Not exactly the meeting of the five families, but LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh meeting to decide their future and also that of the Miami Heat has a slight ‘Godfather’ ring to it, as the Big Three try to decide what their next move is heading into free agency, and whether its’ going to be one that keeps them together on the same team.
What we know so far? LeBron James has opted out of his deal, and that’s it. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh still haven’t decided, or simply haven’t revealed their decision, about their future. The trio met to discuss and maybe decide what they’re going to do together. Who is willing or not to take a pay cut. Meanwhile, Pat Riley and pretty much an entire team and its fanbase are waiting, holding their breath for white smoke to come from the big three camp.
In 2006, James, Wade and Bosh talked to each other before signing extensions on their rookie deals. In 2010, the trio became teammates after Dwyane Wade convinced the two that playing with him in South Beach was the right thing to do. He was right about that. The Heat made four finals trips and won two NBA championships in the Big Three era, as Wade added a third championship ring to his fingers following his title from 2006.
Anthony is also in the loop. James seems to be keeping things open on all ends. Maybe the Miami Heat are his top option, but that probably depends on how important it is for Wade and Bosh to keep earning the way they have been so far. There are $42 million on the table for each of them to leave if they opt out. Bosh is still a player who can get a substantial fee in free agency. Dwayne Wade? Not so much.
No one is waiting out there for Wade. The Heat, obviously, are a different thing. Wade has been there since 2003, and most consider him to be the franchise’s greatest player ever. He might not be LeBron James in terms of his overall NBA legacy, but specifically for the Heat, he’s usually the more popular figure. Most teams in the NBA would love to sign Chris Bosh, and it’s not worth mentioning what kind of buzz LeBron James is creating just by mentioning he’d be opting out.
How does this end? The Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls are all making eyes at James, hoping that his desire to win titles while not caring as much about his salary and the money he makes, will drive him away from the Heat and venture somewhere else. So far he’s keeping his cards close to his chest, just like Wade and Bosh, which is driving the NBA crazy, not just the Miami Heat.