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Report: Heat officials and players planning ‘ambitious run’ at Carmelo Anthony in free agency

Jun 11, 2014, 8:14 PM EDT

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Miami Heat v New York Knicks

The Heat’s core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has something important in common with Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks once this season is finished: Every single one of them can opt out of the final year of their contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

In Anthony’s case, he has to consider whether or not to hold off on doing so, in order to try to help the Knicks rebuild more quickly by giving them financial flexibility to acquire some big name free agents in 2015.

As for the Heat’s Big Three, they might all opt out to restructure their deals in order to create the cap space necessary to add one more superstar to the mix — and Anthony might be right at the top of their list.

From Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team’s leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding New York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony this summer in free agency.

The mere concept would require the star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to all opt out of their current contracts by the end of the month and likely take further salary reductions in new deals that start next season to give Miami the ability to offer Anthony a representative first-year salary. The Heat also are prevented from making any formal contact with Anthony until July 1 and can then only if he opts out of the final year of his current contract. …

Sources say internal conversations within the Heat organization about pursuing this course have run concurrently with Miami’s bid to win a third consecutive championship, with sources adding that James in particular is likely to try to recoup potential salary sacrificed through fresh off-court business opportunities if the Heat’s new dream scenario does come to fruition.

James is reportedly the one most likely to agree to a pay cut in this scenario, having just made more than $30 million from Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Electronics.

From Anthony’s perspective, this may be his last chance at a four-year (non-Knicks) max contract. It’s unclear if the Heat would go that far, but if winning is truly his priority, it’s hard to come up with a situation that would provide a better chance of it than teaming up with a Miami squad that’s now in its fourth straight season of reaching the NBA Finals.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is just one of many scenarios possible, and we’ll certainly be flooded with plenty more before the July 1 free agency period is upon us. Because if Anthony is willing to take less money to play in his ideal situation, the options are almost limitless — even though none may ultimately be more appealing than playing alongside the game’s best player in his prime, for an organization that’s proven capable of continually competing for championships.

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tominma - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    There’s something about this that I definitely don’t like! The salary cap is supposed to provide a level playing field to compete no matter how small the market is. It would usually be done by good drafting, good signings, shrewd moves in free agency! This feels more like buying a championship team.
    Now, I don’t blame the Heat for trying to build a dynasty. After all, Red Auerbach did it! But it was shrewd management, drafting and signings. This idea just doesn’t feel right. Besides, I think, based on his play in New York, he could well become a cancer on the Heat by refusing (again) to modify his style in favor of team goals.

    Pat, don’t do this. You may regret it down the road.

  2. papichulo55 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Not sure why there is so much concern about this. The League has had Super Teams before. The players have earned the right to chose where they work, just like all of us. There is no guarantee that this method of team-building will be successful. Only time will tell. If this works, the League will adjust its business model, again, just like any other healthy business.

    The real issue is not elite players forming teams. The unanswered question is how will the effect of endorsement income affects the business model, and the next CBA. The NBPA will be polarized based on the size of endorsement deals. A weak union is the biggest threat. Lockouts have been, and will continue to be the biggest threat to the League.

  3. sdlakerfan - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I don’t have a problem with this if Miami can pull it off. They have no obligation to stop doing everything they can to improve their team.

    With that said, doubt Melo will help Miami much if at all. He’s not the super efficient offensive player nor the tenacious defender that’s been the hallmark of Miami’s great run the last 4 yrs.

  4. cantonbound13 - Jun 12, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    If this continues where “stars” team up, the NBA will lose a lot of fans. Heat fans don’t even stick around for an entire game.

  5. johnc44 - Jun 12, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    If a player is a free agent he can go wherever he wants.If he wants to take less money to try to win good for him but if the trend continues the NBA is in real trouble.Remember no one was going to Cleveland even to play with Lebron.There are only a few warm weather big cities for the stars to go to.Look how bad the basketball was in many cities this season.It will only get worse and make the NBA more unwatchable.
    Having a dominate team for fans to hate isn`t a bad thing but having 4 great teams and 26 terrible teams is.The players have every right to do it but fans have just as much right to disrespect and dislike the players who take the easy way out instead of trying to make the team their on a winner.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:07 AM

      John, a big problem is these players have to rely on crap front offices like in toronto,cleveland,minn.knicks etc to draft well and trade well and develop players and build a team around them and to often they fail miserably. So when the one or two times they earn the right to go where they want to why shouldn’t they.Sucks from a fan perspective sometimes when they leave but when a team doesn’t want a player anymore they will dump them in a heart beat and if the fans agree with the FO they are happy to dump that player also

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