Chances for LeReturn to Heat this summer? Zero and none


There are two crazy ideas floating in the NBA netherworld now that games are done and an idle vacuum consumes us:

1. Golden State should have a play where four teammates link arms in a circle around Stephen Curry, who can then shoot an uncontested jumper.

2. LeBron James could end up with the Heat again.

They might as well put these three idle weeks when LeBron toys with his future on the sports calendar. What will he do? Where will he go next? What nonsense will be dragged out over another three weeks?

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, who first reported LeBron coming to the Heat in 2010, says the Heat are one of seven teams LeBron will have a conversation with. That's the spark that has people talking of it. And who wouldn't love LeReturn?

Heat President Pat Riley would empty the roster for LeBron, if that were possible. He'd probably like to empty the roster, period. That's a conversation for another day. Any conversation with LeBron would go like this:

LeBron: "I'll have a better cast in Cleveland."

Pat Riley: "We still have better winters."

Why would LeBron return to the Heat? When he came in 2010, it wasn't just through years of planning, connect-the-dots scheming and an aligning of planets. Dwyane Wade was still in his prime, not the 36 he is now.

Pat Riley plotted a year ahead of time by having a roster of expiring contracts so Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh could fit. The Heat are so snugly against the salary cap right now it's uncomfortable to see how they can improve the team at all.

They can't add a player without subtracting a contract. And it's hard to envision them subtracting any of their contracts without getting an equally burdensome one in return.

So how are they going to effectively clear $35 million in cap room to sign LeBron? (Or, say, $20 million, if he'd take a discount). He can essentially force a trade to the Heat or any team. But, again, what team would LeBron have in Miami?

Nor does it get into whatever back-burner emotions LeBron and the Heat powers have with each other. This could be solved with a Dr. Phil session, of course. And it should. Come on, it's about time. Those were four great years for all (OK, three. The fourth year together was joyless.)

Riley recently said LeBron was right to return to Cleveland and how he sent a text after LeBron took the court in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals to, "Win this and be free." So it's obvious Riley has let go of the dark emotion of LeBron leaving.

That's different than LeReturn, though. Again: Why would he? He can stay in Cleveland, add someone to Kevin Love, win the East and have a puncher's chance against Golden State.

He can win more in Houston or build a team with Paul George and the Los Angeles Lakers' young talent. He could conquer New York with the Knicks. He could join a rising team in Philadelphia or Boston.

All are better basketball spots than the Heat right now. The only flimsy motive would be what Wade said on a recent radio show about LeBron not making The Decision III based on purely basketball reasons. Family matters. Growing children matter.

So maybe basketball won't be the prime reason for LeBron. It's hard to believe it won't be a significant reason, though. Still, if it's only about family, it's hard to see him leaving Cleveland at all, isn't it?

Cleveland even fits into LeBron's idea of owning a team someday. The full community would bring pressure on Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to sell — if, of course, LeBron stays there to the end. If not, they'll burn his jersey again.

LeBron has offered no clues as to what he's thinking. He seems to enjoy this centerpiece where American sports focus on his future — the U.S. soccer team even missed the World Cup to add to his focus.

You don't need to know where he'll go to know the Heat isn't just a long shot. It's a no shot. We're better off designing plays for Curry to shoot in a protected circle of teammates.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Time for a change: Kansas State names a new starting quarterback for the Texas game
Time for a change: Kansas State names a new starting quarterback for the Texas game

Bill Snyder sometimes steps on a pedestal to preach about how schools are putting too much money into big, gaudy sports palaces. He doesn’t like excess. That’s a big no for the 78-year-old, so he doesn’t mind gigging administrators (including his own) who are all in on the building trend. What are other topics that bother...
Texas notebook: With P.J. Locke III working as a lecturer, freshmen asking questions at DBU
Texas notebook: With P.J. Locke III working as a lecturer, freshmen asking questions at DBU

Texas nickel back P.J. Locke III apparently has picked up a side job this season — as a professor at DBU. The senior defender has been handing out homework assignments. Locke said Tuesday that he has tasked his fellow Longhorns defensive backs with writing down the things they did wrong after each game. That way, he said, players...
Mountaineers surge to top as Oklahoma struggles with Army
Mountaineers surge to top as Oklahoma struggles with Army

This week’s Big 12 Power Poll 1. (Previous: 2) West Virginia (3-0) No team in the conference is playing better football than the Mountaineers. West Virginia is known for a high-flying offense under the direction of football lunatic Dana Holgorsen, but it’s the defense that makes the stepbrother of the Big 12 the favorite. West Virginia...
The Dotted Line: Jalen Catalon names top four; Jake Smith earns All-American honors
The Dotted Line: Jalen Catalon names top four; Jake Smith earns All-American honors

The day that Texas earned a commitment from one four-star safety in Tyler Owens of Plano East, another four-star safety announced that the Longhorns were among his final four. Mansfield Legacy standout Jalen Catalon, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the season, is down to Texas, Arkansas...
Fantasy football Week 3 recap and top waiver wire picks

Sunday was wild. So much history made, so many upsets and quite a few break out performances highlighted Week 3. Drew Brees broke the record for career completions on the way to 396 yards and three touchdown passes in an overtime win over the Falcons. He also rushed for a couple touchdowns with the help of a pretty sweet spin move and a...
More Stories