The Miami Heat are trying to win their third title in as many years but already there are plenty of people trying to focus on the negative and what LeBron James will do in the offseason with his contract situation. While no one in Miami is focusing on the possibility of LeBron opting out, it will be a bridge we all have to cross at some point even if we don’t want to recognize it.
One scenario that many are kicking around involves LeBron returning to Cleveland to restore the glory he ruined when he left in 2010. But while a return in 2014 is unlikely, Michael Rosenberg from SI.com lays out a possible scenario where LeBron rejoins the Cavs not this summer but one of the next two.
If James simply picks up his option, rather than sign an extension, that means he can be a free agent in 2015, and then he can pick up another option and be a free agent in 2016. That gives Cleveland at least one more year to create a team that can lure him back. It’s a long shot, certainly. But James would know who the coach is, and as bad as the Cavs look right now, fortunes can change fast in the NBA. What if Cleveland makes one or two good trades, hires the right coach, uses its lottery pick wisely and earns the No. 5 seed in the East next year? Wouldn’t that be enticing to James?
LeBron won’t be leaving this summer, especially if the Heat lose at some point and miss out on a third title. He may eventually leave but the Heat won’t be losing him this summer and it’s frankly hard to ever see him returning to Cleveland even if he eventually leaves Miami.