UPDATE 5:01 pm: As you might expect, the CAA agent for Bosh and Wade doesn’t like the suggestions his players would take a massive pay cut. He denies it.
Everybody is likely spinning a little here. You can be sure that Miami’s “big three” gave Pat Riley some kind of salary framework for him to have an idea what he could spend in free agency. The numbers below may or may not be exactly accurate, but if they are not close Riley is not going to have his hands free to upgrade the roster in the way LeBron (and Heat fans) want.
It also is possible that this is the lowest the Heat players go and if Riley doesn’t use all that money Bosh and Wade will soak it up.
3:40 pm: LeBron James does not want to take the pressure off Pat Riley and Miami Heat management — not this summer, not when it’s over. However, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are making the sacrifices to both give LeBron his cash and give Heat president Pat Riley room to maneuver.
We knew LeBron, Bosh and Wade presented their plans to Riley, providing a financial framework of what he would have to spend.
Now we have an idea what that is that is, thanks to John Canzano of the Oregonian.
That’s some big per-year sacrifices from Wade and Bosh, both of whom could have made $10 million more a year for the next two years (but do get more guaranteed money in the long run). Zach Lowe of Grantland said he heard flopped numbers — Wade $12 million to start, Bosh $10 million to start — but it seems in the same ballpark.
If this report is accurate what does that mean for Riley? What can he spend?
He has $12,918,609 in cap room below the projected cap of $63.2 million to spend, according to PBT’s own Dan Feldman who ran the numbers.
That accounts for LeBron at his max ($20.7 million, although he may take a little less), Wade at $12 million, Bosh at $11 million, Norris Cole who is on the books already, the rookie contract for Shabazz Napier and seven minimum-salary cap holds.
Riley could use all or almost all of that to go after one big player — Kyle Lowry or Luol Deng, although neither is willing to take a discout to come to South Beach — or he could divide it up into two or three players at and try and fill a few needs with quality players. After using up that cap space Miami would still have a $2,732,000 exception, which could be useful for Udonis Haslem (it can only be a two-year deal but Haslem isn’t playing longer than that anyway). After that it is all minimum contracts.
The ball is in Pat Riley’s court — he got a healthy chunk of cap space thanks to player sacrifices. Now he has to do something with it.