Posted by Sekou Smith
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Two of this summer’s Big Three free agents are headed to South Beach, so says Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine.
Dwyane Wade stays in Miami and Chris Bosh joins him, how he does that remains a mystery because a sign-and-trade deal between the Heat and Toronto Raptors is still a possibility. But you knew it wouldn’t take long for the news to trickle out after LeBron James set up his Thursday night global announcement, that will be carried live on ESPN.
James or not, the Heat could emerge as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference with Wade and Bosh aboard. Wade, who led the Heat to the NBA title in 2006, is re-signing with the club, while Bosh will leave the Raptors after seven years with the club.
Both players are expected to get the maximum amount allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, though the addition of James could change the players’ salaries. Contracts cannot be officially signed until July 8.
It was not immediately clear whether Bosh will sign with Miami outright or join the Heat through a sign-and-trade deal. Bosh could earn $125 million over six years via sign-and-trade, but only $96 million over five without it.
“Either way, he’s definitely going to Miami,” the source said.
There is still a feeling among some that James could join them in Miami. But can you see him going through this whole prime time announcement special to tell the galaxy that he’s following Wade and Bosh to South Beach?
It just doesn’t make sense to us here at the hideout, where we’ve responded the same way when asked for weeks about where we feel these guys will end up. James was always the wild card, but Wade and Bosh in Miami always made the most sense.
If they have an perimeter-post synergy anything like what Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol do in Los Angeles, we should all be prepared to spend lots of time in Miami during the playoffs the next few years.
As for James, his options remain plentiful. Staying in Cleveland makes plenty of sense. But there is still Chicago, New Jersey and New York to think about …
Thursday night can’t get here fast enough.