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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