Source: Knicks have Thursday meeting

LeBron James will meet the Knicks in Ohio on Thursday, the first day official contact between recruiters and recruits is allowed in a historic free-agent chase, according to a source close to the situation.

Meanwhile, as James makes the Knicks play this high-stakes game on his home court, fellow blue-chip recruits Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have agreed to make campus visits to New York.

Knicks officials are hoping to convince James to ultimately travel to New York for a news conference that would mark the franchise's biggest day since the 1973 championship.

Wade and Bosh already have committed to a New York visit to see and hear a presentation on why they should gamble the balance of their primes on the Knicks -- with or without James in the lineup.

Wade and Bosh are expected to be given the same A-list treatment during their recruiting visits that the Knicks wanted to give LeBron.

If the Knicks lose James to Cleveland, Chicago or Miami, they're expected to use their $35 million in salary-cap space to offer Wade and Bosh maximum contracts.

Though Wade is heavily favored to remain in Miami, Bosh is expected to leave Toronto.

Ian O'Connor is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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