The Miami Heat's future may not be settled yet after all. LeBron James is still unsure of where he'll play next season, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard, and did not urge Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to opt out of their contracts with Miami. Wade and Bosh are reportedly still in the dark about James' future plans, according to Broussard.
This follows reports that James, Bosh and Wade each had the framework for new contracts already in place with the Heat. Broussard also says Wade and Bosh want more money than what was previously reported by other outlets. Bosh is said to be looking for a five-year deal between $80 million to $90 million. Wade is targeting between $55 million and $60 million in his next deal.
So far, the only certainty in this situation appears to be that James wants a max contract. Does Broussard's report mean the Heat are possibly on the verge of a breakup?
Why it makes sense
James has proven his priority is surrounding himself with the players he believes give him the best chance at winning a title. James already showed that he may not be in Miami forever when it was reported that he may only take a one- or two-year contract for the max.
If Broussard's reports about Wade's and Bosh's contract desires are accurate, the Heat aren't going to have much space to sign free agents. Even if the Heat had $12 million to play with in free agency, as has been previously reported, they might not be able to add enough pieces to make them the favorites over the Spurs, Thunder and a host of other contenders.
Why it doesn't make sense
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
The Heat have accomplished something special in their four seasons with James and Bosh, becoming the first team since the '80s Celtics to reach the NBA Finals four seasons in a row. Would James really throw that away already, even after Miami was swiftly dismantled by San Antonio last month?
LeBron chose Miami the first time in part because of a belief in Pat Riley. Even as Wade has slipped with age, the Eastern Conference remains there for the taking. If James leaves Miami for a team in the Western Conference, the road to the Finals will be much tougher. Staying in the East with Bosh and Wade is his safest bet.
Who knows! James has a pretty good thing going in Miami, but the Heat likely wouldn't be favored over the Spurs without some big unforeseen moves this offseason. LeBron could jump to a team like the Rockets or Clippers, but that would only make his path to the Finals more difficult.