The news that LeBron James is going back to Cleveland is making ripples throughout the NBA, most significantly in Miami.
The Miami Heat are now tasked with convincing its two other stars to stay in Miami without the league’s best player. Chris Bosh was being lured in by the Houston Rockets’ four year $88 million max contract - but will now stay.
To be competitive in the NBA Dwyane Wade still has to take a steep pay cut. Even with those dilemmas the Heat can still retool, if they can keep Bosh AND Wade.
My first assumption was that Miami matches or very nearly matches Houston’s offer to Bosh. Bosh has made it clear several times he likes it in Miami and would like to play for the Heat. And that's what has happened.
Wade to stay?
My second assumption is Wade still takes a steep pay cut in the ballpark of $11 or $12 million a year. Wade has played his entire career in Miami and at $11 or $12 million Wade is still being over paid by $2 or $3 million; compared to what he would likely fetch in the open market. My last assumption is Udonis Haslem gets a long term veterans minimum deal, about $2 million annually.
Salary cap commitments
With those two signings the Heat will have about $37 million in salary commitments. Tack on the free agent agreements of Josh McRoberts for Miami’s midlevel exception and Danny Granger for the Heat’s bi-annual exception Miami’s salary is about $45 million.
If Heat owner Mickey Arison is willing to foot the bill and pay luxury tax again the Heat can use another $36 million in salary. There are plenty of free agents, willing to sign for a lower eight digits salary, which could make Miami an immediate contender in the Eastern conference.