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Update: Dwyane Wade opts out of contract with Heat, Chris Bosh remains undecided

Jun 28, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

UPDATE 6:21 p.m.: Bosh apparently has not opted out just yet, and remains undecided.

4:46 p.m.: LeBron James got what he wanted. Pat Riley has gotten what he wanted. The Miami Heat are going to have cap space to maneuver this summer.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have both confirmed to the Miami Heat that they are opting out of their contracts, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reports. (Other reports say Bosh has yet to opt out, according to his agent, which is the same one as Wade and Udonis Haslem. Hard to see Bosh not opting out at this point, hard to see him being the one to blow up the Heat.)

While in theory they all have the right to leave Miami (free agency opens July 1), this move really makes it more likely that all three members of Miami’s “big three” — the ones that have led them to four straight NBA Finals and two titles in that span — will return together. Teams that have called trying to set up meetings after July 1 with LeBron have been rebuffed. It was expected that all three of Miami’s stars  would opt out and take pay cuts per year on new, longer deals. Haslem also opted out of the last year of his deal, as did Chris Andersen.

However, LeBron may seek an actual max deal or close to it, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

While Bosh, Wade and Haslem could ultimately take less money with the early termination outs in their deals, James, the NBA’s four-time MVP, is seeking a full maximum contract extension – or something close to it – to stay with Miami, sources told Yahoo Sports.  James is eligible to sign a five-year, $130 million extension with the Heat.

We will see if that pans out to be true, the idea of them all taking $15 million a year on five-year, $75 million deals has been floated. LeBron is certainly by far the best player on the Heat and the key to all their success, but he’s also the one most able to take a salary cut because his off the court income dwarfs his actual salary. If he goes for a max it will put a lot of pressure on Wade and Bosh to take much less.

Whatever happens it is very likely that Riley will have room under the salary cap to add players. While Wade’s knee issues are causing a deterioration in his game, Riley has said from the start that he wants Wade to be a member of the Heat for lift — he wants to bring him back.

Had all three Heat stars had opted in, each owed about $20 million next season, combined with Norris Cole‘s contract, the Heat would have been at the salary cap and Riley would have had no room to maneuver. With something like the proposal above where each takes $15 million Riley would be roughly $15 million under the cap to go chase name free agents.

Kyle Lowry’s name has come up. The Heat could go after big men such as Pau Gasol or Marcin Gortat, both of whom would fit their system well. Depends on how much cash the Riley has to play with and the costs for those players. Carmelo Anthony does not plan to meet with Miami at this time.

However it shakes out, it is unlikely that Miami’s big three is breaking up any time soon.

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. kb2408 - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    It’s being reported that LBJ wants a max contract. I do not blame him one bit. He deserves more than Arison can pay him under the rules of the CBA. I’m interested to see if he does insist on the max how Heat “fans” will react. LeBron makes more money off the court than on it. So, will Heat “fans” say he’s selfish by asking for the max? Will they say he cares more about getting paid than about giving Miami a chance to build a championship team around him by taking less? I’m just curious because those were the things said about Kobe. The difference is Kobe didn’t ask the LAKERS for what they gave him. LeBron is asking for the max. As I said, I don’t blame him, he should ask for the max.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      I’m the annoying dude who wrote over and over a while back that when the season was over, LBJ would opt out and his meeting with Riles would be a quick one.

      He’d tell Pat that he took less the first time to come there and he delivered, 4 straight finals and 2 titles back to back.

      I’m the best player in the world and now I’m going to take the max.

      Thanks Pat, have a good summer.

      Now, if LBJ does take less than the max, then I will be surprised and I’ll tip my cap to him.

      Even if he does take the max, I won’t say a word against him as he’s the best player in the league, has been and should be for the next couple of years too.

      Some let personal feelings get in the way of business and some do NOT.

      Business is business.

      The NBA is a BIG business. LBJ deserves the max…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        He knows he deserves the max. Everyone knows he deserves the max. That doesn’t mean he’s going to ask for the max. I don’t think he will, for reasons I stated below.

        The status of a max deal is the last thing on his mind. He said he wants to be recognized as the greatest player of all time, and that requires more rings. If a max deal gets in the way of that, he is not going to ask for it.

      • edavidberg - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        I think he should ask for the max. The Heat owner shouldn’t be the only one making a killing off of James’ ability.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      I don’t know… LBJ has said a few times this year that he doesn’t care about a max contract. In regards to free agency, he’s said that winning is all about sacrifice on three different occasions – once about the Big 3, once referring to himself, and another time about Carmelo. He just said flat out in February, “I have not had a full max deal yet in my career… that doesn’t matter to me; playing the game is what matters to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice for the team. It shows for some of the top guys, it isn’t all about money. That’s the genuine side of this, it’s about winning.”

      • kb2408 - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        Dude, that’s “hogwash”! If you believe that as the best player in the world he doesn’t want to get paid the max you’re fooling yourself. Especially after taking less money and leading Miami to back to back titles. The vast majority of these pro athletes have humongous egos. Who makes the most money means a lot to them. If Wade could still demand a max contract he would ask for one too.Timmy Duncan is an rarity in today’s pro sports.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        LeBron is not like “the vast majority of these pro athletes”…

        He’s said more than once some version of what he said back in January: ”I recommend [accepting less money] to me. It fits me. What I do don’t work for everybody. The way I live my life don’t work for everybody but all I care about is winning. Money doesn’t make me happy.”

        Plus, he already made $91 million in 2013-14. He can afford to take that stance.

    • realfootballfan - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Anyone saying that is an idiot. It’s up to the team to figure it out because in a few years when he’s in decline, he won’t be able to make that money back. However, this is why Wade’s blind faith in the organization to do right by him even though there is no way he can make that money back now is remarkable though.

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:25 AM

        You do know lebrons name is a brand by itself right? LeBron doesn’t need a nba salary to be good. LeBron is a business man and a world icon. He knows he will do just fine. If he does take a max deal though I will definitely be surprised and disappointed. But I don’t see him doing that. His game itself shows he’s a team first guy

    • kevindoc593 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      yeah no, Kobe just signs contracts that make it impossible for other great players to sign there.

      I like how people take these reports from sources as if they came from the players mouth.

      Who are you Kb2408? Do you know LeBron and Kobe personally? Do you know LeBron is asking for the max or just spouting off at the mouth like the rest of the Heat Haters on PBT?

      So many of you just listen and follow these reports when 80% of the time they’re wrong.

  2. realfootballfan - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Wade is a crazy mofo, lol. Unless the Heat turn his contract over to 3 years and teh same 50 mil,, this is the ultimate sacrifice. People talk the game, but that’s alot of money to be putting up in the air to give the team cap flexibility.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      What I like a lot about this Big 3 is that they have some perspective on life. Wade and Bron come from very humble beginnings. They were very poor, frankly. And Wade now has a net worth of about $100 million dollars and James about $280 million. They appreciate how fortunate they have already been. LeBron (and Wade) is not the type of guy who would make $91 million in a year as he did in 2013-14 (salary+endorsements+Beats), and then talk about “I need that max contract; I have a family to feed.”

      • balsagna - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        I like how you talk like you have even the foggiest idea what’s going on in their heads or what type of people they are,

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        I have a pretty good idea of what is going on in LBJ’s head in this regard. What else are we supposed to think when he’s said:

        “What I do doesn’t work for everybody. The way I live my life doesn’t work for everybody but all I care about is winning. I came to Miami to win. Money doesn’t make me happy. Winning made me happy and it still does.”


        “I have not had a full max deal yet in my career — that’s a story untold. That doesn’t matter to me; playing the game is what matters to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice for the team. It shows for some of the top guys, it isn’t all about money. That’s the genuine side of this, it’s about winning.”

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        What else are we supposed to think when James says, “What I do doesn’t work for everybody. The way I live my life doesn’t work for everybody but all I care about is winning. Money doesn’t make me happy” and, “I have not had a full max deal yet in my career — that’s a story untold. That doesn’t matter to me; playing the game is what matters to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice for the team.”

        You must be one of those rocket surgeons…

      • seansull83 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        Did it ever dawn on you that he is a very good PR guy. He knows how to talk to the media, if money wasn’t an thing to him he would take vet minimums for the rest of his career, but it means a little. Yes winning is good, but money is a factor. I meAn he was also quoted about wanting to be the first active athlete to be a billionaire.

        I look at it like this, demanding max is a way to gauge Arison. How much is management will to spend to win. He doesn’t need it, but if he demands max and the tell him, the best player to take less, it proves that Arison isn’t willing to spend to win and it’s all on LeBron. Sounds like a similar situation. He’s a smart dude, and a savvy negotiator, this isn’t about me disliking him but looking at his leverage and using it to his best advantage.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Did it ever dawn on you that some people are actually good people who have their priorities in order?

  3. terremotinho - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Go Heat! Does this story mean they won another championship?

    • chitownbrown - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:08 AM

      No, it means their new theme song is The Captain and Tenille’s “Love will Keep us Together”.

  4. balsagna - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    If reports of Lebron wanting a max contract are true, good luck Miami. The thought that people have that these players are going to take 5-7 million dollars less a year is hilariously ludicrous. Each heat player sacrificed a little over 9 million dollars over 4 years when they signed in 2010. If you think they are going to leave all that money on the table I think that’s either crazy or I don’t give these athletes the credit they deserve. If Lebron signs for 23 million, then there is simply not enough money to improve this team. The bench, which was one of their biggest problems, will still be terrible.

    I find this whole thing fascinating, and I think people who think this is a done deal may be in for a shock.

    • edavidberg - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Lebron maxed is $26 mill a year. The cap is projected at $63 million and luxry tax threshold at $77 million. Wade resigns at five years $10 mill per year, Bosh at four at $15 mill per year you have $51 million. The Heat probably then have a little wiggle room to bring in some role players in the $5 million a year range.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Wade opted out – he left that money on the table. So it’s not ludicrous. These guys aren’t normal. If they were normal they wouldn’t be playing together in the first place.

    • bdazzler00 - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      just curious, other than san antonio, how did it work out for all the teams that had more money to spend on their bench the last 3 years?

      • seansull83 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        Um GS did very well, better record than previous year and a playoff spot. Portland got to the second round, a young wizards team looked really good. Clippers putting something together that could be long term. None of those teams would be where they are if they didn’t have room to make moves.

  5. scorp16 - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    So let me see if I understand this correctly. Based on Vegas odds…..Shabazz Napier and Norris Cole are favorite to win the NBA Championship next year? By themsleves…

  6. birdsofprey305 - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Lmao @ the haters that complain about the heat playing in the East maybe you should take a look at the heat’s record against the mighty Western conference over the past 4 years.

    • Wesley Clark - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      .500 when it counts.

    • sdlakerfan - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      Don’t consider myself a Heat hater and have great respect for their accomplishments against the west. But if you’re going to compare conferences, you can’t just consider one team’s record.

      In the 2013-2014 season:
      – The west 284 wins and 166 loses against the east for a %63.1 winning percentage. Only one season in the last 50 yrs (2003-2004) had a higher discrepancy between conference %63.3
      – Only two of the eight playoff teams in the east would have qualified for the playoffs in the west
      – The three worst teams in the league were in the east and the 4th worst team in the east (Boston) would have tied for the worst record in the east

      The east was historically weak this yr in particular and the west has been dominant for the last 4 yrs.

  7. rrhoe - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    The plot thickens,Bosh and Wade should feel like fools if this report of LeBron seeking a max deal is true,not that he doesn’t deserve it,but that would be bad business.

    • edavidberg - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      I don’t think they have any right to be jealous of James. He’s the only reason they may be able,to win titles in the future.

      • rrhoe - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Got nothing to do with being jealous,they gonna be taking less money for the “team” while back at the ranch LeBron wants “his”.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    I thought when you want to the Heat you were part of a “family”? I guess the 6 plus players they are going to replace didn’t read the fine print.

  9. campcouch - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Pau Gasol and Marcin Gortat will fit their system?

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    More collusion.

  11. jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    Pitiful Knicks fans show up to whine. It’s what they’re good at, since the Knicks suck so bad every year.

  12. birdsofprey305 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:46 AM


    I agree the east is weak but my point is the western conference superiority doesn’t apply to the heat.

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