Sean Deveney of Heavy.com recently reported that some NBA teams are preparing for the prospect of the four-time MVP requesting a trade from the Lakers this offseason in order to end his playing career in a winning environment.
According to an Eastern Conference general manager, Miami might make a play for its former star, should James want out.
“They’re in the right position to make a deal like that,” the executive said. “It did not end great between them (when James left the Heat as a free agent in 2014), but the hatchet has been buried enough. There could be an issue with, if you get LeBron and you get Rich Paul and all the Klutch (Sports, James’ agency) stuff, that is not going to mix with Pat Riley in Miami. But if he wants to win in a place he likes being, the Heat would take him back.”
It’s been nearly nine years since the last time James wore a Heat uniform. His four-year tenure in Miami proved to be a fruitful time for the franchise, as it resulted in four consecutive championship appearances and two titles.
James arrived in Miami in the 2010 offseason to much fanfare and plenty of ridicule from many fans and experts. After promising the organization and its supporters multiple championships following his fateful decision, expectations skyrocketed for James and the Heat. Fortunately, he delivered, although he fell a few rings short of his pledge.
Then in the 2014 offseason, the star forward opted to bolt and went home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. His choice was not well-received by some of the Heat faithful and Riley.
But, James and the Heat’s team president have since made up, which is likely why some pundits and executives believe that Miami would welcome the four-time champion with open arms if he were to opt to take his talents to South Beach again.
Of course, it is still unclear if James even wants to leave Los Angeles. Currently, the Lakers are just outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference. However, they are presently one of the hottest teams in the league, owning a five-game winning streak that includes a 112-109 victory over the Heat.
If the Purple and Gold can continue to turn things around and make a playoff run, James might want to stick with his present team.
As for Miami, it also has dealt with problems of its own this campaign. The squad has a record of 21-19 and ranks No. 8 in the Eastern Conference. If the postseason began today, the Heat would be in the play-in tournament.