The loss of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers isn’t something the Miami Heat franchise is going to get over anytime soon. Any team losing the greatest basketball on the planet would be in the same position. Many assumed that with the departure of James, Chris Bosh would be on his way out the door in the form of a four-year, $88 million contract playing for the Houston Rockets. Pat Riley was able to swoop in aggressively and offer a five-year, $118 million contract to secure Bosh, potentially saving his franchise from going into complete rebuild mode.
Dwyane Wade and Bosh are still decent enough as a duo to be a threat in a still shaky Eastern Conference, especially if the Heat are able to sign a defensive-minded small forward like Luol Deng and secure a few more quality role players. Bosh’s ability to play as a stretch-forward over the last few seasons has made him a unique player in the league, but more importantly, other top-tier players view him as someone they want to play alongside. This is a major reason Houston was going after Bosh so openly, publicly stating how underappreciated his defensive mindset was. Bosh’s presence on the roster will attract other quality players to Miami, keeping them competitive in a still weak Eastern Conference.
Losing James will have an effect on the Heat’s overall standing next season — there is no denying this. Bosh will undoubtedly be the No. 1 option going forward offensively, and it will be the adjustments from coach Erik Spoelstra around Bosh that determine just how far the Heat sink in the standings. Riley has done an admirable job in free agency thus far with the signings of Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, but the most important move has been convincing Bosh to come back and play for a Heat team without LeBron James. Bosh re-signing has saved the Heat franchise from falling into complete mediocrity, for now.