LeBron James might want a max contract.
Or he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might accept less to allow Pat Riley to upgrade the Heat’s supporting cast.
I believe the uncertainty rests in whom Riley could land. I don’t see the big three taking pay cuts to make room for just anyone.
According to sources, among the players the Heat will pursue are veteran Warriors guard Steve Blake, who can play either guard spot, can knock down 3-pointers and is expected to draw interest from other contenders, like the Thunder.
Another pair of graybeards is also on the Heat list: Shawn Marion of the Mavericks and teammate Vince Carter. Both players have expressed interest in the team, and the feeling is said to be mutual.
The Heat would like to add someone in his prime this summer, including Marvin Williams, Trevor Ariza or Kyle Lowry. But the fact is, there won’t be much available when it comes to players in their 20s, and the Heat can’t go overboard with spending. DeJuan Blair is a possibility at power forward, while Spencer Hawes and Channing Frye are outside possibilities for the frontcourt.
Miami needs better support for the big three, and these players could push the Heat over the edge to the championship next season. It’s not as if they were that far off this year, and the won the previous two years.
But most of these players are not exceptional. They’re supporting players, and the mid-level exception, bi-annual exception or minimum salaries – what Miami would have available if the big three seek big deals – should be enough to lure them to a championship-caliber team playing in a tax-free state with great weather.
When Marvin Williams is a longshot, that says something about the Heat’s options.