I might revisit the Lebron situation in greater detail at some point, but it’s really just a set of perfect circumstances for him. It was going to be quite difficult to improve the existing Heat roster without the major pay cuts that he and Bosh were unwilling to take – they’d have to get Wade to take some kind of HUGE cut, and I can’t envision a way for the Heat and Lebron to do that without insulting Wade, who deserves to get paid for his service to the organization and sacrifices in stepping aside when he had to.
I’m also quite glad that the Cavaliers have told Wiggins they won’t trade him. Acquiring Kevin Love for just Waiters/Bennett and a pick is a dream scenario for Cleveland that the Wolves are unlikely to accept, since they could probably find better offers (like the Golden State one). But Wiggins has enormous Scottie Pippen potential, could grow into Lebron’s replacement as the franchise player at some point, and at the very least offers defensive utility in the short-term that will be a huge boon to both Bron and Irving. Though it would have made for an awesome Uncle Drew episode to add Bron into the saga with Drew and Wes.
Lebron’s return to this roster and situation also significantly changes the narrative – he wants to bring Cleveland a title that would mean more for it than other cities, but is no longer immediately expected to do so. Should the Cavs experience short-term playoff failures, having young stars like Irving and Wiggins on the roster virtually assures that they’ll have another offseason of improvement to look forward to.
It’s also crazy to consider how many things had to go wrong (or right) for this to even happen. The Cavs wanted to compete last year, and had they succeeded they would certainly not have Wiggins or any other high pick. As it was, they’d probably have Embiid instead if he didn’t suddenly have surgery just days before the draft. In hindsight, it’s easy for Heat owner Micky Arison to regret not paying Mike Miller for one more year of the tax. Though Miller may not have moved the needle enough and perhaps Miami needed a more favorable Finals matchup to prevail, Lebron probably stays if they win three straight. But that’s how the cookies crumbled, and now both Lebron and Cleveland are winners. It’s going to be crazy watching games like Cleveland at Miami this year, and I can’t wait to see how this team plays. And will ESPN keep its Heat Index?
Finally, if you read just one detailed piece on Lebron’s return filled with plenty of nuggets about his ties to the Akron community and plenty of information that usually doesn’t make the sensationalist sports media cut, check this one out (from ESPN no less): http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11210073/lebron-james-returns-home