LeBron's future coming up fast

•  James is going to want to hear the team will spend some more money on role players. The Heat made three choices over this past season that were aimed at controlling payroll instead of improving the roster that ultimately explained how the Spurs' bench and overall depth proved to be dramatically better.

They released Mike Miller via the amnesty provision, a move that ultimately saved the Heat $15 million in luxury tax. James complained about this frequently during the season, especially on nights when Wade missed games to deal with ongoing knee issues.

In conjunction, the Heat did not use their mid-level exception to add a role player to help replace Miller. After signing Ray Allen and Shane Battier with the mid-level over the previous two years, the Heat added reclamation projects Michael Beasley and Greg Oden instead of a proven backup.

Third, at midseason the Heat traded Joel Anthony, a future first-round pick and $1 million in a cash-dump deal in which they ended up with Toney Douglas. The Heat could've used those assets in a different type of deal, one that provided immediate help and wasn't aimed at saving tax dollars.

James, Wade and Both may discuss opting out and reworking their contracts if it means adding another key player or two. But it is unlikely they would take such a step just to save the Heat luxury tax money.

Of course, James was asked about his plans late Sunday night. As he has for months, he deferred.

"I haven't gotten to that point yet," James said. "You're trying to find answers but I'm not going to give you one."

Don't think for a moment, though, that James hasn't given it a lot of thought already. He learned a great deal when he went through this four years ago, though there will be no television special to announce his plans this time around.

But he also no longer needs Wade, Bosh and Heat to help him prove himself. Now, it is them who need James and he is extremely aware of that reality.

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