Report says LeBron James “100 percent” leaving Cleveland. Should we strike up the Heat talk once again?

A report says LeBron James is “100 percent” leaving Cleveland. Could he return to Miami? (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Season of LeBron is off and running.

Soon after a report that LeBron is “100 percent leaving” Cleveland after the season, another surfaced disputing that as “100 percent false.”

Veteran NBA writer Chris Sheridan quoted a league source saying 2017-18 will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland, citing his “relationship with owners” being “beyond repair.”

Less than 40 minutes later Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com cited three sources saying the tweet is dead wrong.

LeBron’s dissatisfaction with the Cavaliers since the team lost in the Finals to the Warriors in five games has been well documented, fueling speculation that he will be bolting Cleveland for a second time when he becomes a free agent next summer.

Most of the talk centers on LeBron heading to Los Angeles because of his business and entertainment ventures along with the fact that he owns a home in the L.A. area.

But Miami is always in the conversation considering LeBron chose South Florida once – albeit to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – and won two titles in his four Finals appearances.

  And LeBron loves stirring the pot. This summer he posted pictures of himself on a boat in Biscayne Bay with AmericanAirlines Arena in the background with the caption, “A ton of great memories riding past her today!!”

For that to happen, LeBron and Heat president Pat Riley would have to bury the hatchet after the messy breakup in 2014 in which LeBron announced in a letter entitled: “I’m coming home.”

And that’s just the start. Then there is the issue of the Heat freeing up enough money to afford LeBron.

LeBron’s success since returning to Cleveland – three consecutive Finals appearances and one title – has been similar to what he had in Miami. But he’s growing more frustrated with the way the Warriors are distancing themselves from the Cavaliers.

And while the chances of LeBron coming to Miami might be low, those of his teammate (for now) Kyrie Irving wearing a Heat uniform could be even lower.

LeBron was shocked by his point guard’s request to be traded. Irving reportedly has tired of playing with LeBron and would like to be on a team where he’s not in anybody’s shadow. And according to reports, Miami is one of the handful of cities where Irving would like to play, although without a no trade clause he has little say on where he lands.

ESPN reported Cleveland is seeking offers for Irving under the assumption LeBron is leaving and the Cavs are looking for players to help rebuild rather than win now, which would severely hurt Miami’s chances of acquiring Irving.

If Cleveland was seeking a veteran point guard to help the Cavs make a run this season, they might settle for a package centering around Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow.

But if the Cavs are looking for young stars and draft picks, Miami would be out of mix considering their young talent is not as good as those on teams like Boston, Phoenix, Minnesota or Denver. And the Heat cannot trade its first-round pick for the next five years.

 

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