Wade and Bosh Agree with the Heat
With this morning’s report that Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will be playing for the Miami Heat next year, some major implications begin to take affect. The Heat now have two of their trio of stars that they are looking for. And life just became a lot harder for the Cavaliers in their hopes to retain LeBron James. Let’s take a minute to look at some of the various implications from this deal.
The Cavaliers: Cleveland wants to keep their homegrown superstar, but they know their best hope of doing so is significantly improving the roster. With zero cap room, the Cavs could only hope to land a player via a sign and trade, or a trade for someone under contract. Their best hope for a sign and trade was Bosh, as he wanted a 6-year max deal and could only get it that way. With Bosh off the market, there are still options like Boozer or David Lee, but they aren’t as attractive to LeBron. Not to mention a team like Chicago could sign LeBron and still land one of them. The Cavaliers have to be scrambling right now to come up with scenarios to acquire an All-Star to play with James, but right now I don’t think they will be able to. While there are reports that LeBron is still considering the Cavs (probably because he wants a max deal as well), I don’t see him returning in their current form, and with him setting a deadline for his decision, Cleveland is likely out of time.
The Knicks: While it is possible that indirectly this helps the Knicks land LeBron, I’m not buying it. Sure it helps by taking Cleveland out of the mix and making it harder (not impossible) for the Heat to land him. But the Heat could still be an option, and even with Stoudemire I think the Clippers, and Bulls are superior options. Also if the Nets land David Lee or even two 2nd tier free agents they might be a better fit for LeBron. I don’t think the Knicks by default move to the top of the suitor list. The Nets, Bulls and Clippers all offer comparable markets, and better supporting casts. And the Heat give LeBron the unholy trinity with Wade and Bosh (not to mention no state income tax, which counts for a few extra million in the bank). Now the Knicks lost out on their two top backup plans in Wade and Bosh. If LeBron went elsewhere and Bosh wasn’t in Miami, Wade would be at the top of the Knicks wish list. And if they missed out on him, Bosh would have been the next choice. Now with Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce off the market, the Knicks are kinda hurting in terms of adding another star player if James spurns them. David Lee and Carlos Boozer are available, but both are very similar to Stoudemire and not great fits. Beyond that New York’s options are very slim.
The Bulls: Chicago was hoping to land Wade and/or Bosh (though I don’t think you could get the Raptors drunk enough to take back Deng’s contract) , and will now have to focus on signing James and one of the other big men. I think a James/Lee combo would return the Bulls to championship glory, but it remains to be seen if James will go for it. There are some reports that James doesn’t get along with Derrick Rose (despite the fact that an All-Star PG is what James needs), which made Wade a great option for the Bulls. Wade is from Chicago and would have filled the Bulls need just as well. Now Chicago really needs to land the King, otherwise they might question their offseason strategy.
The Heat: While it is unclear yet whether Bosh will sign straight up or do a sign and trade with Toronto (likely sending back Beasley, Chalmers and/0r picks), getting Bosh is a great move for Miami. If they go the sign and trade route, it is possible that enough money could be cleared to sign James as well. I would consider it a strong possibility, but not a definite. Regardless the Heat are in the drivers seat when it comes to free agency right now. Even if they don’t land James, they can add a center like Haywood and a solid point guard like either Felton or Ridnour. Right now the Heat still have money to spend and two stars to entice other free agents. The rest of their team may be made up with 2nd round picks and D-Leaguers but the star power is strong in Miami, and that could be enough to land the biggest fish of all.