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With Derrick Williams signing, Cavs and LeBron continue odd fixation with Heat players

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Why is Cleveland so interested in former Heat players since LeBron’s return?

NBA: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It was a simple joke in a comment on Hot Hot Hoops’ Facebook page from a Miami Heat fan in Thailand after the team recently waived Derrick Williams.

As far as we know, Andre Chu is not clairvoyant, but what is apparent is that the Cleveland LeBrons..I mean, the Cavaliers...just happen to be very interested in former Miami Heat players ever since LeBron James re-signed with the team in the summer of 2014.

To recap:

  • Miami native James Jones leaves for Cleveland soon after LeBron signs with the Cavs after seven seasons with the Heat.
  • LeBron’s good friend Mike Miller also joins the Cavaliers in the same offseason. Both Miller and Jones signed August 5, 2014 -- 25 days after LeBron.
  • The very next month former Heat player Shawn Marion also signs.
  • (Future Heat legend Dion Waiters was subsequently traded by the Cavs to the OKC Thunder on January 5, 2015. Apropos of nothing, just wanted to throw that in there.)
  • Ray Allen has seemingly been linked to the Cavaliers ever year since LeBron returned, but never ended up signing. Yet.
  • Chris “Birdman” Anderson, was reportedly also considering the Cavs in 2014, likely at LeBron’s urging, before deciding to re-sign with the Heat. He eventually played for Cleveland this season but was ruled out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL.
  • Former Heat prospect and Sioux Falls Skyforce player DeAndre Liggins signs with Cleveland this season.
  • Chris Bosh was rumored to be a target of the Cavs if he indeed made an NBA comeback (though that seems to be unlikely now given Bosh’s recent attitude towards a possible retirement).
  • LeBron really wanted Dwyane Wade to join the Cavaliers this season but “we couldn’t afford him”.
  • Norris Cole is linked to the Cavs before the start of this season after Mo Williams officially retires.
  • Mario Chalmers is also linked to the same reports and was brought in along with other NBA veterans just last week to try out for a Cavs roster spot.
  • Derrick Williams signs with Cleveland yesterday, days after he was waived by the Heat.

That’s a lot of former Heat players, including LeBron himself, linked to the same team — with most of them ended up signing with Cleveland. Also, there’s still a strong possibility that Chalmers or Cole, both currently out of the league, could still end up on Cleveland’s roster this season.

Coincidence? Maybe LeBron simply really, really liked his former teammates on and off the court. In Williams’ case...well, I don’t get the interest in him. Maybe LeBron wants fresh intel on his former team (my wife’s half-serious theory). It’s not as if Williams fits the “playmaker” mold that LeBron has been pleading for lately. In his first game with Cleveland last night, he made a few decent plays and then let a pass from LeBron slip through his hands for a turnover during crunch time, just before the Thunder made their final push to win the game. Par for the course when it comes to the talented but erratic Williams.

In any case, the curious trend of former Heat players ending up in Cleveland continues. Who will be next?