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In Search of His Next Team to Play for, LeBron James Could Find Himself in Familiar Territory

In Search of His Next Team to Play for, LeBron James Could Find Himself in Familiar Territory

LeBron James during a break in the action in a 2017 game against the Washington Wizards | Wikimedia Commons/Keith Allison

The NBA's free agency signing period is still a few weeks away, but that has done little to quell speculation regarding where the top players could end up.

LeBron James' free agency, in particular, has been a popular topic of discussion among fans.

As good as James is with the ball in his hands, he may be even more adept at keeping his free agency plans under wraps.

Still, there are rumors out there that are trying to shed more light on what James could do, including one that came from sports media personality Stephen A. Smith.

Over on Twitter, Smith posted an image that features "the 7 teams LeBron is going to have conversations with this summer."

As fans may have expected, the list contains all the usual suspects such as James' current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as other preferred rumored destinations, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

Smith also identified the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers as other teams that could have free agency talks with James.

Then, at the end of the list is a somewhat surprising potential landing spot for James, with that being the Miami Heat.

Some fans may want to dismiss Smith's claim about the Heat because he's someone who's developed a reputation for making bold statements on TV, but as the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson pointed out, Smith was on the money back in 2010 when he reported that the franchise had a good shot of signing James.

So, is James really considering going back to the Heat?

Well, James clearly has no objections about reuniting with a franchise he played for previously as he did exactly that with the Cavaliers.

James being familiar with the Heat may even improve the franchise's chances of bringing him back to South Beach.

It was just recently that James himself indicated that the comfort level of his family will factor into his free agency decision.

Per a recent report from ESPN's Dave McMenamin, James said that "my family is a huge part of whatever I'll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that."

James spent four years with the Heat earlier this decade, and there were no indicators that he and his family were not pleased with their stay in Miami, so a return is not out of the question.

Still, comfort and familiarity may not be enough to lure James back to South Beach.

There are some interesting young players on the Heat, including Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow, and it will be interesting to see how they could grow alongside James. However, if James is looking for more established and accomplished veterans to play with, then the Heat may not be the team he decides to go to.

The Heat's cap sheet is also clogged at the moment, so even if they wanted to, they may find it very difficult to add other veterans beyond James.

It's not out of the realm of possibility for James to go back to the Heat, but at this point at least, that franchise cannot be considered as the favorite to sign him this summer.

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