James' agent, Rich Paul, has made it known to the Cavs that serious talks on a new deal for James will not take place until a new contract for restricted free agent Tristan Thompson is in place. Paul also represents Thompson.
James intends to re-sign with the Cavs, sources said, but is not in a hurry.
After making initial progress on a deal with Thompson on Wednesday, the talks have stalled, sources said. The Cavs agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal with Kevin Love and a four-year, $40 million deal with Iman Shumpert on the first day of free agency.
Meanwhile, in the wake of DeAndre Jordan's agreement with Dallas and LaMarcus Aldridge's with San Antonio, the Cavs are ramping up their efforts to trade the $10 million, nonguaranteed contract of Brendan Haywood as a facilitating piece for teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and Spurs attempting to maneuver cap space.
One of the deals the Cavs have been interested in, according to a source, is sending Haywood to the Clippers to enable them to move him on to a third team to find a replacement for Jordan.
The Cavs have also been courting free-agent forward David West. In an interview with an Indianapolis television station this week, West said he opted out of his $12.6 million deal with the Pacers because he wanted to play on a team that has a strong chance to make the Finals next season and that he was willing to take a pay cut to get there. The Cavs, Spurs, Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors are among the teams interested in West.
James is not currently part of West's recruitment to the Cavs, sources said, as James has followed his routine of cutting off communications until his own free agency is settled.
With Love signed and the expectation that Thompson will eventually be re-signed, the Cavs don't have an obvious need for another power forward. But after last season, when injuries devastated the roster as three players were lost for the season by the Finals, the team is interested in building as much depth as possible. Both of the Cavs' centers will enter training camp coming off surgery -- Anderson Varejao (torn Achilles) and Timofey Mozgov (knee scoped this week).
The Cavs, who will likely have a payroll topping $100 million if Thompson and James re-sign, could offer their $3.4 million taxpayer's midlevel exception to West.