The clock is ticking.
A month ago, the Miami Heat were three wins short of the their third consecutive NBA Championship. They made four straight Finals appearances, as the Heat were a dynasty in the making.
Now? The time of that dynasty might be running out.
On Wednesday, Mark Cuban might have been the one to start that clock.
It has been reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein that the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets’ Chandler Parsons. Once it is signed – presumably by Thursday morning – the Rockets will have until midnight Sunday to match the offer of 3 years, $46 million, or else let him go to Dallas. According to sources, Houston GM Daryl Morey had been trying to negotiate a deal with Parsons to avoid such a scenario, but talks failed. Morey’s ideal goal was to sign a max-player, and team him with Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Parsons. That could be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh has an offer from the Rockets on the table (4 years, $88 million) that he has to consider signing, or risk losing out on the deal, should Houston match the offer. This is because of the nature of the CBA that requires Bosh to sign his deal first – his deal can’t go over the cap, since he’s the Heat’s free agent – and then the Rockets can re-sign Parsons and exceed the cap, since they have his rights. If Houston matches the deal for Parsons and gets his salary on their books, then they wouldn’t have the necessary space to complete the Bosh deal.
I hate the NBA’s CBA.
All of this comes on the heels of Heat president Pat Riley meeting with LeBron James in Las Vegas, to go over Miami’s plan moving forward. LeBron left the meeting without making a decision, and will speak with his family and proceed from there. He also will not be taking any meetings with other teams – including the Cleveland Cavaliers – as he feel he has enough information to make his decision. Presumably, he’ll make his choice before leaving for Brazil to attend Sunday’s World Cup Final.
That decision will have an effect on Bosh, as ESPN’s sources say he would accept the Rockets offer, should LeBron leave Miami. This rumor was denounced by TNT’s David Aldridge, but it’s still something that can’t be ignored.
But if Bosh chooses to go to Houston before LeBron announces where he’s going, does that make LeBron opt to leave Miami, since it would just be him and Dwyane Wade? Or would LeBron decide to stay, and actually make an attempt to bring in Pau Gasol or Trevor Ariza?
Or even Carmelo Anthony?
Granted, the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reported that Anthony would announce that he would be returning to the New York Knicks on Thursday. Of course, he was rumored to be making that decision this past Monday, so we’ll have to wait and see. The Carmelo-to-Miami rumblings have sprouted up over the past couple of days, as ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith even suggested that Carmelo might be seeing how things unfold between Bosh and the Rockets.
Could a new Big Three of LeBron/Carmelo/Wade be in the works? If you thought the Twitter meltdown of the past few days was bad, you might need to step away from all electronic devices if those three announced they were joining forces in Miami.
But as we’ve seen over the past two weeks, who really knows? Everything up to now has been nothing but guessing, hypotheticals, and dumb luck. The Heat could be left with a Big Three of Wade, Danny Granger, and Josh McRoberts, just as easily as it could bring back LeBron, Wade, and Bosh.
The one thing we do know? In 72 hours, we’ll have a better idea of the future of the Miami Heat.
The clock is ticking.