Dwyane Wade said in an interview with ESPN’s Jorge Sedano on Monday night that he wouldn’t spend time recruiting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James back to the Miami Heat.
No worries. Max Kellerman has already made the case.
James, the four-time NBA most valuable player and three-time NBA champion, was the catalyst in the Cavaliers’ big trade-deadline moves last week — moves that included sending Wade back to Miami for a heavily protected 2024 second-round draft pick.
But what’s to stop James from making a return to the Heat and hope to recreate the magic the team had during the Big 3 era, that four-year span in which Miami reached the NBA Finals each year and came away with back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013?
Kellerman, known primarily for his role on ESPN’s weekday morning sports talk show “First Take,” said Tuesday that he could easily see a James-Wade reunion in Miami and listed off three main reasons it makes sense.
“First of all, you have an alpha personality in [Heat president] Pat Riley, who’s really running that franchise and can get everyone in line. Secondly, that is the good, young, up-and-coming team. LeBron likely puts them over the top immediately in the East. And thirdly, LeBron’s reputation as being mercurial and the way that’s held against him — you know, he’s going from team to team — if he simply goes back to Miami, that actually quells that a little bit. It’s like ‘Hey. Here are the two places he’s played: Cleveland, where he’s from, and Miami, where he chose to be to play with his best friend in South Beach. Those were the two spots.’ So I think there are reasons for LeBron to consider Miami.”
James, 33, is in the second year of a three-year, $100 million contract with the Cavaliers. However, James’ contract has a player option following the 2018 season, meaning James can decide whether to play one more season in Cleveland or head to free agency.
As for Wade’s comments that he won’t be recruiting James to Miami?
“Oh, I don’t think that’s the first time that’s been broached where those two haven’t discussed it,” Kellerman said. “They obviously have an understanding about the way they handle themselves and their relationship, and I see that as a non-issue for LeBron that Wade said that publicly. He’s just saying ‘LeBron’s gonna make his own choice.’ Clearly any team in the league — let me rephrase that, clearly any basketball team in the history of basketball, in the history of planet Earth, in the history of the known universe — would love to add LeBron James.”