The Miami Heat may be more hated than ever next season now that all three of its superstar players — LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade — have opted out of their contracts. James announced his intent earlier this week, while Bosh and Wade made their decisions public Saturday.
(Related: Why You Should Stop Hating on LeBron James.)
Though all three could test the free agent market as individuals, the synchronized timing suggested they would instead restructure their contracts to give the Heat more financial flexibility. And indeed, according to ESPN, the trio are already "discussing financial terms of new contracts amongst each other."
Under league rules, players are not allowed to negotiate new contracts with their teams until July 1. However, there is nothing preventing the players from working it out among themselves, and cutting up the Heat's upcoming record $55 million in available cap space is believed to have been a major part of the discussion when Wade, James and Bosh held a meeting last week in Miami. [ESPN]
The Heat's thin lineup doomed them in the finals. But with big money committed to three stars, the team had little room to bolster the rotation this offseason — unless they could save money by reworking those commitments. If the Heat can ink all three to more team-friendly deals — or even retain two while adding more pieces with the savings — they will emerge as a stronger contender. And remember, James and Bosh took less money to sign with Miami originally. If the goal was to win, why not do it again?
Of course, James, Bosh, and Wade could all sign elsewhere in The Decision: Part II. But if they return, with a better supporting cast, fans will never let them hear the end of it.