The Miami Heat organization made their first big free agency moves of the summer by signing both PF Josh McRoberts and SF Danny Granger to mid-level exception contracts. McRoberts is a four-year deal, while Granger’s is only a two-year contract. These are the first few role players that Pat Riley has added to the roster in hopes of retaining Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and most importantly LeBron James for next season, and hopefully even more than that.
The contracts that were offered to both McRoberts and Granger were the only options the Heat organization had available to entice free agents this summer, as decisions from all three members of the Big Three are still absent. The lack of a direct answer from the Big Three is putting a hold on everyone else’s contracts currently on the Heat roster, most specifically Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers and Greg Oden. This had put the organization in somewhat of a limbo-type situation, mostly due to the fact that many free agents won’t want to sign with the Heat unless they are confident James is back in Miami for next season.
On the surface, the Heat are playing their free agency as if they are an already capped team in terms of payroll, utilizing contract options that typically don’t fall into place until after most of the other contracts on the roster have been filled and signed. This is a big indication that Riley and the rest of the Heat organization are confident that James, Wade and Bosh will be returning to South Beach, at least for next season.
Although it would seem like Heat are preparing to welcome back the Big Three for next season, anything could happen, especially with how delayed these answers have been from all three players. Many of the rumors floating around could be just a smoke screen to cover up what the Heat are really doing in terms of signing depth for next season. The signings of McRoberts and Granger are most likely just the beginning of what is going to be an unpredictable and exciting free agency period for the Heat.