Not everyone is leaving the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh for example, despite a very serious offer from the Houston Rockets, decided to take more years and more money by staying with the team he won two NBA championships with, which probably opens the door and makes the Dwyane Wade prospect of signing a greater possibility.
There’s no doubt that LeBron James choosing to leave the Miami Heat and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a massive blow to the franchise. After four years of reaching the NBA finals, it’s going to be very different. But this isn’t 2010 Cleveland. The Heat aren’t completely falling apart. Pat Riley won’t allow it. Bosh might be getting overpaid with a five-year, $118 million deal, but the Heat knew they’d had to overpay him to stay the moment James made his decision.
Now it remains to be seen if Dwyane Wade makes up his mind in a positive way as well. He has been a Heat player since he entered the league in 2003. He might not be the best player who ever played for the team, but I assume most fans see him as the franchise’s greatest player ever, playing a major part in all three titles won since 2006. He hasn’t said where he’s going, but only that he knows where he’s going.
Wade opted out of a two-year, $42 million he had left on his contract, and will likely take less money on average, but sign a longer deal. That might not be in the Heat’s best interest, but sometimes contracts are about more than their immediate value. Keeping someone so special to the organization and city means more than calculating if his ability at his age and physical status are worth the money he’ll be getting.
The Heat aren’t done yet. A lot depends on how much Wade takes in his deal (some figure it’ll be a four-year, $55 million contract), but they’ll have room to make some moves to help add some more players like Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Far from superstars, but certainly not guys who aren’t going to to do much but sit on the bench. The Miami Heat are going to be very different, and with Bosh being their leading man as it seems, they’re going to need plenty of help.
An end of an era for the Heat, but also a test for all those involved. For Chris Bosh, to show that his numbers from the last few years were because of less touches and a reduced offensive role. For Erik Spoelstra, who was already the head coach before James arrived in 2010, it’ll be a chance to show that his skills and instincts can thrive even without the best player in the NBA listening to his talks on the bench.