On the eve of LeBron James' much-anticipated announcement of where he''ll play next year, two lesser NBA lights are set to play for the Miami Heat and one more has committed to play for the Chicago Bulls.
Free-agent Carlos Boozer verbally agreed to a five-year $80 million contract with Chicago, the team said on Wednesday.
Hours earlier, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh said they'll play for the Heat, with Wade staying put and Bosh coming via either a new deal or a trade.
"Now we can get on the pace of building a championship," Wade told ESPN.
Fans in the Sunshine State even harbor hopes that their presence will lure LeBron. According to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward will reveal where he’s going to play next season during a prime time special set to air on ESPN Thursday at 9 p.m., Eastern Time.
James is selling sponsorships for the show, with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Perhaps in anticipation of the decision, LBJ entered the world of social networking on Tuesday, opening a Twitter account to interact with his fans.
"Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building ‘Finally,’" said the tweet on the player’s official feed, @kingjames. James, whose account already has over 193,000 followers, joins fellow free agents and friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the microblogging service, where they’ve been dropping occasional hints about how their own free agency periods are playing out.
A two-time NBA MVP, James is being courted by the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and his hometown Cavaliers.
As for Wade, the 6-4 guard's signing means he's staying put with his 2009-2010 team, while Bosh, a 6-10 forward, is coming south from Toronto.
Asked why he didn't agree to a sign-and-trade that would have paired him with James in Cleveland, Bosh told ESPN he decided that Miami was the best choice available to him.
"I wasn't sure if LeBron was coming back [to Cleveland] and I just wanted to leave that decision up to him," Bosh said. "I wanted to choose the best situation for me and my family and Miami was the best decision for me."