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LeBron James' return to Cleveland was the smart basketball move

Pro BasketballBasketballLeBron JamesCleveland CavaliersMiami HeatAndrew WigginsDwyane Wade
LeBron James chose the team with the greater upside

Hmm, let’s see … what LeBron James had to think about when choosing between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Kyrie Irving and either Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love.

Or … Chris Bosh, a fading Dwyane Wade, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger.

Warm hometown feelings aside, James made the smart basketball move Friday by deciding to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of staying with the Miami Heat.

The Cavaliers have one of the NBA’s most dynamic young point guards in Irving and a potential superstar in No. 1 draft pick Wiggins, who may be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Love. Either way, James’ arrival makes Cleveland a ready-made contender in the weaker than 30-year-old plywood Eastern Conference.

Had James remained in Miami, the Heat might have been favored to win the East but would have been expected to be dismissed in quick fashion had it made another Finals foray. San Antonio, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, Houston, Portland and Golden State all arguably would have been better than the Heat next season — and that’s even with James on the roster!

Bosh has been oddly underutilized, Wade fossilized before our eyes in the Finals and the free-agent pickups Heat President Pat Riley has made — McRoberts and Granger — are underwhelming at best.

So don’t let the coming-home narrative be the only one James touts in his return to Cleveland. He’s actually coming back to a far better team than the one he left in 2010.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Pro BasketballBasketballLeBron JamesCleveland CavaliersMiami HeatAndrew WigginsDwyane Wade
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