Before Game 5 of the NBA Finals — the Miami Heat’s final game of the 2013-14 NBA season — LeBron James told his teammates to follow him. That didn’t turn out well in San Antonio that night, but now it’s apparently working: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have both opted out of their deals as well, which suggests the Big Three will all take pay cuts to help improve Miami’s roster for 2014-15 season and beyond.
On Friday, Rotoworld reported the news, which is supposed to be official over the weekend. Before leaving on a summer vacation with his family, James opted out and then met with Bosh and Wade on Wednesday to decide the team’s future with they three of them as its core. Unless they all three agreed to part ways (which is highly unlikely), this means they will all re-sign to more team-friendly contracts with the Heat.
This is bad news for the NBA, which became evident on the night of the 2014 NBA Draft when the Heat traded for Shabazz Napier exactly two minutes after James tweeted that the former UConn star was his favorite player in the draft. If that doesn’t suggest James is running things in South Beach, nothing will. It’s also great news for Miami “fans” because it means they’ll have a brand new team centered around three (and possibly four) stars, just like in 2010.
That’s right: don’t expect many of the players who were on the Heat’s roster last year to be there in this upcoming season. Right now, Norris Cole is the only player under contract, so after re-signing the Big Three and inking Napier to his rookie deal, Miami should have enough money to sign one more big-name player and then a slew of role players, which are likely to consist of mostly aging veterans chasing rings for minimum pay.
Of course, if that other big-name player is one like Carmelo Anthony and at least a couple of those aging veterans are guys like Ray Allen, who helped the Heat to a title in his first season in Miami, the Heat could be back and better than ever in 2014-15.
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