LeBron James To Miami: The Heat Have A Shot

Alex Donno
June 21, 2018 - 12:39 pm
Categories: 

A week ago, I confidently told my listeners that by Monday, June 18th, we would all give up any hope that LeBron James could return to the shores of Biscayne Bay. There were just too many signs and too much smoke pointing to The King taking his talents to Hollywood. 

And then on Monday evening, in a conversation I had on the air with a highly respected NBA reporter, a spark of hope returned. 

Tim Reynolds from the Associated Press joined me on The Alex Donno Show and had some very intriguing things to say about how LeBron views the Miami Heat franchise. Tim closely covered the "Big Three Era" and has covered each of LeBron's eight straight NBA finals appearances.

"I'll tell you right now that I do believe that if there was a mechanism where [LeBron James] could get back to Miami, I know he would not be opposed to that," Reynolds said. "Miami has a shot. I don't think they have a great shot, but for anyone to say that the Heat don't have a chance of getting him... that's incorrect. That's absolutely incorrect. They have a shot, but it's contingent on Cleveland taking some Heat guys (in a sign-and-trade). I think it's going to be very difficult, but LeBron still thinks of (Miami) very favorably."

Cue the Dumb And Dumber quote: So, you're telling me there's a chance!

"You're talking about Pat (Riley) and (GM) Andy Ellisburg. There's a chance," said Reynolds. "LeBron will get to force at some level where he gets to play."

"It's a reminder that I think he wants to stay East," added Reynolds. "I think the West is just going to keep getting better. Why would he want any part of that, especially at 34 an 35 years old in the next couple years?"

As Reynolds mentioned, there are big hurdles for Pat Riley to clear in order to create the salary cap space to bring James back.  If not a sign-and-trade with Cleveland, Miami would need to ship some money away to other teams in order to sign James outright. Reynolds discussed what these challenges would entail. 

"You look at the Whiteside and Tyler Johnson deals, and those are the ones that fans would like to unload the most, but you have to look at those from opposing team standpoints. Meanwhile, Josh Richardson has an absolute sweetheart deal for teams at 4 (years) for 42 (million.) Teams would love that but of course the Heat would love to keep him. Goran Dragic, his deal for an all-star point guard is a bargain. Those are the ones that the Heat would be less willing to part with, but those are the guys that teams would want over a Whiteside or a James Johnson or Tyler Johnson."

Reynolds wasn't the only respected media member to give Miami a shot on the WQAM airwaves this week. CBS Sports' Bill Reiter offered a similar sentiment with Hochman and Crowder on Wednesday. 

"I think there’s a chance," Reiter said. "When Lebron left for Miami the first time, five or six weeks out the odds were 35/1 that he would leave Cleveland. I think Lebron surprises people.”

While the odds don't favor Miami, you can always expect the unexpected when it comes to LeBron James.