The All-Star Game and its subsequent break are officially over, and the final third of the NBA regular season is about to begin. Many key players gave interviews to NBATV throughout the All-Star games, and LeBron James was one of these select players. The obvious focus and centralized theme of these questions was geared around James’ potential free agency this summer and where his mindset is currently as we finish out the rest of the season.
One of the most intriguing responses James gave throughout the extensive interview was when he was asked where he envisions himself after this summer. The response he gave came so quickly it would seem James has a pretty good idea where his next destination is going to be. This response is in context to whether he could seem himself leaving the Miami Heat organization this summer. He told the Associated Press:
“At this point, I can’t. We don’t know what can happen from now to July, so what I’ve been able to do this whole season to this point is just worry about what’s at hand, and that’s winning another championship.”
Looking at the current state of the league and what teams could realistically get James if he were to decide to opt out of his contract and become a free agent, LeBron would be a fool to not re-sign with the Miami Heat organization. Outside of still starting with some of the top players in the league in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he is with an organization that is willing and able to do whatever it takes to surround James with quality talent. If Pat Riley is able to convince both Wade and Bosh to re-sign this summer and put their contracts in a place where there is still cap space to sign quality role players, staying in Miami has to be a no-brainer.
James will do his due-diligence this summer by allowing other teams to meet with him and present why they think they can give James the best chance at winning another title, and some teams might even have a legitimate case. What this ultimately comes down to is who gives the self-proclaimed “King” of the NBA the best chance at sustained success, and that is still without a doubt the Heat. Riley has not only proven this by helping James win back-to-back titles (by giving him the support he finally deserved), but he has also mapped out a legitimate ten year plan that has Miami becoming a truly unique dynasty which no other team can really offer. A lot of these plans are tied to what both Bosh and Wade decide to do this summer, but if they stay on board and decide to take additional pay cuts (which may not be as easy to convince them a second time around), then James could have a chance to make it back to the NBA Finals for years to come. Hopefully for the Heat fanatics around the country this quote from James is a tiny signal signifying he is not going anywhere. We will all find out this summer.