Jul 7, 2010, 11:27 AM EDT
What was laughed at a week ago as impossible is suddenly looking like it could happen — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on one team in Miami. A true superteam. The three amigos together in Miami.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard — the reporter with the best connections to LeBron James right-hand-man Maverick Carter — is saying that Miami is the clear front-runner.
Team officials that made their pitch to LeBron James are now saying it is down to Cleveland and Miami. At 10 a.m., our own Ira Windeman (writing for the Sun Sentinel) heard from a Heat source that LeBron was “still up in the air.”
The impossible could be reality. Maybe.
For this to happen, a few other things need to come together. Miami would have to get help from Toronto to have the cap space to sign all three to max deals. In a sign-and-trade deal for Bosh, Toronto would have to take on Michael Beasley — who is set to make $5 million next season — and nothing else to make cap room for the Heat. However, the Heat have been shopping Beasley since last trade deadline and have yet to find a taker.
Toronto is probably on the list of teams not wanting to take on a questionable contract. If it wants to rebuild without Bosh, they may be better off just taking back picks and gaining the massive trade exception that would come their way.
The other option is for all three players to take a little less money to play together. They would each make $15.2 million the first year and leave more than $10 million on the table over the course of the contracts. In the NBA world of finances it would be nearly unheard of to leave that money behind. It would be a selfless act at a time when the preference seems to be hour-long television specials to announce your decision (James) or making a documentary about yourself making your free agency decision (Wade and Bosh).
The other question all three have to face is this: Could a team of LeBron/Wade/Bosh and nine other minimum salary players (all that Miami could afford) really win a title?
While a couple veterans might be willing to play for the minimum to get a shot at a ring, for the most part people making the minimum are doing so for a reason. Even with three of the top players in the game, other basketball people around the league have questioned if they could win a title.
However, Heat president Pat Riley knows how to build a winner. And while it may take time, he will get pieces around them.
And watching three great players like that together, we haven’t seen that in the league since the 1980s — Bird/McHale/Parrish and Magic/Kareem/Worthy. Those would be entertaining times to revisit.
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