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Report: LeBron James ‘very likely’ to stay with Heat

Jun 18, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

2014 NBA Finals - Game Four Getty Images

LeBron James will probably stay with the Heat.

He chose Miami just four years ago, a strong indicator of his fondness for the team. Since, the Heat have been extremely successful by any reasonable standard, including his. He’s also playing with two of his friends in Dwyane and Chris Bosh.

Overall, he just appears happy.

So, you probably don’t need anyone to tell you he’ll likely stay in Miami. But just in case you’re not convinced…

Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

a source close to the situation said that, while no final decisions have been made, James “is very likely” to stay in Miami.

The source indicated that James remembers all too well the way he was pilloried for leaving Cleveland four years ago, and that he has worked hard to rebuild his public perception. He feels the team can still win in Miami, and bolting while the team is still of championship caliber will undo the remaking of his image.

“Very likely” still leaves LeBron an out, and he’ll obviously speak with Wade and Bosh before deciding anything.

The biggest question is how long he’ll stay with the Heat.

He could remain in his current contract for at least another year and make $20,590,000 next season. Then, he’d hold a $22,112,500 player option for 2015-16, when we could do this all over again. Or he could terminate his contract by June 30 and re-sign for one, two, three, four or five years. There are plenty of options.

Declining his early-termination option is the simplest and quickest way for LeBron to stay, and that might be what he does.

But if he opts out, even with the intention of re-signing with the Heat, why wouldn’t he at least listen to other suitors while he’s a free agent? As long as he handles it better than The Decision, it shouldn’t – though probably would, sigh – harm his public image.

And once he hears those other pitches, maybe “very likely” becomes a little less certain.

LeBron can end the speculation by June 30, but if he opts to become a free agent, there’s no guaranteeing what would happen next.

  1. azarkhan - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    In other news, the sun is bright and the sky is blue.

    • packergator - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      And what about the people around him, notably D-Wade? He’s not likely to be much better during a long playoff run than he was this year.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        wade’s not opting out, if he has half a brain. Next year is his last year of making serious-if-any NBA money, and that’s only if he opts in.

  2. mogogo1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    It’d certainly be interesting to replay history without the whole “Decision” fiasco and see how this would play out then. If he just moves on from Cleveland in an amicable and normal way, then I think it’d be far likelier he’d leave Miami now. But he got himself stuck where another departure would make him look super-bad and taint his legacy. I really don’t see him leaving Miami unless they someday basically tell him “no” when his game is in decline.

  3. bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    The source indicated that James remembers all too well the way he was pilloried for leaving Cleveland four years ago, and that he has worked hard to rebuild his public perception. He feels the team can still win in Miami, and bolting while the team is still of championship caliber will undo the remaking of his image.

    It’s not that he left, it’s how he left. If he still doesn’t get that, he never will.

    • kinggw - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      I respectfully disagree. I find it hard to believe that it would have stung any less for Cavs fans if he would’ve left sans the Decision. The Decision simply gives people an excuse to harbor resentment towards LBJ.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Remind of all the guys in sports Free Agency history who did anything that resembled “The Decision”. It was one of the poorest ideas ever, an idea that presented LeBron as being incredibly narcissistic. If he just left, said sorry Cleveland, and moved on, he’d be resented by Cleveland fans only. But the Decision was a horrific idea, to spin it any other way is being naive.

      • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        I agree 100% because any chance that Cleveland had to be relevant Left with LEBRON

      • bigmeechy74 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        You respectfully disagree? And you got 13 people to agree with you? “The Decision” was one of the biggest PR disasters in recent memory. Of course cavs fans would’ve been pissed that he left with or without it, but the way “the decision” poured salt in the wound made it MUCH worse

      • condor75 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        yeah what he said

      • mogogo1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Sorry, don’t agree. When he announced “The Decision” my first thought was that he absolutely couldn’t be leaving because there was no way on earth he’d do that to the fans. There wasn’t any other way that would have been any more callous than creating a huge spectacle and crushing them on live TV. It’s the equivalent of having a private conversation with your spouse and saying you want a divorce versus announcing it at a dinner party.

      • packergator - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        He should have fired his handlers – especially the one who had the bright idea – IMMEDIATELY after “The Decision” aired (preferably before).

    • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      No. It’s that he left. No one had a problem with the concept of “The Decision” show until after it was over.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Huh? LeBron was getting ripped to shreds on social media the second ESPN announced it was airing “The Decision”. It wasn’t like people were saying “Interesting idea”, saw it and turned on him. The very second it was clear he was dedicating a TV block to announcing his FA decison, he got destroyed by almost everyone.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        No, that isn’t true at all. He didn’t start getting high levels of criticism until after he said he was taking his talents to south beach. If he said he was staying in Cleveland he would’ve been praised for raising money for kids and showing love and loyalty to Cleveland on national television.

        Believe me, I am always closely monitoring James criticism and before the program aired I was not having to defend the idea very much at all. Afterwards it became a non-stop thing.

      • nflcrimerankingscom - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:04 PM


    • ringjames - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      the only fans that should’ve been affected by his “Decision” should be Cavs fans. I dont recall LeBron giving every other teams fan base a reason to hate him so much. All he said was “Im taking my talents to South Beach”, oh and the money he made for that announcement went all to charity.

      and you’re an idiot for saying no other free agents did what LeBron did. You cant name a free agent in the history of free agency that’s even in the same stratosphere as a LeBron James. I dont think anyone would care if Raymond Felton had a tv special announcing he’s signing with the Clippers.

      People hate LeBron, even though they’ll never admit it, is because they feared he’ll take the Finals hostage and never let go. they hate the fact he went to 4 straight Finals, not the fact he left a city that nobody knew existed until he decided to leave.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Tim Duncan was a free agent once….nope, no decision from him. Because he’s not a narcissist like LeBron is. I mean a guy with a “Chosen One” tattoo pretty clearly loves himself very much.

        LeBron fans hate it because it will be used against him forever, but only LeBron and Heat fans do not think it was a myopic, narcissistic decision.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        “only LeBron and Heat fans do not think it was a myopic, narcissistic decision”

        LeBron and Heat fans don’t think much about The Decision any more at all. Guess why.

  4. lilyen311 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Wonderful. Stay there and enjoy. An even better idea is to sell your house in Northeast Ohio and stay away. Far away.

    • R. Edmond - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Ohio wants him back.

    • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Look here lilyen this is a FREE country he can own a home and live where he wants.As much as you probably don’t like it. Slavery is over.

      • dynasonic - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        DING DING DING! We have a winner folks! engh533 managed to play the “slavery” card at almost breakneck speed! Congrats engh533! I hope you feel more enlightened than the rest of us Andrew Jackson wannabees.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        @engh533: You forgot to compare lilyen to Hitler.

        If you’re going to be stupid, do it right.

    • ringjames - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      he’d only sale his house to someone like you that hate on him behind the privacy and safety of your computer screen. You got a couple M’s to offer if he decides to sale it? … didnt think so.

  5. SBoy - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Is it 2pm already? Must be time for another LeBron free agency update… See you in an hour.

    • condor75 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      stop reading them

  6. lastdukestreetking - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    LBJ will not opt out this year. It’ll give him 1 more year to see if Reilly can improve the roster and still guarantees him almost $43M even if a career ending injury were to occur. He will opt out next summer to sign a long term deal with Miami or move on at that point.

    • JHathwell - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Yeah, and it depends on what Baush and Wayne do as well.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      I think opting out is bound to happen. It puts the most pressure on the Heat to improve their roster.

  7. coltzfan166 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Yeah, nothing we didn’t already know. Move along people….nothing to see here.

  8. engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Bucrightoff You have a Ginormous amount of Hate for LeBron would it too much ask why and the team you root for

    • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      Why does anyone on this board go after LeBron? To troll Anti. The only way to beat a troll is to troll him even harder.

      As to favourite team…its the NBA. Not worth cheering for a team, it’s an individual league. NFL and NHL are the only leagues worth cheering for a team.

      • kinggw - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        That’s a cop out if I’ve ever heard one.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        Considering I defended LeBron not even a week ago, probably not. I would never really comment on LeBron if not for Anti. He is good to have around in doses, he even occasionally makes a good comment.

  9. timcast12 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Either way he won’t win another ring, unless of course he needs more superstars.

    • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Timcast12 why does it matter so much to you.let me guess you were one of the Cleveland fans that got your heart broken when LeBron left.MESSAGE TO ALL THE CLEVELAND FANS.You got LeBron through the Lottery…In the seven years there were you not in the Lottery but you were the most recognized team in the league.In the post LeBron era you’ve been in the lottery 3 out of 4 years with losing records in all 4 years.Sounds to me instead of Hating Lebron for leaving you should Be appreciating Him for the time he was there

      • condor75 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        What he said, damn acting like a broken hearted school girl, everyone does what was best for himself and his family, clearly the right decision. How many rings has Cleveland won since LBJ left, don’t rush, I will wait. didn’t the owner say they would have more than LeBron, well they are two down already

  10. cantonbound13 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Wade needs to take the minimum.

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Wade got Miami their first ring, took less money than both Bosh and Lebron, And handed over the keys to the team. He has done enough. Just didn’t do enough This year.

  11. davidly - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I think he should stage The Decision, Part Duh on payperview and bolt for the Clippers for less than what an illegal busboy makes.

  12. scrp2 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Here we go again. Miami – Spurs finals 2015.

  13. jbeagles23 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Unless he leaves for San Antonio his best shot at a championship is in Miami. Heat spurs part three next year

  14. hwatt - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM


  15. robigd - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I am not convinced the Heat can ever win another title with that roster.

    Aging role players not playing their roles, a 6’11” jump shooter, and a has-been with bad knees isn’t the recipe for winning these days.

  16. jbeagles23 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Nobody would’ve cared about the decision had he stayed in Cleveland. It’s that he publicly punked his team while doing it. Kind of a pay back for Gilbert trying to sell lebron that he was getting him a surrounding cast when they got over the hill shaq or Jamison

  17. engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Bucrightoff Dude you are the PRESIDENT of the LEBRON JAMES HATE CLUB! Why So Much Hate! Huh! Huh!!

    • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      First off, that you care what someone says on a message board is slightly disturbing. Most people on here are here to troll other fanbases or other trolls. It’s not intellectual theatre, its a blog.

      Secondly, if I’m the President, what is Cantonbound? The supreme commnader?

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        supreme commander/ruler of the friggin hateful universe

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Are you from the US? Some of your spelling looks like you’re from England.

        I’m not trolling, I’m truly interested.

        As for trolling – damn it, that’s not what this site (or other blogs) should be used for! It should be for good basketball conversation with people with differing views.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Canada. Yeah I try more often than not to make actual comments, but there are just so many trolls here that, when you’re bored at work, you gotta kill time.

  18. kb2408 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Yep, then you, Bosh and Wade can grow old together. But your days of winning rings are probably over.

  19. JT - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    They have to get a few more solid cats to help out the declining Wade or Wade better go to Germany to see if he can get that knee surgery Kobe had… Who knows what Bron will do, but one thing I highly doubt Wade opts out of him 2/40 left lol

  20. jimthebuilder27 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    The fact that there’s no state income taxes in Florida certainly doesn’t hurt. That’s one reason I’m hoping to move there.

  21. packhawk04 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    If im miami, im doing a sign and trade with wade, dont carr what i get in return as long as hes gone, and go all in for carmelo to take his place. If you dont get anthony, you werent winning with wade taking up space anymore regardless…

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

      Signing Melo would mean that the Heat have chosen to chuck their defense-first me-last identity. That strikes me as a wildly improbable way to go after losing the Finals to the one team in the league that is as committed to that kind of identity as the Heat are. I’m not saying it couldn’t work – I would just be surprised at the choice of that direction.

  22. lilyen311 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Hey engh533. I live in Ohio and grew up in Miami. I love living here. I am also a 25 year Cavs season ticket holder. Do not want him to return to Cleveland. Let him stay with the Heat. No respect for his “decision.” All he needs now is a LeBron Sirius XM station so it can also be All LeBron all of the time, just like Pro Basketball Talk and ESPN.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      You don’t like PBT being “All LeBron all the time”, so you post about LeBron to PBT. Ooookay.

    • engh533 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      It doesn’t matter that is his choice to live in Ohio or wherever he wants to live.Get over the Decision already!!

  23. fpstratton - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    I respect LeBron more if he indeed chooses to stay with the Heat. Why shouldn’t he? This is still a very good basketball team. The Spurs played unbelievable basketball in the finals, not seen in many a year. What other team dominated an opponent in the finals for three consecutive games the way the Spurs dominated the Heat? Sure, the Heat have flaws, but they’re still Eastern Conference Champs. They obviously need to retool, but the core is still good. As long as LeBron is there, they will be contenders. Chris Bosh has been much-maligned, but last I checked, he’s still a pretty good basketball player. Dwyane Wade’s durability is obviously a question mark, and I think the Heat really missed Mike Miller, who was instrumental in their victory over the Spurs in the 2013 finals. People are too quick to say, “Break up the team” if they don’t win the Championship. This is extremely short-sighted. Miami can return to the finals next year with this current set of players.

  24. campcouch - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    No one realizes that this year’s Heat team actually turned into the ’07 Cavs team…with the same results. Bosh and Wade literally turned into Ilgauskus and Mo Williams. Since Bosh and Wade still have more talent than the other two did or will, I don’t see him leaving there,after all they’ve made it to 4 straight Finals. But,in the back of his mind there has to be some concern about carrying them again. In the end,unless they restructure their contracts or the choice FAs take some serious rebates,it’s not going to get easier in the league.

  25. 1historian - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    The ‘Decision’ show 4 years ago was a fiasco. Everybody (but LBJ) knew it at the time and as soon as he realized it he apologized for it, and it was for a charitable cause anyway. Forgotten except for some who constantly bring it up, for reasons known only to themselves.

    The subsequent intro of the 3 guys that Riley orchestrated – distasteful, but it’s a free country. I dislike that kind of c r a p as a rule, but I’m here in Maine, no one made me go to it, and so that too is history.

    Wade – damaged goods and if he opts out of that contract he’s nuts. Bosh – nothing special. Miami’s 4 straight years in the Finals is at an end hopefully, but the strength of the NBA is still in the West and will be for probably at least another 2 years until someone emerges in the east.

    LBJ’s making 20 mill next season – we all have to make sacrifices.

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