Citing sources, the newspaper said James will be named MVP Saturday.
He would be the eighth player in league history to win the MVP award three times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the honor six times; Michael Jordan and Bill Russell won it five times each; Wilt Chamberlain was a four-time winner; and Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone captured the award three times each.
James averaged 27.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest while playing in all 62 games during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 regular season. He was named league MVP in both 2009 and 2010 during his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James led Miami to an opening-round playoff series victory over New York and the Heat will open their Eastern Conference semifinal confrontation with Indiana Sunday.