Apr 3, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT
Around the league, nobody really expects this either. They may be ready just in case, but they don’t expect it.
This summer LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their contracts with the Miami Heat. Wade has said when the season ends for them the three will huddle up and discus their options.
Pat Riley, the executive who took the gamble of trying to bring them together then convinced everyone it would work, can’t see the whole thing falling apart after two titles and three trips to the Finals (and that is before these playoffs when the Heat are title contenders again),
“I always have concern when players are in the situation they’re in. But we feel we have the best organization in the league for those players to stay, and to also attract others to want to come here. With our three guys, we hope that this turns into a generational team. And that it’s not just we’re at the end of this four-year run right now because players have some options this summer….”
The goal is to retool the Heat’s roster around James, Wade and Bosh to keep them together and in title contention for another handful of years and produce another dynastic decade. Despite difficult financial decisions looming amid a more punitive luxury tax set to kick in this offseason, Riley hopes to rely on three franchise pillars that have kept the Heat proactive and productive all these years. It starts with stability.
It’s going to be difficult under the new cap to keep quality players around those three, unless they all take another pay cut. And even they do it still will not be easy.
Or, all three could decide to opt in and just keep their existing contracts going for another year, pushing the decision back 12 months.
With this group the Heat have been a title contender for four years and they can do it for a few more as long as LeBron is at his peak. Eventually there will be major changes.
But to quote the great Tower of Power, you don’t change horses in the middle of the stream. Which is why nobody thinks the Heat will break up this summer (whatever happens in the playoffs). And if anybody can keep retooling this team into a winner, it is Riley.
Which is why he’s not really worried.
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