For the third time in his career, LeBron James‘ upcoming free agency could once again drastically alter the NBA landscape for years to come. The fallout from his 2014 decision to return to Cleveland after a four-year stint in Miami is still being felt around the league.
And whatever he decides this summer, whether to stay with the Cavs or to try and chase a championship elsewhere, it will no doubt have wide-ranging implications for several franchises. For instance, the Heat are still trying to pick up the pieces from his departure in 2014.
Yes, team president Pat Riley has done an admirable job of keeping his franchise somewhat competitive in the intervening years, but it’s been a difficult and complicated process. And beyond that, it’s taken the legendary executive some time to come to terms with that reality.