There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple of weeks about what some teams plan to do in the summer of 2014, say the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s been as much talk about what some players plan to do, say LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. But there hasn’t been much talk about what the three-time NBA champion Miami Heat plan to do, which, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, could be a lot.
There’s a chance the Heat will have as much cap space as anyone to retrofit their team around the most-prized potential free agent, LeBron James, if he opts out of his contract as expected.
As everyone knows, LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt-out of their current contracts with the Heat. But, as Windhorst points out, it’s not just those three players potentially coming off the books that makes next summer so interesting.
In addition, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Ray Allen, James Jones and Rashard Lewis all are headed into the final year of their contracts. Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Chris Andersenall have player options. Norris Cole has a team option.
Even if Haslem, Anthony and Andersen bypass free agency next summer and the Heat, as expected, pick up Cole’s option, the team still could have in the neighborhood of $50 million to play with depending on what the Big Three decide.
With that amount of money comes the potential of adding a fourth “big name” to go along with the Big Three, if they all sign for discounted rates. James, Wade and Bosh all took less money to sign with the Heat in 2010, so it’s not out of the question.
The fact that the Heat could actually have a Big Four is a fascinating development to this whole saga. So while everyone talks about how the Heat should fear what situation the Lakers, Cavs or any other team offers LeBron in 2014, perhaps the rest of the league should fear what Miami might do next summer.