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LeBron James and Chris Bosh re-up with their respective teams…before being traded to the Heat

Jul 9, 2010, 10:55 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for wade_bosh-James.jpgWith a sequence of events as massive in scale as the LeBron-Bosh coup, we all knew it couldn’t be simple. Sure, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could have each theoretically signed free agent deals outright with the Heat, but doing so would’ve likely left Miami in a painful salary cap situation despite their undeniably effective trio.

So instead, the Heat made two separate sign-and-trade deals to help secure their two incoming superstars to longer contracts that will also afford them more financial flexibility for the upcoming season.

The Heat sent two first-round picks (Miami’s lottery-protected 2011 first-round pick and a future pick that Toronto already owed to the Heat) to the Raptors in exchange for a signed Bosh, who will commit for six years rather than the maximum five the Heat could offer. Similarly, the Cavs signed James to a six-year deal in exchange for two future first-round and two second-round picks. Both the Raptors and Cavs will also acquire rather sizable trade exceptions, worth approximately $15 million each.

This is good news for Toronto and Cleveland; future draft picks may not be quite as sweet as LeBron or Bosh, but it does at least give those franchises something in return. They aren’t likely to be very high (if Miami is as good as they look today, we’re looking at the tail end of the first round), but there are still rotation players to be found that late if teams look hard enough. Plus, the huge trade exception acquired by each team could end up scoring impressive returns (Al Jefferson, anyone?).

Meanwhile the Heat have … well, I’m not sure. It’s not immediately clear how the Bosh and James’ deals will be structured, however the two of them and Dwyane Wade all took less money each year to free up room to bring in players to put around them. The details of how much has not yet leaked out. 

However, according to our own Ira Winderman, the Heat may have cleared enough room to make a reasonable offer to power forward Udonis Haslem, though Haslem hardly fits any of Miami’s most glaring needs. This team is hurting badly at center, and while highly-skilled 5s don’t typically slum it with their free agent deals (Darko Milicic nabbed $20 million over four years), one would think that Haslem money could yield a better fitting big than Udonis. Haslem is a very useful player, but he’s just not the right guy for Miami’s coin.

Plus, the Heat’s biggest problem at present is depth, and surrendering every conceivable first-rounder for the next decade isn’t going to help that. NBA rules prevent Miami from trading first-rounders in consecutive years, so it won’t kill them too much in the short-term. Still, Miami hasn’t left themselves with all that many options to acquire talent going forward. The sheer magnitude of their three stars may render that irrelevant (as well as the allure for veteran free agents to sign cheap contracts in order to play on this team), but torching future flexibility is rarely a good thing.

  1. Louis - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Amazing Cavs…… good way to show how pissed you guys are, doing the heat favors after what we all witnessed.

  2. captain obvious - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    its not about doing miami favors…its about getting something where they would otherwise get nothing. loss mitigation. Its really the best way for them to move forward.

  3. Zack - Jul 10, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Did Miami send keys to the city along with the draft picks? Heard they’re handing those out for anything.

  4. Drew - Jul 10, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    Haslem may not be the ideal signing, but I think an appropriate one. He’s an established veteran on that team who provides unselfish play, interior defending and rebounding, tireless work ethic, and depth behind Bosh. They need depth at PF regardless of who they manage to acquire at centre. They may elect to re-sign Magloire at centre.

  5. george - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:50 AM

    Miami will have a pretty good group around the 3 stars. Mike Miller is a tremendous addition, and Haslem gives them another good player in the power rotation who can back up Bosh. He has played Center for the Heat many times in certain match ups. At Center they have signed for the right to Match offers from Joel Anthony, and will probably bring Magliore back for the minimum. And don’t forget the kid from Texas that they drafted is a center who many feel was the steal of the draft. Latest reports have them working on a deal for Fisher. And, who can argue that a number of veterans will take a minimum deal with Miami for a ring rather than sign elsewhere for a small contract. This year one third of the league were free agents.

  6. Henry - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:42 AM

    It’s good to see some reasonable comments on this board for once, and I mean ONCE. People are calling LeBron a quitter, but I don’t get that. Why is it, when a playing makes a business move, he or she is ridiculed, but a team will make the same decision in the name of business, and no one blinks an eye? Most of the people making these proclamations seem to be in the labor force also but tend to side with management for no good reason. These guys are making decisions based on where they think their best opportunities are, just like I have made in my professional career when I’ve sought a promotion inside an organization or have chosen to seek a promotion at another company(team). Unless a person doesn’t have any ambition, then there may be some legitimacy to some of these arguments, but one can tell by the venom coming from these people’s mouths that they’re just as competitive, probably dangerously more, as anyone else, so the hypocrisy is embarrassing.
    What is the real motivation for the vile comments being directed at these athletes? People need to look in their hearts and subconscious or conscious minds to explore where this jealously or other viciousness is coming from, because it certainly isn’t coming from what most professional people do in their own career paths.

  7. hnirobert - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:55 AM

    I love the jealousy that’s rampant through the board. Don’t hate because your exec sucks and Pat Riley’s a pimp.

  8. pipp - Jul 10, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    DONT HATE THE PLAYERS… HATE THE GAME…

  9. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Fisher is not going to the Heat, he is going to stay with the Lakers for the 3-peat.

  10. Debacle - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    I respect the decision that Lebron wanted to go somewhere else and have a very good chance of getting a title. What really got to his fan base outside of Miami is the method at which he conducted the charade. Lebron’s behavior as a person was poor and subpar. Lebron has a lot of talent as a basketball player but still has a long way to go when it comes to maturity and dealing with people in general.

  11. Kofi Jamal - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    I respect LeBron as a player, but the media circus and the TV special was way over the top. The amount of ego involved is just… just way over the top. And I’m not a Cavs fan or a Cleveland fan for that matter. But I think him just announcing in the morning he was leaving would have been better. Heck, have Bosh/Wade/LeBron all doing an announcment. I don’t see him as a quiter, he needed to leave Cleveland. But it’s HOW he did it I find fault in. Every championship team had more than one great player, check history. Cavs NEVER had that second option beyond LeBron’s other hand. Now he’s with a future HOF and maybe another with Bosh. It’s good for them all.
    As far as the Heat, they will need to get some depth, otherwise other teams will feast on them when the three get any rest on the bench. However Riley is no dummy, I expect some more players of great worth coming over. And then the games will REALLY begin.

  12. Jeff - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Seriously, It’s Cleveland! Who in their right mind would ever want to stay in that rat hole city. Let’s see, the Cavs; Losers, the Indians; Losers, the Browns; LLLosers. Cleveland is a city of losers. Teams and fans. No wonder all the fans are mad Lebron was the only good thing about that sewer city. lmao. Get a life Cleveland.

  13. Randall - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    It’s a damn shame CLE/TOR couldn’t afford to tell their former players “Piss off, you lost 30mil”. I can understand Bosh to a degree, he isn’t as marketable. But Mr. Egomaniac could play for free and not cornhole his new team as well.

  14. young_voter - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    If Lebron doesn’t win in Miami, he will be known forever as a losers just as when Kobe wins, he is still known as a rapist.

  15. george - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    And, for the last two weeks everyone has been thinking that Wade, Bosh, and James would not sign with Miami……because that was not the result they desired. Fisher has requested a meeting with Miami. Anything could happen as a result of that meeting. But, whether Fisher goes to Miami or not is irrelevant. He would be a roll player along with Mike Miller used to pose an outside threat. Miami needs outside shooters to spread the defense. They don’t need a point guard. Both Wade and James are better at distributing the ball than 90% of point guards in the league (including Fisher).

  16. george - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I agree that if Lebron had announced his decision quietly we would be seeing a little less of this backlash. But, this entire free agency has been a huge story. I have been anticipating it for two years. It was a big deal with Heat, Knicks, Nets, Bulls, Clippers clearing their rosters….willing to gamble. And, with Heat, Raptors, Cleveland, Jazz, Suns,Mavericks, Hawks, standing to loose their franchise players. Heck, I enjoyed watching the show. It was fascinating. We have seen multiple dynasties in La, Boston, & Detroit, and one huge one in Chicago……long ago in New York. It is not a bad thin to see one developed in Miami for a change.
    And, “no” I am not from Florida.

  17. TO - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Toronto perspective:
    1. Unlike Cleveland, we sucked with our “superstar” free agent. Can’t be much worse without him.
    2. Have to go young and Euro cause star players posse’s generally get stopped at border for possession, priors etc.
    3. No real reaction up here – Bosh leaves, no burned jerseys, no venom, it’s not like he played for the Leafs…

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