Trade talk goes go on in Miami, even though the team made it all the way to the NBA Finals again this year. In fact, just because they just lost in the Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, last night no less, doesn't mean they get some let-up in the trade rumor universe.
Every team in the NBA, including the champion Spurs, must be thinking 'next season' just as soon as their season ends. For the Heat, the first order of business 'next season' must be about keeping Lebron James for a few more years.
But, they are hearing them, too.
Now that the Finals have come and gone, they too are hearing rumors on top of rumors that James could head to another team next season.
And like the teams considering the next moves of the franchise, even players nicknamed the King must think of ways to keep winning, and who they want to be surrounded by to do so more easily.
Some of the rumors, like those on Yahoo! Sports, point to how Lebron James and his wife, Savannah, "love Los Angeles."
"A source said James and his wife, Savannah, love Los Angeles. LeBron James also is close with Clippers point guard Chris Paul and he admires coach Doc Rivers," the report reads.
The same report says a source close to James said that it's unlikely he'll go elsewhere as Miami is the best option at this point.
James can become a free agent by opting out of his contract that pays $20.5 million next season and $22.1 million in 2015-2016, so expect the rumors to start on where he will land, if he leaves Miami.
In the game 5 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, James said he plays for his teammates, and that is probably true.
So, in the swirling rumors or Lebron heading out west to save the Lakers, and being joined by free agent Carmelo Anthony to get the job done, one has to wonder: why not just do that in South Beach?
If James wants to drive home the idea that he is the biggest, "what have you done for me lately" type guy there is, then he should put on another big show and leave Miami. If he wants to go down in history as an empire builder, then he should stay in Florida and get Anthony to join him there. He could help keep himself, and his friends and teammates already in Miami, on top for years possibly by doing that.
NBC Sports points to multiple ways the Heat can keep Wade, Bosh, James, and bring in Anthony. The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement does not make it impossible, according to the report.
For James, the King may be dead this year, but next season is right around the corner and he knows that surrounding himself with the right people is key as he considers his next move. It's not impossible that he keeps his court in Miami, and continues to rule the league for a long time.
Lebron has to be thinking, Long live the King!