Nick Wright reveals why it’s possible Pat Riley and Wade could lure LeBron back to Miami Heat

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Reflecting on Pat Riley saying that LeBron James did the 'right thing' by leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Nick Wright discusses with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe why he believes it's not out of the realm of possibility that The King could potentially leave The Land for a South Beach encore.

NICK WRIGHT: The only thing, if you're a Miami Heat fan listening to this-- by the way, I totally agree. That's what Riley is doing. Riley is trying to at least open the window, open the door slightly ajar, to LeBron having his decision this off season be to go to Miami. The only reason that I would think it's even somewhat plausible is I do remember the first time LeBron went to Miami.

At this point in that year, they were not on the radar of it. Like, there were a few people saying, I think Miami-- and those people were shouted down, mostly. It was about Chicago. It was about the Knicks. It was about potentially a pipe dream of the Lakers. And then Miami started gaining momentum later in the process once people were like, well, did these guys talk about this together-- at the Olympics, by the way-- years before? I don't think it's realistic.

But what I do think-- when you say there's a method to Pat Riley's, you know, whatever he's doing, even if he doesn't land LeBron, this makes sense. Just like even if D-Wade didn't help them this year-- and he has, by the way-- bringing him back into the fold makes sense, because one of the things the Heat have been known for since Pat Riley's been there has been the Heat lifer, the Heat culture that we-- Alonzo Mourning has a job here.

We treat our stars right. And by the way, Alonzo and them had a bad breakup. And then they brought him back into the fold. And you need to mend this fence with LeBron. Now, I don't know if LeBron's interested in it being mended. But you need to at least offer that olive branch, even if you don't get LeBron, because it helps you get-- the next time a superstar comes around.

CRIS CARTER: Tell me, would it be more of a stretch-- LeBron, when he was in Miami, deciding to partner back with Dan Gilbert. Now, because that's when people were like, that's not going to happen-- compared to LeBron partnering back up with Pat Riley. Which one of those would you think was the more far fetched--

NICK WRIGHT: I would've thought the Dan Gilbert thing was far more far fetched. The distinction I would draw is Miami doesn't have a year four Kyrie Irving and the number one pick of the draft that they can then flip for a star.

CRIS CARTER: But the relationship with Riley, if people were concentrating on that compared to Dan Gilbert--

- The relationship with Riley was never really fractured. It was almost like, you know, LeBron left him. And maybe there was kind of a, like, do I really want to re-approach him? Do I want to, like, try to mend this fence? Does it need to be mended?

Remember, when LeBron left, Riley kind of held a press conference and was like, eh, whatever. He's got to do what he's got to do. But we're going to still try to win down here. It wasn't what-- I mean, Dan Gilbert went out and just napalmed him, and just absolutely Comic Sans MS'ed him in that letter. Just a different dynamic altogether.

JENNA WOLFE: Besides this book excerpt that's coming out, what would Miami have to do to realistically or legitimately have a shot at getting LeBron James?

- You'd have to bring somebody else to the table with him. You'd have to, you know, be able to recruit one other big-name guy, whether it is-- maybe you say to LeBron, we can flip Hassan Whiteside for DeMarcus Cousins. We can bring in a player like that. We can maneuver. You have to have any concrete plan in place.

And maybe they can have one. Maybe they can do that. But I still think it's far more likely that a Philadelphia, a Houston, an LA comes to the table with a better type of deal. Plus--

JENNA WOLFE: Who already have those players.

- Who already have those pieces in place. But I don't know that LeBron wants that back in Miami. He's always said, great experience.

NICK WRIGHT: Called it college. He said it was college for me. I matured, I learned about the game--

- But Cleveland-- Cleveland there was the--

CRIS CARTER: Yeah, once you go into the pros, you don't want to go back to college.

- Yeah, Cleveland, there was the lure. There was the siren song of going back and playing in Akron and being a hero amongst these guys. I don't think there's that type of lure, especially with Dwyane Wade the back end of his career.

NICK WRIGHT: Listen, there are three places that are practical, logical. They've been on the radar, at least two of them, all year-- and the third one as of late-- that make total sense for LeBron, for, by the way, somewhat very different reasons. There is Los Angeles.

The biggest thing they have going for that-- because we don't know who he could bring with him to Los Angeles. We think Paul George. We think maybe they could also work some trade for Kawhi and have a super team there. But Los Angeles, it is about setting up his post-basketball life, right? The biggest lure Los Angeles has is that.

CRIS CARTER: It's also still championships. LeBron is not going anywhere he can not win championships.

NICK WRIGHT: Oh, the three places I'm going to say I think all have the championship component. I'm saying, if you-- the championship component baked in. And then what's the other reason? LA would be more off-the-court stuff to me.

To me, Houston would be about finally being able to play with Chris Paul and being able to win immediately. Philadelphia would be, again, the championships, but also extending your career as long as is possible. Philadelphia is the best option to have a, as you've talked about, an 18-year prime if you're LeBron James.

Like, Miami doesn't check any of those boxes. Like, that's what they have working against them. There's no, like, oh, yeah but they can do this. And they have the smallest championship possibilities of any of those three teams by far.