Now that Derek Fisher is locked in as the New York Knicks’ head coach, rumors have picked up on where Carmelo Anthony will be headed next season. Speculation has led to media and fans predicting teams like the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, as well as his current team, the Knicks, to be in the mix for his services. Add another team to the mix – the Miami Heat.
While people have certainly wondered internally, “what if Melo goes to Miami,” throughout the NBA season, it did not seem like a realistic option until the past day or so. Stephen A. Smith thinks that if both Carmelo and LeBron James opt-in for the 2014-15 season, that there is a “95% chance” they will be playing on the same team during the 2015-16 season.
ESPN took this rumor even further, declaring the Heat are internally discussing the possibility of adding Anthony after the 2014 NBA Finals. For this to occur, the big-3 of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and James would all have to opt-out of their current deals and take a less annual salary. This is entirely possible, as both Wade and Bosh have previously stated they are willing to take less money to stay on a competing team in Miami. Along with the fact that LeBron makes a fortune off the court, this scenario really is not far-fetched.
Carmelo was part of the same 2003 NBA Draft as James, Wade and Bosh, where he was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets. It should come as no surprise that Melo wants to give himself the best opportunity to win a championship, as the Conference Finals are the furthest he has ever advanced to.
As absurd as this is, there is a legitimate chance the Heat will become even more of a super-team. If the big-3 opt-out, Miami will only have one contract obligation heading into next season: Norris Cole at $2 million. It seems Miami will be able to convince James, Wade and Bosh to take less money, which would be the biggest obstacle. If Melo is also willing to take less annual money, there is no reason why this move will not happen. And if it does, there is also no reason for the Heat not to make a run at the “great” Darko Milicic.