Ever since the summer of 2010, we have all speculated that Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James would never see the fifth year of their initial Big Three contracts.
Fans, pundits and maybe even Miami Heat management have assumed that the trio of stars would choose to opt out at the end of the 2013-14 NBA season, regardless of this year’s outcome. And although Bosh recently hinted that he and James would be staying in South Beach, Wade told ESPN The Magazine that things have not been discussed:
“As players, you only have so much time and you only have so many moments where you have the ability to control your own fate, so it’s not a bad thing at all if that’s what someone is thinking. I haven’t had that conversation with Chris. I haven’t had that conversation with Bron.”
Not having that conversation means that options are still open — options that could mean not opting out until next summer. But why would they do that?
Bosh could be comfortable not being the man in Miami but being considered Erik Spoelstra’s most important piece. Wade might be reluctant to pass up on the last two years of his deal knowing that at this point in his career he may never be guaranteed another $41 million.
And as a businessman James may want to wait and see what type of team he can be built around the next stage of basketball life with upcoming free agents Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, Roy Hibbert and LaMarcus Aldridge. Then there’s always the Big Apple dream of him joining Carmelo Anthony after the financial space opens in the Garden.
In the end, Pat Riley can only hope that the guys’ postseason sit down leads to voided contracts that are restructured to give ownership a chance to retool around them and save a little money in league luxury tax “repeater” penalties.