LeBron James is gone, but Heat are still trying to win now.
Miami owes the Cavaliers a first-round pick that is top-10 protected next year, meaning the Heat can’t sit on the fence. They must either tank hard or try to remain a team capable of winning a playoff series (or more).
Pat Riley has made the, I believe correct, calculation that the East is to weak for tanking.
Bosh believes in this plan, but the lynchpin – Dwyane Wade – remains unsigned.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Depending on the length of the deal, if Wade starts at $15 million, here are the potential ranges for the value of the contract:
- Two years:$28,875,000-$31,125,000
- Three years:$41,625,000-$48,375,000
- Four years:$53,250,000-$66,750,000
- Five years:$63,750,000-$86,250,000
Even on the low end, that’s a lot of money for a 32-year-old who fell apart during the Finals.
But Wade had an excellent regular season and played well throughout most of the playoffs. I don’t think he’s done yet, and when healthy, he’s still one of the NBA’s top shooting guards.
It’s not an ideal path, but the Heat re-signing Wade and hoping he remains healthy is probably their best course at this time. They can’t just get a replacement off the street.
On the bright(?) side, they probably don’t need to worry about preserving him for such long playoff runs anymore.