Can the Heat Sign Bosh, LeBron and Wade?
Of course, Bosh is not the only one that is confused by this. Many people have trouble coming to terms with the fact that Miami can indeed sign 3 max-contract players during 2010 NBA Free Agency—or at least understanding what will be required of Miami to make it happen. Michael Kay of ESPN’s own 1050 Radio went on record all week saying that Michael Beasley didn’t have to be traded in order for the Heat to acquire a third max-contract player. Beasley does, however, need to be moved for this to happen.
I won’t go into too many details, and I probably don’t need to anyway. To put it simply, the Miami Heat currently have just two players on their roster: Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley. When you account for the ten remaining spots that have to be slotted for NBA minimum contracts, the Heat already have enough cap room to sign two maximum players. In order to get a third maximum player, the Heat would have to do a sign-and-trade for the remaining player that would send Michael Beasley away, as Chalmers makes just $850K a year to Beasley’s $5 million cap hit.
The only question is, who gets the sign-and-trade deal?
Why is that important, well, the person who gets the sign-and-trade deal will get to sign with their current team, allotting them their Larry Bird rights and giving them the opportunity to exercise a no-trade clause. Oh and by the way, the player that gets the sign-and-trade deal to Miami would also make more money than the player that doesn’t.
Of course, Dwyane Wade will already have these rights afforded to him. Since he’s already a member of the Heat, he will get a six-year deal and full Larry Bird Rights. That means just one player, LeBron James or Chris Bosh, would be left with a 5-year deal and no trade clause. Now, it’s not as if signing a maximum contract for about $92 million is a bad thing, but it’s not the guarantee that a $120 million deal brings you. The latter helps you sleep just a little bit easier at night.
So who gets it?
All signs point to Chris Bosh.
For starters, the Cleveland Cavaliers are less inclined to do a sign-and-trade with LeBron James. They don’t want to be perceived as helping LeBron James get his money and walk away from the team, so they might not even be open to the idea of a sign-and-trade.
Secondly, why on Earth would the Cleveland Cavaliers want Michael Beasley? They already have Antawn Jamison, JJ Hickson, Jamario Moon, Anderson Varejao, and Anthony Parker at the forward positions. Even if you think Beasley is a better player than all of them (he’s not), why on Earth would they add him to that mix when they already have proven talent and potential at that position?
The Toronto Raptors, well, they suck. And being sucky makes you less picky. If they loose Chris Bosh, they really have nothing to hope for during the 2010-2011 season. Sorry to sound so bleak, but it’s the truth. Thus, they would be a lot more receptive to getting anything they can get for Bosh. So if Bosh says he’s going to Miami no matter what, Toronto will probably go ahead and take Beasley (and a couple of NBA Draft picks) and be done with the situation.
Now, will being the lowest paid, and lone unprotected member of the Heat make LeBron James a little weary about joining the trio? Maybe. After all, some people (us) are already questioning the potential greatness of LeBron James if he pairs up with a superstar that has proven himself to be a better playoff performer. Won’t it be adding insult to injury if LeBron James becomes the most financially expendable of the trio?
That’s something to think about…especially if your name is LeBron James.