Culture of Hoops

Miami Heat: Big Three Staying in South Beach

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Free agency is coming. Whether that is the new slogan of the Stark family of Winterfell or what an excited Paul Revere (never actually) yelled, NBA free agency is in fact only a day away.

There will be some focus on where Carmelo Anthony will go, and even some focus on where the immature Jason Kidd will end up coaching, but all eyes will be on the big three of Miami Heat. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all be free agents with many options in front of them.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

Wade and Bosh are grouped together for the simple reason that the chances of them leaving Miami are very slim. Their only reason for opting out is likely because James started the trend and they knew that it would be better to negotiate new contracts as a group.

Wade is the one member of the Heat that will never leave. If James left and even Bosh too, Pat Riley would make sure that he could get Wade to stay.

As for Bosh, there is zero reason for him to leave the Heat. He is no longer the star he once was once thought to be, but fits in great playing along Wade and James. It would just not make sense for him to leave at this point in time. Even if James left the Heat, the team would still be a contender with Bosh becoming a more important piece, but not the one player that is entirely focused on like he was in Toronto.

LeBron James

When James originally opted out of his contract it seemed that his departure from Miami was an actual possibility. That was until it became clear that Wade and Bosh would also be opting out of their contracts. That made the move look more like an opportunity to restructure their contracts than a mass exodus.

The perceived chances of James leaving decreased even further when the Heat made an in-draft trade to acquire Shabazz Napier and end the exciting reunion of Napier and Kemba Walker that lasted all of a few minutes.

The only realistic option of James going anywhere but Miami would be if he went to Cleveland, but there is no reason to break up the big three in Miami at this point in time. A return to Cleveland is more likely toward the end of his career, when the Cavs may already be a playoff team and he will not have to carry the team like he did when he was in Cleveland.

The speculation will begin to come to an end once free agency starts tomorrow and the big three can begin to negotiate their contracts. James may listen to offers from other teams, but it would be very surprising for him to sit down with other teams and have serious negotiations. Next year, the big three have a chance to redeem themselves after  this season’s brutal Finals loss, and can do so with these new contracts that can allow the Heat to acquire more skilled players to surround Wade, Bosh and James.

The next question that will come after they sign the new contracts will deal with who they will target to bring the team back to a championship level. That question can be looked into more once the new contracts are signed and the salaries are known to the public.

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