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LeBron Rumors Lakers: Could LeBron Really Leave Miami For Lakers or Cavs In 2015?

By Staff Reporter - Posted: 02/12/13 09:09AM UTC
LeBron and Kobe

Kobe and LeBron will face off today. (Photo: Reuters)

On today's Grantland NBA podcast, Bill Simmons, Marc Stein, and Ric Bucher -- a trio with a combined 40 plus years of covering the NBA -- all agreed that they don't think LeBron James will be in a Miami Heat uniform in 2015. 

They're referring to, of course, James' opt-out clause in his contract that allows him to leave the Heat before the 2015 season. 

Stein and Bucher believe James will leave because Miami Heat is capped out and has no room for improvement. As we speculated before, in two years, Dwyane Wade will probably be a lesser player than Kyrie Irving, and the Heat have no other way of getting young talent in return. 

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Both Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers are aware of James' contract situation, of course, and both teams -- especially the former -- are ensuring they do not take on big money contracts that go beyond 2015, so they could have salary room to offer James a max contract. 

The Lakers GM, Jim Buss, has privately told people he's trying to save room to lure LeBron from Miami, according to various reports from Yahoo and ESPN.

If James were to leave Miami, it would make sense for him to either go to the Lakers -- the brightest franchise in the NBA -- or Cleveland Cavaliers, where he started his career. 

A return to his hometown state of Cleveland would be a storybook ending to one of the greatest careers in sports. But James, only 28, could theoretically play a full max contract in Cleveland and still be good enough to play for another team come 2019 or 2020. 

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