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Heat view Kyrie Irving trade as long shot

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson also said the Heat don’t expect to sign LeBron James next summer.

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

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported today, according to an Eastern Conference official who spoke with the Miami Heat, that Heat executives consider trading for Kyrie Irving “something of a long shot.”

Jackson said that if suitors with more appealing assets fail to strike a deal with the Cavaliers, that would be the Heat’s best chance. He also said the Heat do not expect LeBron James to return to Miami next summer, when he can become a free agent. James’ Instagram post expressing nostalgia for “great memories” in Miami earlier this month fueled speculation that the superstar could return to the only other franchise he’s played for.

It’s true that while Justise Winslow is a good asset as a 21-year-old with good defensive skills, but he’s also coming off an injury-riddled season and hasn’t proven to have even a passable jump shot. Any Heat trade for Irving would probably require a third team to sweeten the deal. Besides, Cleveland may balk at the idea of making a conference rival into a legitimate challenger for the Eastern Conference throne.

For now, Pat Riley will have to wait.