KEY POINTS

  • Heat president Pat Riley would welcome back LeBron James if a return to South Beach happens
  • James is likely to finish his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Riley is aware comments on James could force the league to sanction him for tampering

The Miami Heat are looking for answers after finishing the current NBA season on a sour note. After an impressive performance last campaign, it was a different run this 2020-21 season. But of course, there were a lot of factors to consider such as injuries to key players, notably Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat president Pat Riley knows that he needs to take a second look at his roster and make the necessary adjustments. There are a lot of players they could go after, including LeBron James, even if it is a long shot.

Nostalgic and special as it may seem, Riley made it clear that he does not have high hopes for it. But he would welcome such a move, something that Miami Heat fans would likely be open to as well.

“I wish him nothing but the best. And if he ever wanted to come back, then I’ll put a new shiny key under that mat,” Riley stated when he appeared on the “Le Batard and Friends” show.

Considering that James is under contract with the Lakers until 2022-23, Riley is just keeping an open mind for it. He, however, is aware that he could get fined for tampering with his comments.

Ironically, the team that defeated them in the 2020 NBA Finals suffered a similar fate. The Los Angeles Lakers failed to retain the NBA title, falling to the Phoenix Suns in six games. Like Butler, Lakers stars James and Anthony Davis also had a rough go of it and dealt with injuries.

Now, some feel that the Lakers-Heat run was a fluke. But then again, other than injuries, the fact that both teams had little time to prepare for the new season was overlooked. Hence, all the Heat and Lakers can do is go back to the drawing board and regroup.

If one digs deep, there is one player tied to both teams in James. Although the 36-year-old has gained criticism for the Lakers’ debacle, others know that the four-time NBA champion still has a lot to give. This is assuming he ever gets back to 100% health, something he previously stated is unlikely.

LeBron James Miami Heat LeBron James is reportedly seeking a maximum level contract from his next team. Photo: Reuters