Nets wait for LeBron to decide

Updated: July 6, 2010, 2:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets spent the Fourth of July weekend waiting on LeBron James.

Four days after making a pitch to James in Cleveland, president and general manager Rod Thorn sent a text message on Monday reiterating that the Nets remain in a holding pattern, like almost every other NBA team.

"No change," Thorn wrote. "Waiting for decisions to be made."

James did not appear to be any closer to making up his mind on Monday. The two-time MVP made a surprise appearance and worked out at his Nike Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, where some of the nation's top college and high school players are competing.

The Nets, Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and the New York Knicks have all met with James since Thursday, and no one seems out of the running at this point.

Thorn wrote in his text message that James has given no indication when a decision will be made.

Thorn said the Nets did not request a second meeting with James, whose representatives met a second time with Knicks officials.

The Nets were the first team to talk to James when the free agency period started on Thursday, and they were quickly followed by the Knicks.

An official within the league who is very close to the Nets' management team described the franchise as confident and in "a wait and see mode."

"We went swinging for a home run and if it does not happen we will turn our attention to filling out our roster," said the person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing. "I don't see us spending money just to spend."

After meeting with the big three of this summer's free agent class -- James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- last week, Nets' billionaire Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov held a conference call with some of his top executives from the Nets and Onexim, his holding company, to discuss his strategy and impressions.

Prokhorov was optimistic his Nets would soon be the home of James, according to notes from the meeting obtained by ESPN.com from a league source.

To assure James of winning, Prokhorov said the Nets would pursue a trade for Chris Paul. He admits it could "take a year for the young roster to grow" but that after adding the right pieces around James, the Nets could win the NBA title two years from now.

Prokhorov said they must get one or two of the big three to sign with New Jersey. If the Nets land James alone, he wants them to sign either Carlos Boozer or David Lee to play beside him.

The Nets are in desperate need of players for next season, and not just because they won only 12 games.

Expiring contracts left them with only point guard Devin Harris, center Brook Lopez, and guards Terrence Williams and Courtney Lee on the roster from last season's team.

Forward Kris Humphries exercised his option before free agency started and stayed with the team.

The Nets drafted power forward Derrick Favors with the third overall pick in the draft and they acquired the rights to forward Damion James in a deal with Atlanta on draft day.

The team also signed center Brian Zoubek and guard Ben Uzoh -- two undrafted players -- as free agents.

New Jersey added forward Quinton Ross in a deal with Washington for forward Yi Jianlian two days before free agency started.

Information from ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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