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Dwyane Wade says don’t put LeBron’s decision on his shoulders. Or knees.

Sep 30, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Getty Images

It will be one of the two big storylines that follow the Heat all season (along with can they three-peat):

Will LeBron James bolt next summer for a new team?

He can and almost certainly will opt out of his contract at the end of this season, seeking the security of a longer deal (the Heat can give him five years, other teams four).

The theory LeBron bolts Miami goes like this: He went to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but Bosh has subjugated his game and Wade is slowing down with age, something that really showed the last couple years. LeBron will look at his situation, look at Wade’s play and bad knees, then bolt to go win titles somewhere else.

Wade wanted nothing to do with that at media day before the Heat open training camp.

LeBron refused to discuss free agency or if he’d opt out at media day.

LeBron’s decision is going to come down to more than just Wade’s play this season — at the heart of the question is does he trust Pat Riley to keep recruiting players and working the roster to keep a contending team around him in Miami?

Wade factors into that equation, but remember Wade and LeBron are friends and that factors in a lot, too. I still think it’s unlikely he bolts, but what he sees this season and what that could mean for the Heat going forward will play a role.

  1. thekiller678 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    If LeBron leaves Miami he’s in a lose-lose situation in the way people perceive him imo. If Miami 3-peats he’ll get criticized for abandoning a team he just won 3 straight titles with. If the Heat don’t win this year and he leaves people will bag on him for bailing on his team when they couldn’t win. Tough spot.

  2. norcal031 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Don’t just be a lazy journalist and only talk about lebron leaving…..HE IS NOT GOING TO LEAVE MIAMI FOR LA OR ANYWHERE ELSE……PLEASE JUST STOP WITH THE NONSENSE AND TALK ABOUT THW SEASON AND TEAMS AND PLAYERS………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!F

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      you know there is another story that does that. It’s called the team preview for the Miami Heat. And amazingly enough, it’s on this very website.

  3. miamatt - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    The Heat have been planning for this summer since the day they signed LeBron. Only an abject disaster of a season threatens the likelihood that LBJ re-ups in the summer of 2014.

    • Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I doubt they were planning under the notion that Bosh’s contributions would be so low and Wade’s injuries would hamper him so much. They have to be making adjustments at this point.

      • miamatt - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        My whole point is they are poised to make adjustments. Also, I doubt the Heat view Bosh’s contributions as being “so low”; he takes more flack than everybody but his contribution has been invaluable. As for Wade we’ll see how this year goes.

        All three will opt out, all three will come back at a price that allows Miami to continue to compete for championships.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        I agree that Bosh takes too much flack, however, he averaged only 12 points in the playoffs. Whichever way you slice it, that’s just not great. He was also scoreless in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

    • jw1991 - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      This guy gets it

  4. rawgator06 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Damn it…I am already tired of these articles about LeBron staying or leaving and the god damn season hasn’t even started yet! He has rings, money, an amazing place to live, a fan base that adores him, and Pat Riley in Miami. Why the hell would he leave????

  5. - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    We all know LeBron needs Wade to contribute this season if they plan on winning a third crown. No player has never won a championship alone, every team has a Batman and a Robin. Im pretty confident Miami will still make it to the EFC title game with D.Wades knee issues. Will LeBron stay in south beach? I don’t know because Wade’s career is ticking.

  6. cbking05 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    LeBron is not worried about Wade’s knees … as long as his lips are working

    • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      So by your estimation LeBron only joined the Miami Heat to get fellatio from Wade and possibly other teammates? I guess the titles are just a bonus.

  7. Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I recently wrote an article on this. It’s not about taking anything away from Wade or discrediting him. When healthy, Wade is a top three talent, but LeBron signed up to play with two superstars. Remember “Not 1…not 2…not 3…not 4…”? Wade and Bosh have been that only in flashes recently. Wade only averaged 15 points in the playoffs and Bosh 12.

    LeBron may not leave, but things are far less perfect in Miami than he thought it would be.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      “Remember “Not 1…not 2…not 3…not 4…’?”

      Yes, and, more importantly, I remember its context. Eric Reid had just whether he came to win just one championship. DWade was laughing as the number went up and up, something DWade certainly wouldn’t have done if he thought LeBron was actually predicting some number that he would have to help deliver on. LeBron then looked straight at the camera and said that there was no reason the Heat shouldn’t win multiple championships if they took care of business. That’s what he said that mattered. Is he disappointed with two championships in three years? I would need more than one out-of-context quote to believe that.

      The video is easy to find on YouTube.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        *just asked*

      • Gary - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        He wasn’t predicting that they actually would win that many, but you know he did think they would win some. It was a cocky, yet playful comment and people got upset about it because they knew with another superstar Lebron could deliver. I say get over it and who cares at this point. He even just joked about the comment earlier today in a press conference.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:07 AM

        There is no context to remember. There is absolutely no way LeBron, Wade and Bosh joined up just to win two titles. Noone expected only two titles from them. Of course the higher counts had humor behind them, but everyone expected a big championship count.

        “Is he disappointed with two championships in three years?”

        I don’t think he’s disappointed, however, there’s a massive difference between winning two titles and having a healthy Wade and star Bosh to continue to add on the championship count, and having won two titles in three years but with uncertainty surrounding Wade’s health. If Wade was healthy, your point would be valid.

    • Gary - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Anytime someone goes to that media quote you know they don’t know much about ball in general. Bosh has been fine considering he is playing center, look at the numbers and stop listening to what the media says. Wade also was in the top 8 of scoring with bad knees. This season they got Beasley who is 24 and can possible develop the way he should have so as Wade declines Lebron could still have a scoring threat next to him. As for your last line. I think he figured out they weren’t perfect after his 1st season and guess what? He stuck around and got two championships.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Wade also averaged 16 points in the playoffs with bad knees. You can’t really claim someone else knows little about ball when you suggest Beasley to replace Wade as the No. 2 option.

        “As for your last line. I think he figured out they weren’t perfect after his 1st season and guess what? He stuck around and got two championships.”

        You do realize LeBron was under contract in 2011, so he had to stick around regardless.

  8. beach305 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Can we wait to talk about this until AFTER THE SEASON?

  9. program33 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Sometimes media is flat out annoying.

  10. Gary - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    People are just mad Miami isn’t a bust like they hoped. Now they are waiting and thinking up of all the reasons why the team will break up and never mention why they would stay together even if they lose in the playoffs this season.

  11. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Don’t blame the media. Almost every single team with half an ounce of insight has been clearing their books for next summer. Part of which is that gms are not convinced he is staying in Miami. And they know more than a fair weather Heat fan will ever admit.

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      As a nuggets fan, I’d say there are 4-5 GMs in the league who know what they’re doing and execute their plans to improve the team. Then there are about 20 who just throw blindly make moves, some of which work and some of which don’t. Lastly, there are the remaining 5-6 GMs who are clearly fools and have very little idea what they are doing.

      The top GMs feast on the idiots (Kawhi Leonard for George Hill trade comes to mind, along with the Bargnani unloading this offseason) and the rest of the GMs in the middle of the pack just shuffle guys around and have some good years, have some bad years, switch jobs, etc.

  12. antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    There were only two players last year who averaged at least 20/5/5 on 50% shooting. Wade and LeBron. He was also one of only 7 players to have a PER above 24.0.

    And while everyone remembers LeBron’s endless jumper parade in Game 7 – Wade finished that game with 23 points and 10 rebounds on 52.4% shooting by also knocking down jumper after jumper (7 of his 11 makes were jump shots and he even shot 50% from three!).

    So why is anyone worried about Wade? He is obviously still a boss.

    • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      Wade’s numbers dipped in the playoffs to 16 points on 46% shooting. Noone is worried about Wade, they are worried about his health. It took everything in Wade to put up that Game 7 performance.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        They don’t have to be worried about his health. In the playoffs he suffered from a bone bruise, not a degenerative knee condition. Spo put it best recently:

        “There’s a major misconception — a major misconception — about his health and where he was last year. He had one of his most efficient productive years up until the point he had a bone bruise.

        It was a bone bruise. It wasn’t a knee issue of wear and tear, something completely different. But that’s fine, the misconception.”

  13. tampajoey - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    If Lebron leaves then who will carry broken down old man Wade?

  14. jw1991 - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I don’t see him leaving. Period. But the one thing I thought about last year when they played the pacers was, how good would this pacer team be if they had the same cast and add Lebron instead of granger?! That’d be scary…

    Anyways odds are he stays in MIA.

  15. drewvargas23 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I think the Brooklyn Nets going to win the Championship dis yr!! Best believe dat!!!!

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