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Next big step for LeBron James’ future: Sit down with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

Jun 24, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

Here’s what I find most interesting about LeBron James opting out of his contract on June 24, before the draft and six days before his deadline?

It was unilateral.

It was not a coordinated move with the two other members of Miami’s “big three” — Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Which is what Wade thought it would be. Rather, it was LeBron sending a message not only to Pat Riley and the Heat about upgrading the roster but to Wade and Bosh that they better join him in creating cap space or he can take his talents to Chicago or Los Angeles or wherever. They may ultimately make coordinated moves, but not yet.

The three had not yet sat down to talk but will this week, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The meeting is expected to take place days before the official beginning of free agency, and there’s an expectation that the Heat’s “Big 3″ will have a strong idea about whether they’ll continue together in Miami before James, 29, can hit the market on July 1….

Discussions between James and Heat owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley will take place soon too, sources said.

Being around Chris Bosh for multiple interviews in and around the Finals, I get the impression he is very comfortable in Miami, both with his role on the court and his life outside it. He doesn’t want to leave, and if that means he takes a few million dollar haircut he’s good with that.

Will Wade feel that way is the bigger question. He is the guy with the key hand to play.

Four years ago he made a sacrifice to bring these three together, would he make a bigger one to keep them together? He certainly is not a player on the court worth what he is getting paid anymore, but as Pat Riley said in his exit interview he is still a core part of Miami, a talisman of the franchise.

At times in recent months Wade has also sounded like the guy who has put in the time and helped for the franchise for years and wants to be rewarded for that. Think Kobe Bryant style contract.

The question is matters to Wade: Getting rewarded and paid ($41 million over the next two years) or taking a lesser (but longer) deal and continuing to play next to LeBron and compete.

Only Wade can answer that, but in that answer is the key to the future of the Heat.

All three of them will meet with Pat Riley and the Heat by July 1 and my guess is by the time free agency starts we’ll already know if LeBron has Wade and Bosh with him and is going to give Pat Riley a real chance.

Or, if LeBron is taking his talents out of South Beach.

Either way, it’s on Wade.

  1. loubearkane - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Find it very interesting he opted out before talking to them , he had until the 30th.

    • loubearkane - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      I read the headline , comment , then read the story. I think I will flip flop the last two for now on

      • miamatt - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        Sounds like you watched the film and made the proper adjustments. Well done.

    • brookwell2013 - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Nah, just a formality; he was always going to opt out. If he didn’t he’d limit his leverage he’ll get from other offers. He absolutley had to opt out. Riley just said it was completely expected so…….I betcha he ends up back in Miami……

    • antistratfordian - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      I think it’s highly unlikely that James hasn’t communicated with Wade. No, they haven’t sat down to talk about it – I think they’re in different states right now – but they keep in touch.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        I decided to play nice Anti…

        though the site or you made another post of mine disappear…

        finding out you weren’t born in the U.S. made me lighten up on you…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:14 AM

        I don’t need you to play nice. It’s not like you were bothering me in the first place.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        How would you know where NBA players are in the off season?

      • antistratfordian - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        That’s right, you live out in the middle of nowhere so you wouldn’t be up to speed on all the cool new inventions…

        Okay, well there’s this thing now called “social networking” where people communicate about their lives online. There are hundreds of millions of people doing this. You should check it out.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Internet stalking…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Yeah, that’s what it is.

        No, it’s more about the news making a big stink about LeBron’s wife and Akron on Instagram. So, hence, therefore, cogito, ergo sum, everyone knows LeBron is in Ohio and Wade probably isn’t.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        sounds like stalking to me…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        I’m sure you’re from s e x with your sister sounds a lot like true love.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        “I’m sure you’re from s e x with your sister sounds a lot like true love.”
        How (on any level) does that comment make sense?

      • jkirby317 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        You are just anxious because you are going to have ro “research” and become a fake supporter of yet another NBA franchise because your bro is leaving–again!
        Don’t be mad at me. You are mad at your King for leaving court again.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Hundreds of millions of people that think they have “friends” because someone clicked accept on their friend request.
        I wonder how many of those “friends” even know your middle name. (It’s Nancy by the way)

  2. bealwithit - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Wade shouldn’t take a pay cut just like Kobe didn’t. D-Wade is the best player in Miami Heat history and has made the Heat a ton of money. The only time the Heat can pay him for that is right now.

    He shouldn’t take a pay cut just so the owner can avoid a tax. Pay that man and pay whatever it takes to put together a championship squad.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      Maybe James will take a larger cut to make up for the one Wade didn’t. Dwyane had to sacrifice the most on the court, maybe James will sacrifice the most off of it.

    • m4a188 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      That great for Wade, but we all know only thing that matters is what Lebron will think.

    • paleihe - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      The Heat already paid when he was their best player. He shouldn’t get residual income for games he played in 2012 when he was actually good.

      Can he contribute? Absolutely.

      Should he get 8 million a year for the next four? I wouldn’t pay that much. Dude can’t play an entire season.

      • bealwithit - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        The money certain guys on a Kobe or Wade level make their teams is worth it. When Kobe was asked about his contract he said the Lakers wanted to give that to him because it shows the Lakers take care of their players.

        Dwayne Wade has made the Heat far more money and will continue to make them far more money than he is worth.

        That should factor into the negotiations. The owner can use the millions he has made off Wade to pay the luxury tax and get better players. But this is America and I will always be in favor of guys getting every cent they can get.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        yes Kobe will make the Lakers money and thats good for them as they are no longer about winning championships, but making money.

        the real world, the new CBA from a few yrs ago is much different than Dr. Buss had to work with.

        Kobe’s salary now makes life tough in with the salary cap.

        So, YES the Lakers will make money from Kobe, but his salary IS hurting them due to the salary cap…

        if it was about championships, they would have more than $26 million to spend on 11 roster spots as the following four will take the balance

        1) Kobe $23.5 mill
        2) Nash $9.7 mill
        3) Sacre $0.9 mill
        4) #7 pick in the draft $2,497,800

        Now, if Kobe had only taken say $12 million and not what he did, the Lakers would have about $38 million to spend on the 11 additional teammates that Kobe wants to help him win his 6th ring instead of only $26 million.

        Now, even bad G.M.’s can build a better roster of 11 guys with $38 million than a G.M. who only has $26 mill to spend on those 11 guys…

        kobe and the team chose money over championships…

    • lowtalker - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      geeez guy . . . I think they have been paying him over the last several years . . . he has been paid for his service, and fairly paid . . if he did not think the contracts were fair he shouldn’t have signed them . . now that his skill level has gone down he should take less pay.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:02 PM

      1-kobe took what was offered. No negotiating necessary.
      2-You talk like wade’s hitting the soup kitchen. He’s been well-compensated.
      3-wade’s not worth a new contract. Not 1, not 2, not 3…

  3. antistratfordian - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Well that doesn’t mean they haven’t talked on the phone. I’m sure they’ll meet up sometime soon.

  4. rrhoe - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    They can create all the cap space they want,players are not going to take less money just to play with LeBron and Miami cannot keep filling out their roster with veteran FA’s. That’s why they are where they’re at now.

    • brianjoates - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      2 rings , 4 eastern conference titles, in four years with all of those vets.

      The Heat will be just fine. LeBron is not leaving MIA to go back to Cleveland,just not going down. Cleveland was his HS girlfriend, but he left and has been exposed to another level that Cleveland could never provide him. Sure it is comfortable and the idea seems nice, but been there done that. Now LA, that is another story…but Donald Sterling is going to throw fits ,if he is aware the Clippers can realistically get LeBron. Don’t think James would want to be in that mess.

      Wade and bosh just need to make some room for Melo.

  5. kghane - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    I agree. I know D-Wade said LBJ’s decision shouldn’t fall on his shoulders, but I think Wade will be the crucial factor in LeBron’s decision. LeBron already knows this Heat organization is capable of bringing in players and flexing contracts. He knows the front office will listen to him. He knows Bosh wants to stay and CB already mentioned he would take a pay cut. D-Wade’s knees, his ideas for a contract, & his mindset are the unknowns in this equation.LeBron has to feel he can still win with a hobbled Wade as a sidekick & and has to know Wade is down for bringing in new role players through sacrifice. If Wade opts in, I don’t see how Bron stays.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Riley said he was going to talk to Wade about adjusting his game and changing his role. That probably has to happen first.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:12 AM

        yep, Riles thinking out loud while meeting with D Wade…

        Riles to D Wade.. D… my man D… how’s it goin Wade…?

        Riles to D Wade… uh, new role for your knees, uh mean you buddy.

        Riles to D Wade… think we’re gonna lose ray, you remember him right? what’s his last name again?

        Riles to D Wade… name’s not important. he was the old dude we had that shot 3’s…

        Riles to D Wade…. when he leaves, we’re gonna have his $3 million to give you to stand on the 3 pt line and shoot 3’s… easy peasy… it’ll be like stealin money my man…

        Riles to D Wade… hold on buddy, Wlima! where’s the darn stats? yeah, bring em here sweetie…

        Riles to D Wade… yikes man, you CAN’T shoot 3’s can you?

        Riles to D Wade…. man I know who can buy your house when you leave town, so no worries my man…

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM

      if it did fall on Wade’s shoulders… his knees would no longer be a part of his body…

  6. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    LeBron has a complete stranglehold on the league.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      Great timing on your comment.

    • papichulo55 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      I’m guessing that your categorization as a stranglehold mean that you disapprove. Why? LBJ just got trashed by a team led by a 5-time champion, sure-fire 1st ballot HOFer, who has won rings in 3 different decades, yet you say LBJ is somehow harming the League with a stranglehold! Are you blaming the changes of the NBA on LBJ? Its not his fault that the NBA is evolving as a sport and as a business. If you watch the NBA Draft of ’84, you can get a sense of what the League was like 30 years ago. That is nothing compared to the changes that will go down in the next 30 years! I can see a future where teams and players sell Avatars of players to fans running thousands of League-sponsored, For Profit, Fantasy Leagues, where big money is being wagered at the ball-possession level. Avatars will be customizable, for a price, regarding skill-set, stamina, health, etc… That LBJ App is just the beginning of it.

      It aint LBJs fault that he is todays NewJack. If it wasn’t him, it would be somebody else. Don’t hate the Player, and don’t hate the Game.

  7. El Pollo Loco - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    If Lebron really wants a challenge he needs to sign in Sacramento or Milwaukee or some other nba graveyard and taken them to the finals.THAT would be impressive

    • darienal - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      Do you remember the Cavaliers team he took to the finals?

      • limonadamas - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Great response. That team was so terrible…

    • gatorfan1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      That’s the point – he doesn’t want a challenge. If he did he would still be in Cleveland and not a mercenary looking for rings on stacked teams. Miami has 2 Hall-of-Famers and a 3rd who’s close. And this is the same team as the last 2 years that won!

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        How many hof’s did mj play with? Or magic? Or larry? List goes on buddy. There’s no all time great that won with a bum team

      • gatorfan1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        3 and a couple of midgets!! Now that they can’t and Wade is older “The Frozen One” should leave for HIM to keep winning championships, damn anyone else! Wow, you Leloser fans are totally pathetic.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      #LeBronToTheMilwaukeeBucks

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        If he appreciates good malt beverages he might just do it!

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:53 AM

        the Miller Brewery tour was fun…

        So was the Harley factory across the street from Miller Brewery…

  8. papichulo55 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    The idea of James, Wade and Bosh having the opportunity to sit together and chart the next years of their careers is historic, IMHO. I wish I could email them a collage of the photos of Curt Flood, Jackie Robinson, Earl Lloyd, Oscar Robinson, and Spencer Haywood. No matter what they decide, I want say that I am proud that their collaboration follows in those historic footsteps.

    Shot Callers in the Boardroom and Shot Makers on the Court! Thats WhatsUp!

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      San Antonio Spurs.
      NBA champions.
      THAT’S what’s up.

      And comparing them to Jackie Robinson? You’re an idiot.

      • papichulo55 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        All different kinds of barriers, my brother. Think about it a little harder, OK?

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Like the stupidity barrier you smashed through?

  9. rodge1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    I’m sure Riley has been working on this plan since last year. If he stays, it will have meant they all took pay cuts to bring more talent in. If he leaves, then Riley will eventually reload the Heat roster when financially possible. Either way the haters will always be hating.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      Lovers will always be loving.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      And idiots will keep using that burnt-out phrase.

    • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Complainers will always be complaining

  10. lastdukestreetking - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Not a surprise. LBJ is putting pressure on Heat management and his other 2 star teammates. If he doesn’t get what he likes then he’ll walk.

  11. heat256 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    I really think at the very least the Big 3 will have serious discussions about taking the cuts to improve the roster. It’s Wade’s legacy on the line just as it is James’ as well. Wade knows he can’t consistently dominate like he used too – but also knows he isn’t washed up by any means – and remembers the sting of being The Man and missing the playoffs totally. James can risk his mostly repaired image and for him to hop to another team – maybe except CLE – will have him seen right back in a harsher light. Does that mean it’s a slam dunk all or any of them come back? No. But it’s something they will heavily weigh. They also had 4 years of merciless trashing from the press, which made them closer as a team and as people. Perhaps something like that isn’t easily tossed aside.

  12. 22yearsagotoday - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Yo, guys: if you go to Waffle House skip the chili. Gave me the runs!

  13. seattlesuperchronic - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    “Being around Chris Bosh for multiple interviews in and around the Finals, I get the impression he is very comfortable in Miami”

    That’s obvious to all of us who have been paying attention. He has blatantly said he wants to stay and would take a pay cut to do so multiple times. This is not insight, it’s repeating something Bosh has said under the guise some sort of inside information.

  14. samsonight1010 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Get greedy, Dwyane, please get greedy

  15. newyorkball82 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I hope he stays in Miami. What’s the point in leaving? The NBA is changing and the competition is just heating up. The east will be stronger this year. Prove to everybody that you even deserve to be in the discussion for top 5-10… Imo if he leaves, his legacy is tarnished.

  16. andrejohnsonforpresident - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Idk if anyone has commented on it but its 1:17 in the morning and I don’t care. D-wade stated earlier THIS YEAR “I will not take a paycut. It’s up to the team to put players around me”. D-wade is clearly not on the same level. Or on the level he should be with his contribution to the team. His shots are always 4 on 4 cause lebron commands 1 guys and sits outside, while they cheat his way. Then D-wade sneaks in and gets the 8 footer. I refuse to say 10. I feel like opposing team gives him some veteran respect too. Lebron leaves the heat because D-wade will only take a lower payment. That of which will not equal out to his contribution.

    Cleveland sign him and mello and trade kyrie and the 1st pick for love. Case closed.

  17. daddyghi - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    when that sit down of these 3 takes place, they better have Erik Spo included in the conversation.. Otherwise, they’re screwed!

  18. newyorkball82 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    I think the whole Melo to Miami thing is pretty hard to believe. Championships are important to these players but money can be important as well, and money can be more of a guarantee -a lot of times- than championships. To think Melo is going to give up that kind of money is kind of insane. I picture him going to Houston or Chicago. Better money options and an equally good chance for a title.

  19. 32magicman - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Lebwrong way!! turn back!! Will you take me back please cleveland?!

  20. nickjackalson - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    4 consecutive final appearances & the way those guys licked blood, getting brutalized by the Spurs..I can see all three signing new contracts way under market value to help miami reload, to proove a point about financial sacrifice paying off under the new bargaining agreement, especially Wade, since he must know best he´s falling apart

    They reach the finals next year once more and that´s historic right there..and they all know

    why would most miami players the media asks answer the same, about wanting to come back for another run?

    But anyhow, Riley must reload

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