May 8, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (left) talks with center Chris Bosh (center) and guard Dwyane Wade (right) during the second half in game two of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat: Big Three Aren’t Going Anywhere


Haters, beware. It doesn’t look like the Big Three of the Miami Heat is going anywhere any time soon. And if Pat Riley and the Heat have their way, getting back LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could just be the beginning.

Agent Henry Thomas, who represents Wade, Bosh and Haslem, told ESPN Saturday that Wade and Haslem would follow LeBron James’ lead and opt out of their current contracts, making them free agency this summer. Bosh has yet to officially inform Miami of his decision, but ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting he will also be opting out.

Wade still had two years and $41.8 million on his contract, Bosh had two years and $42.6 million left and Haslem will not be exercising a player option worth $4.6 million. With the Big Three and Haslem all opting out, the Heat will have an NBA record $55 million of salary cap room to work with this summer.

LeBron and Bosh opting out shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Wade doing the same is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. Considering the way Wade’s correspondingly deteriorated with his ailing game last season, especially in the NBA Finals, it’s safe to say Wade’s new contract with the Heat will be for substantially less than the $20 million he was owed next season. Wade will likely make it up in the long run, but he’ll never command a contract quite as big as that again and that’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, LeBron will be seeking a max contract and is eligible for a five-year, $130 million extension. If that report is true, LeBron’s new max deal could potentially hurt the Heat in their quest to upgrade a roster that needs a few tweaks to be NBA title favorites again.

Before now, Miami’s seemed like the safe bet for LeBron’s free agency destination. With the news that Wade, Bosh and Haslem will do the same, it’s all but guaranteed that the Heat’s Big Three will be restructuring their contracts this summer in order to make enough space for another star like Carmelo Anthony or Kyle Lowry. By putting their fans through a temporary scare by staying on the same page and opting out, the Heat’s next super team no longer seems like a “pipe dream” as Pat Riley called it before.

There’s a minuscule possibility all three of Miami’s stars are ready for new things. On Thursday, Ric Bucher tweeted that the Heat were going to try and trade with the Toronto Raptors for Kyle Lowry and that Bosh would opt out and return to Toronto as a free agent. LeBron might not be sold on Wade’s durability or his ability to further his legacy with more championships in Miami. It’s hard to argue joining the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets or Los Angeles Clippers wouldn’t make his new team title favorites.

But LeBron is also cognizant of his off-the-court legacy. Even if LeBron left Miami for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, he’d be scrutinized no matter where he went for once again leaving an organization he’s had sustained success with, except this time it’d be magnified by ten since the Heat have been to the Finals four straight times. At some point, Riley’s message about loyalty, not to mention Miami’s willingness to trade up for LeBron’s favorite player in the draft Shabazz Napier, has to sink in.

With Wade, Bosh and Haslem all opting out, it’s pretty clear that time is now. The Big Three are perfectly aware they didn’t have enough last season to beat a better San Antonio Spurs team and these are the necessary steps to retool the roster. LeBron haters and those who don’t like the new super team trend that’s starting to dominate the NBA had better buckle up. It’s going to be a long summer and 2014-15 season.

Tags: Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Lebron James Miami Heat NBA Free Agency Popular Udonis Haslem

  • Nategraham20

    Gerald my friend, you are the reason why people can’t stand The Miami Heat! You can keep em, because Cleveland is building something, let me say that again, BUILDING something that will be more unstoppable in a few short years then your Miami project led by our own Lebron James! You can add whatever you want but if Wade and Bosh continue to struggle you wont be able to get anywhere. Our area no longer needs Lebron on our basketball team, he continues to support our community and my hs St. V, but thats all we really need him for anymore! Keep him, He is the one making the mistake of staying, Wiggins and Kyrie are the future! Oh btw if he stays dont take it personal, he doesn’t care about the fans, remember he’s only there to win his rings! His original fans, actual family, real friends, and true legacy remains in Akron!

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      Cleveland should probably, i don’t know… make the playoffs?… before they decide they don’t need/want a 4x MVP in his prime.

      • Nategraham20

        It was a blessing we didnt make the playoffs this season, we were decent last year despite not making it! Imagine the potential there is next year for the Cavs with the addition of Wiggins. Not only will we make the playoffs but we have the talent to possibly win a series or two!

        • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

          Yeah. Those 33 wins were super. Excuse me if I am skeptical that an offensively limited rookie small forward and a rookie head coach significantly improve teh team.

          • Nategraham20

            First thing you have to understand is that Dan Gilbert is one of the best owners in the league! He will be very active this summer making trades and finding ways to improve the roster! Kyrie’s stock is only going up, he is slowly becoming one of the best PG’s in the league! Wiggins athleticism alone will contribute day one, in my opinion he’s gonna turn a lot of heads his rookie season, the kid has a lot to prove! Blatt is a great guy, he will serve as a terrific mentor and coach! We have the highest paid assistant coach in the league i’m sure if Blatt struggles with the transition Lue can fill in the holes! The rest of the roster is mediocre but still solid most games!

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            i think anyone expecting rookie Wiggins or sophomore Wiggins to be better than Luol Deng is fooling themselves.

          • Nategraham20

            Deng is old, he had his worst season yet with the cavs last year, I think you need to go watch some highlight tape!

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            1) I said Wiggins this year or the year after. You counter… by bringing up Wiggins four years from now? That doesn’t invalidate my point.

            2) Funny how players manage to have their worst seasons with the Cavs.

          • Nategraham20

            Funny how you dont understand that when players are at the end of their career teams like the Bulls notice that and trade them! Thats the only reason that we got Deng, and any star player that comes here! Btw I would rather have Wiggins who can grow to become a star then say Melo who’s numbers are going to drop significantly in a couple of years! Please Heat fans and Cavs haters, Cleveland knows what they are doing! You guys are not professional and do not get paid to manage an NBA team!

          • John Masser

            Do you really think that someone hates your team? For what? What did they won?

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            That Anthony Bennet pick and the constant turnover in both the front office and coaching staff tells me that Cleveland does not, in fact, know what they are doing.

            Wiggins’ worst case scenario is borderline all star unless injuries derail him. It was a really good pick. It was also an absolute no brainer. You don’t give a high schooler credit for answering an addition problem.

            Let’s wait for Cleveland to do something smarter than sign Andrew Bynum, overpay Jarrett Jack, or trade away draft picks in order to “win now…” And only get to 33 wins.

          • Nategraham20

            Wiggins has a 44 inch vertical standing at 6 8, he has a decent jump shot that will drastically improve just like Lebron’s did! Him and Parker have potential to be the next durants and Melo’s of the league! He is only what 19? Wait until he is 22-23 Wiggins is gonna 10 x better then deng! Are you crazy?

          • John Masser

            Dan Gilbert one of the best owners in the league… that’s a goooooood one lol

          • Nategraham20

            You guys know nothing! Dan Gilbert is the third richest owner in the NBA worth 3.9 billion , right behind Micky Arison of the heat! He is a rags to riches story and unlike most other rich NBA owners remembers his humble beginnings and gives back to people alike! His passion and drive to support Cleveland is unreal, He has done everything in his power to improve the city, economy, and basketball team! Lebron leaving meant more to him and Cleveland then any one could imagine! If you werent here In Cleveland to support Lebron and watch the city grow from it please dont respond! You guys on here really dont know anything!

          • John Masser

            How much did he pay in luxury tax to bring talent to your team?!?! Not that much…

    • http://www.goodshepherdamericanbullies.com Goodshepherd Americanbullies

      Yea maybe if y’all get the #1 lottery pick for two more years y’all might finish 500 , then maybe in 3 more years yaw might contend for the division title , keep the faith boss!!

    • http://hoopshabit.com Gerald Bourguet

      To be clear, I’m not the Miami Heat fan you appear to think I am. This article is built on facts, not my opinion on whether he should stay in Miami or go back to Cleveland.

  • Nategraham20

    They shouldn’t let people write articles on here, unless they are actually credible on the topic, where you at every one of Lebrons hs games, did you grow up down the street from him? Doubt it! But guess who did<—-My one comment was more credible then your whole article! haha Miami fans you guys crack me up!

    • Phil Watson

      You should fill out an application. You could be our LeBron beat writer, just like Brian Windhorst.

      • Nategraham20

        I would love to do something like that!