A month ago, it would have been hard to imagine Chris Bosh would leave the Miami Heat.
After the bizarreness of this past weekend? All bets are off.
It was a rumor from over the weekend that peaked my interest, which was Bosh’s agent poking around to see if there was a market for Bosh to get a max deal. On Monday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that the Rockets had a rumored offer on the table of 4 years, $88 million, waiting for Bosh to sign. This is an interesting development, as Bosh has said in the past that he would stay in Miami. With rumors of LeBron James possibly entertaining the idea of going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bosh’s future in Miami has been put under the microscope.
We’ve been led to believe that this opportunity is possible because of a disconnect between LeBron’s camp and Bosh’s. That maybe LeBron might not be as interested in coming back to Miami, so maybe Bosh won’t be open to taking that discount to play for a LeBron-less Heat.
This summer’s free agency period has been a puzzle that fans and media have been trying to put together – even using flight plans, pick-up basketball games, or cupcake establishments. Some of the puzzle pieces have fallen into place. But we may have been looking at them the wrong way.
One thing that has been lost in the noise of the past few days is that even if LeBron were to leave Miami, the Heat could offer Bosh the most money, so him leaving wouldn’t exactly be a formality. LeBron leaving would actually free up around $20 million for the Heat to pursue more players. Mixing in the likes of Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza into that space would still allow the Heat to be contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Or maybe Bosh is willing to sign for a little bit less, and Pat Riley can offer a deal starting at $20 million to the other superstar that is currently weighing his options: Carmelo Anthony.
Speaking of Bosh and Anthony, we’ve been under the impression that Bosh’s decision hinges on what LeBron decides to do. But what if it plays out the other way? If Bosh accepts the Rockets offer, the Heat would have the chance to offer that same starting rate of $20 million to Anthony and team him with LeBron in Miami.
Crazy? Not at all. Carmelo is sitting around deciding between accepting a max offer ($127 million, over 5 years) from the Knicks, or a 4 year, $97 million deal from the Lakers. On the surface, what is he thinking about? The Knicks can offer him more money, and it’s not like the Lakers present a better chance to compete for a title (Carmelo, a 36 year old Kobe Bryant coming off a torn Achilles and knee injury, and the corpse of Steve Nash, aren’t winning the West). Meanwhile, the Knicks will have plenty of money to spend in the summer of 2015. Why wouldn’t he choose the Knicks?
Unless he’s waiting for something else to develop. Maybe the decisions of certain players playing for a team in a city that an athlete doesn’t have to pay state taxes – unlike, say, New York and California – is making him hold off making a choice just a little bit longer.
But that’s all fantasy basketball. Right now, the Heat are trying to keep their Big Three together, and I think they manage to pull it off. Monday’s signings of Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger were a step forward. Now it’s a matter of finding more players willing to take a discount to play for a contender.
The decision that Chris Bosh makes will help go a long way.