Nick Wright on LeBron James’ next stop: ‘The Heat are absolutely the next team’'
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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright believes that the Miami Heat are the ideal next team for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

James, who could opt out of his contract at the end of the 2023-24 season to become an unrestricted free agent, spent four seasons with the Heat earlier in his career. He played alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, and the trio went to four straight NBA Finals, winning two of them.

Wright pointed out Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and James’ past experience with the Heat franchise as reasons why Miami would be a great next team for him.

Miami has made the NBA Finals in two of the last four seasons since Butler joined the franchise, and the team has three Eastern Conference Finals appearances in that stretch.

However, the team has been unable to capture a title in that stretch, and it could use a four-time NBA champion like James to help take it to the next level.

While Wright may think that the Heat are the best next team for James, it was reported earlier this month that the Lakers star is focused on returning to the franchise this coming offseason.

James has been with Los Angeles since the 2018-19 season, and he led the team to an NBA title in the 2019-20 campaign in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble.

Last season, James and the Lakers nearly ended up facing the Heat in the Finals, as they made it to the Western Conference Finals before they were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets.

There certainly is a possibility that James could leave Los Angeles after the 2023-24 season, but the Heat would need to get creative with their cap space in order to bring James onto the roster, unless he were to take a pay cut.

Miami would likely need to trade Tyler Herro (due to his contract) in order to bring James onto the roster to play alongside Butler and Adebayo. It’s unclear if that would be something the franchise and team president Pat Riley would be willing to do.

Even if James never plays for the Heat again, fans certainly have some fond memories of him during his time with the franchise. There’s no doubt that he is one of the most significant figures to ever wear a Heat uniform.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.