Where will the Big Three end up?

Once Lebron James opted out of his contract, followed up by Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the wide assumption across the league was they will all stay in Miami. Opting out was seen merely as a way to improve financial flexibility, and add more players who can help the trio compete for championships.

However, since the first day of agency, Miami has been unsuccessful in prying other quality free agents. Even though most of the analysts in the NBA are still leaning towards the Big Three staying in Miami, news are emerging about various interests. Some of the speculations are that Lebron is seeking a max contract, with shorter length (1-2 years). According to sources Bosh and Wade are willing to take pay cuts (Wade is rumored to get 12 million per year and Bosh 11 per year).

Lebron’s agent Rich Paul has accepted to met with multiple teams (sources have confirmed Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Dallas Maverics). He has already met with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who believe they can bring back the hometown hero. Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is also rumored to be flying to Cleveland to meet with Paul.

This time, Lebron and his agent have decided to handle free agency differently than in 2010. This time, Paul is the one making the meetings, and Lebron is not present at meetings.

In addition to Lebron being courted by several teams, Chris Bosh is also getting some consideration. The Houston Rockets, consider Bosh as their plan B, and have already confirmed their interest. They have let his agent know that Bosh is still welcomed in Houston (the rockets failed to pry the power forward in 2010). Rockets see Bosh as an ideal complimentary piece to Dwight Howard.

As it stands, the ball is still in Pat Riley’s hands, who still has time to secure at least one more quality player to play with the Big Three. One of the rumors is that Miami will try hard to convince Pau Gasol to take a pay cut and join the championship team in Miami. Since declaring that money is not the most important factor, the Spanish forward is one of the most coveted free agents on the market. Several high profile teams are after his services, including Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New York. Other options for the Heat are Anthony Morrow and Alan Anderson.

The next several days will be crucial for Miami, as they try to secure free agents to complement the Big Three. Should they fail to do so, chances are 2013/2014 was the last season for the Big Three in Miami. If Pat Riley succeeds in prying some quality free agents, most of the league believes the band stands together. If not, all bets are off.

 

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