LeBron James, Heat co-stars negotiating salary plans, according to report

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron, Wade and Bosh are said to be figuring out how much salary each would take from the Heat.

Free agency begins at midnight on Tuesday, but the Miami Heat appear to be well on their way toward figuring out the salary cap sheet for next season, according to a report from Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. The reporters say that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- all of whom will opt out of their contracts by Monday -- have been discussing how they will split up Miami's record $55 million of salary cap space.

Windhorst and Shelburne report that one that consideration the Three Amigos face is whether to take less so that Pat Riley can add a fourth strong player to the club, with Kyle Lowry being a rumored target. Point guard and a dirty-work, rebounding big man are MIami's biggest needs after the team's defense was exposed in the NBA Finals. ESPN.com reports that the Heat stars could also carve up the entirety of the team's cap sheet among themselves. Each can sign a contract starting at $22 million, though few expect Wade to command such a high dollar figure.

Miami can exceed the salary cap, expected to be $62 million, to retain incumbent players. But in order to land an outside free agent at a salary greater than the mid-level exception, the Heat stars would first have to sign smaller deals or be renounced. Udonis Haslem has also said he'll opt out of a $4-million option to provide flexibility. Trade rumors have also surrounded Norris Cole, who has a modest guarantee contract for next season.

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