With every passing day, LeBron James‘ impending free agency gets closer and closer. While it was recently reported that James had not ruled out a second stint with the Miami Heat, it now appears that that possibility is quite unrealistic.
According to the Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman, a reunion is not likely to take place:
“He’s not [coming back to Miami]. But the fact when ESPN polled 48 players about what they thought might happen with LeBron that they even mentioned the Heat shows that, at worst, the Heat remain relevant in players’ consciousness,” Winderman wrote. “Basically, the NBA players polled still consider the Heat a desirable landing spot. And that is a good thing. But I cannot fathom, as you pointed out, the Heat having enough on their roster to attract such a level of free agent. There was a time when I thought Hassan Whiteside could have been such a lure, but with his role minimized, I don’t see that as the case anymore.”
The fact that the Heat aren’t expected to play a large role in the upcoming James sweepstakes shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. While they enjoyed great success together, that era seems to be safely in the past, especially when considering recent reports that some within the Heat organization believe that James attempted to sabotage their future success after deciding to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2014.
There’s no doubt that having James back in Miami would be an incredible turn of events that would once again put Miami at the forefront of the NBA. It seems clear, however, that both parties have moved on.
In the meantime, the Heat will look to replicate the incredible post All-Star break success they enjoyed last season to solidify their place in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Depending on how it shakes out, the Heat might get a chance to try to spoil James’ attempt at advancing to an eighth straight NBA Finals.