The Heat’s star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are doing their best to avoid talking about next summer’s free agent decision that all three players will be faced with, but inevitably, the questions keep coming, and so do some answers.
When they signed their Miami contracts in 2010, the group all sacrificed a small amount financially, and all structured their deals to include the ability to opt out following the 2013-14 season.
Bosh said recently that whether or not the Heat win a third straight title will go a long way in determining whether everyone comes back for up to two more seasons. But Wade realizes that with the new, stricter salary cap and luxury tax penalties that are in place, money could potentially be just as big a factor in everyone’s decision.
In another private moment, Wade acknowledged hearing the muted talk of how he, James and Bosh would need to compromise in their next Heat contracts for there to be another round of Big Three possibilities starting in 2014-15.
“You’re concerned,” Wade said of money weighing into the equation as much as championship possibilities. “That’s obviously an important part of the puzzle. So, that’s something that we leave to our agents, we leave to the Miami Heat front office to see what they can present us, how creative they can be. We understand it’s not as easy as it was in 2010 when we signed.”
The Heat are already making roster decisions based on finances — Mike Miller, a member of the championship teams of the last two seasons, was waived this summer using the amnesty provision in a move that saved the club in the neighborhood of $17 million in total costs.
James and Bosh would both command max contracts on the open market if they went the free agency route, and Wade will likely get a couple more years added onto his deal to stay in Miami if he so chooses.
All three players could simply do nothing next summer, and earn around $42 million each over the next two seasons. What’s more likely, however, is that everyone opts out — either to sign long-term deals to stay in Miami, or to go their separate ways.