It's official. The Miami Heat's "Big Three" will all exercise their early termination options this summer to become unrestricted free agents. LeBron James' decision was already known, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were both still in the air. They will all now hit the open market together, giving the Heat an opportunity to rebuild around them on restructured contracts or go an entirely new direction if the group splits apart.
James expects the Heat to offer him a maximum contract this summer after taking a paycut when he relocated to South Beach. Wade likely had the most to lose by opting out of guaranteed money; there are questions regarding the 32-year-old's health and effectiveness on the court. Bosh, 30, could still land a final significant contract in his career.
Miami's salary situation improved with this move, along with Udonis Haslem opting out. The Heat have the flexibility to pitch James a revamped roster and already made a calculated gesture by trading up to acquire point guard Shabazz Napier late in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. James has openly gushed about Napier's talent.
Free agency doesn't begin until July 1, and the "Big Three" going free is a huge development.
Things have gone sour for the Brooklyn Nets and Jason Kidd after just one season. Kidd went into the offseason with his eyes set on a promotion to President of Basketball Operations in Brooklyn, but the Nets denied his request. The follow-up move? The Milwaukee Bucks have been granted permission to speak with Kidd, and the team is expected to explore its options with bringing him into the franchise as president.
This has huge implications for Milwaukee. The Bucks just signed Larry Drew to a three-year guaranteed contract last summer, and they've had trusted general manager John Hammond controlling their basketball operations since 2008.
It's still unclear what kind of role Kidd is seeking with Milwaukee. The comparisons Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski made were to Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich, who both coach and control basketball operations. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck reports Kidd is interested in a front office position exclusively. The Bucks? No comment:
Bucks statement tonight: "We're not going to comment on rumors or speculation."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 29, 2014
Why the Bucks? Kidd has a "deep personal" history with new Milwaukee owner Marc Lasry, according to Wojnarowski.
And to top off the crazy in this story, how about the fact that a poster on the RealGM forums reported this story, per his sources, on Thursday: