It seems like the Miami Heat are set to get the band back together. The Heat are rumored to have reached new contracts in principle with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, according to John Canzano of the Oregonian. Canzano reports Wade will sign a four-year deal with a starting salary of $12 million per season. Bosh will reportedly get a five-year contract starting at $11 million per season. This all comes on the heels of reports that LeBron James will demand a max salary on a one or two-year contract with the Heat.
Miami's three best players made the decision to opt out of their contracts to open up $55 million in cap space for the team before the start of free agency. The Heat are said to be interested in Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng, among other free agents.
Heat telling free agents they will have $12+ million to spend, indicating Wade & Bosh ready to take huge pay cuts, sources told ESPN— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 1, 2014
Are Wade and Bosh really back in the fold already? We break down this rumor:
Why this makes sense
Bosh and Wade each gave up a lot of money when they decided to opt out of their deals. Wade was set to make over $40 million over the next two years, while Bosh had an option for over $20 million next season. They were never going to give up that kind of financial security without an assurance from Miami that they would make it all back. From that perspective, this rumor passes the sniff test.
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
If Wade's salary stays flat at $12 million per season, he'd be getting $8 million more in guaranteed money if he's taking a substantial pay cut annually. Bosh would get an extra year of security with a five-year contract and would presumably be the face of the franchise if James ever decides to leave for another team.
It's clear James wants to remain as flexible as he can moving forward with the goal of surrounding himself with a championship-level supporting cast. For now, Bosh and Wade are a bet he's willing to take. The short nature of James' reported deal, though, hints that this won't be the last time LeBron enters free agency.
Why this doesn't make sense
A report on Monday said James, Wade and Bosh are still waiting to see what kind of talent Pat Riley will add to the rest of the roster. Even if all three have agreed in principle to contracts similar to what has been reported, would they really sign them if Miami strikes out with other free agents?
Right now, Miami's free agent fortunes don't appear to be too promising:
Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng believed to be Miami's top two free-agent targets. Neither, though, seems especially attainable for Riles and Co.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
It's also a bit curious that Wade would be making more money annually than Bosh. Wade missed 28 games last season and started to show his age in a big way during the Finals. Bosh is considered the superior player within NBA circles. These contracts may not be done deals just yet.
All signs are pointing to James, Bosh and Wade returning to Miami. If the reports on the length and money involved in the new contracts are accurate, the Heat will still have enough money to add an intriguing piece or two in free agency. It's all lining up for Miami to try to make the NBA Finals for the fifth straight season.