Wade, Haslem opting out, gives Heat a chance to get back in


VIDEO: Wade opts out of final two years with Heat

Is that a sigh of relief out of Miami? Or the winds of change that are blowing?

The decision by Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem to join LeBron James in opting out of their contracts to become free agents – Chris Bosh is still deciding — either cracks the door open for a return of the most star-studded team in the NBA or starts a line at the exit.

Nothing is settled yet. But like Pat Riley says, it’s time to get a grip.

According to ESPN, Wade will give up $41.8 million and the last two years of his deal, Bosh $42.6 million for two years and Haslem will not exercise his player option for $4.6 million.

Coming less than three days before the start of the free agency period, the move doesn’t yet mean the party continues in South Beach, but is the necessary first step.

“Today we were notified of Dwyane’s intention to opt-out of his contract and Udonis’ intention to not opt into his contract, making both players free agents,” Heat president Riley said in a statement issued by the club. “Dwyane has been the cornerstone of our organization for over a decade, and we hope he remains a part of the Heat family for life. Udonis has been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years. He has sacrificed countless times to make this organization successful, and he is the epitome of what this organization stands for. We look forward to meeting with Dwyane and Udonis and their agent in the coming days to discuss our future together.”

Following Miami’s dismal 4-1 loss to the Spurs in The Finals, it was clear that the Heat were not just outplayed, but overmatched in terms of strength in the starting lineup and depth on the bench. Veteran forward Shane Battier showed considerable wear on his game and announced his retirement following the series, while 38-year-old guard Ray Allen, who was inconsistent all year long, recently said he’d like to return for a 19th NBA season.

Point guard Mario Chalmers was particularly ineffective against San Antonio and the Heat are known to be interested in Raptors free agent Kyle Lowry.

Bosh has reportedly said he’d be willing to take a reduction in annual salary, playing for $15 million to $16 million per season, if he got a new five-year commitment. If James and Wade are also ready to play for less in annual salary, the Heat would be able to boost their overall talent level and get right back into the hunt as championship contenders in the Eastern Conference.

The knee-jerk reaction to defeat by the Spurs was that the glorious and brief Heat Era had come to an end after two championships and four straight trips to The Finals.

Teams from Cleveland to Houston to Los Angeles have been lining up to take their best shot at convincing James to make another jersey switch and relocation, and he might still listen to the sweet nothings they whisper into his ear before making a final decision.

But Riley threw down the challenge last week for all of his stars to stand their ground.

“I think everybody needs to get a grip,” Riley said. “This stuff is hard. You have to stay together and find the guts. You don’t find the door and run out of it.”

That door is now cracked open and that’s good news in Miami, if only the first step.

57 Comments

  1. Rasta says:

    Hey 11 or 12 ur stupid teaming up with other stars is the way it is now nobody can win it by themselves u call that legit.look at Kobe he can’t win by himself and will never take pay cut that’s selfish

  2. Not 3,4,5,6,7 Just TWO!!!! says:

    GO sign with the SPURS w/ a minimum salary and be a a cheer leader ( TOWEL WAVING TRIO ) like patty did last year and wait until Duncan/Manu retire maybe you 2 would be a starter and Wade would be 6th man

  3. THOMAS says:

    Miami should sign:

    (1) Greg Monroe
    (2) Melo
    (3) Mike Miller

  4. I know its a pipe dream but man I would LOVE to see K Love in the lineup….How fun would that be to watch?

  5. John Pikula says:

    Let’s see….Collusion 2010…Collusion 2014

  6. rory ramirez says:

    When they came together, they were supposed to be the best team ever with the best player ever. Not 5, not 6, not 7…..etc. What happened? somebody forgot to tell the Heat and all their little army of followers that it takes not 1, not 2, not 3 great players but only ONE great team and organization to be a force for 17 years and counting. So many super stars have come and gone and the Spurs keep on trolling along….Just winning and winning and winning, not 1, not 2, not 3, but 15, fifty plus win seasons.
    So now what Miami? They must re-tool and rebuild….welcome aboard the loser express….some of the contenders in the East have are rebuilding also and are about to leave the Heat in the dust.
    The once Mighty Heat, who bowed down to no one, are left with two rings and a ton of national media coverage. Np longer the Kings of the NBA, they have been reduced to Media fodder for the so-called experts to fill the dead space for hungry basketball fans like myself to spend useless time commenting on meaningless topics like this one….guess I spent not 1, not 2, not 3 minutes posting this nonsense, but way more than it’s worth!!!!

    • squala96 says:

      You are contradicting yourself. If you say that your comment was a waste of time, then you should have just not sent it.

      So the Heat are the subject of media controversy. Is that such a bad thing? Your beloved Spurs just won, but nobody seems to care about them now. True, basketball is a team sport, but the NBA in particular needs to be entertaining as well. And all these guys opting out is not necessarily nonsense. Miami lost to a supposedly weaker lineup, and what they’re just finding ways for it not to happen again.

      And know the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s,’

  7. coupon says:

    I really don’t see lebron leaving. It’s his chose but miami have don’t everything he asked for and more.

  8. kobeballhog says:

    lebron is the best player no matter what these haters say, hes been the best if not one of the best for so many years yet he never even ask to be given a max contract ever since he entered the league, heck more players who arent even on par with what he brings to the court every game earning more than him, there are money first players and winning first players in this league, these haters just giving themselves more way outs to hate since the spurs won, all teams are bought no players will stay on their team without getting paid enough, you can say all you want about the spurs big 3 sacrificing salaries, well the heat big 3 sacrificed millions already as well, it so just turns out that they got their deals during the peak of their career thats why it costs the heat that much, now that 2 of them have already opt out that gives the heat more room to maneuver, hats of to these heat superstars sacrificing for the better of the team, so in that essence the spurs and the heat are like the same, superstars sacrificing to get rings, hate all you want 4 straight finals aint no joke, how many teams have done that since the league started?

    • areyou11or12yearsold says:

      nobody argues how great a player lebron is. none of his haters ever have anything bad to say about his game (other than his lack of clutch)… the thing they hate is, despite being so great, he has to team up with other stars in their primes and manipulate the cap rules in order to create a “super team” which is soooo pathetic, if he’s that great, why not just try to win it legit? i hope they take huge salary cuts and regret it for the rest of their lives, it would be exactly what they deserve.

  9. imissthethunder says:

    I’m obviously not a Heat Fan, but I have to admit, I’m impressed by how the Heat players (so far) are banding together, taking a possible risk of being cut from the team altogether or taking a salary cut, all for the bigger prize: to win a championship. WOW. This is called teamwork! I like it. And I’m totally tuned in to each and every development. Fakers I hope you are taking good notes!!!

  10. drew says:

    Let Haslem go, only pay Wade 10mil, and get Pao Gasol.

  11. Jesus Shuttlesworth says:

    Wade will return on a $12 mil salary bosh at $16 n james at 18.5 then they willl go out and get haslimack at 2.5 (he;s getting long toothed) and shoot for melo slightly but also lowry as a reserve , resign allen then go get nate robinson and mayb gortat in a trade where the send chalmbers out to dc to back up wall and they will maybe add another wing/spot up shooter to kick out to n spark on droughts…..Greg oden will show he can contribute afeter a light semi active season he will help a little and they will prob get back to the finals unless melo goes to chicago but i predict heat/rockets or heat/lakers in the finals becuase on of those teams will get melo and or kevin love to add and make there own big 3
    #Thankyoubasedgod

  12. NBALogics says:

    They need a solid rebounder who can play 40+ mins and they need more consistent 3 point threats, Kyle Lowry isn’t what will bring em a championship.

  13. yeah i agree with u louie moreno

  14. Jep says:

    Stupid comments in here…..educated your selves pls. #youknowwhoyouare

  15. Icyhermit says:

    Bosh isnt opting out he knows he cant get 20mill again if he leaves hes not a superstar like he once was for somereason no more bangin in the post now he’s trying to be a jump shooting big

  16. perro says:

    Well,,,,i do think that he´ll re-sign with the Heat for a paycut as with all of the team cuz thats what they need to do 2 upgrade the roster,,wish he´d go home to Cleveland but i do think thats just a dream

    • Jesus Shuttlesworth says:

      As long as lebron takes the cut (and he will bcuz he cares about what people think of him) everyone will follow suite and take cuts and either cole or chalmbers will get traded birdman is on a vets pay bveasly is gone oden will take anymoney to stay on the roster with a possible ring coming n gprtat will be added thru FA or a sign n trade just gotta look out for lowry or even more of a long reach lance stephenson (LOl) AND WHO KNOWS MAYB MELO WILL TAKE LESS TO GET THAT RING TOO AND COME EVEN THO THE MOST HED PROBLY GET IS ROUND $18M but if it was bout money he’d still b in NY JS

  17. Kerry says:

    Good players should OPTING OUT in Miami …. WHY …Fans in miami are no good no support to the bitter end

  18. Callan says:

    Wade is a FLOPPER !!!! A DISGRACE to the game.

  19. mee(a)t says:

    Lol Adams doesn’t understand player management

  20. johnny says:

    man.. it feels like they’re manipulating the salary cap.. thats what the new bargaining agreement was for.. to prevent superstars from joining on one team.. salary cap penalties now are useless

    • Salary Caps says:

      Agreed … with a slight alteration; they were to prevent big-market (wealthy) teams from purchasing super power.

      However … Salary Caps, or any other ‘ceilings’ and ‘floors’ are un-’natural’ and therefore bound not to work … they have never worked, they never will.

  21. Philip says:

    Just get a better coach than that muppet spoelstra and you’d surely win with any lineup

  22. What LeBron wants says:

    Why did LeBron leave Cleveland ?

    Was it because he had divine obligation to uplift the Heat to elite status ? Did he have ancestral links to the land of the everglades ? Does he owe Miami Heat anything for bringing two trophies to them ?

    Look, ‘he’ said he wanted to win. ‘He’ said he wanted to be the first player billionaire.

    He is NOT going win with Wade and Bosh. He is not going to a billionaire by taking pay cuts on already discounted salary.

    There are a few destinations which offer him the path to chase BOTH his objectives.

    There are plenty of destinations that offer the pursuit of ONE.

    None of those destinations are in the 33-Thousand zip codes !

  23. Brendan says:

    Am i missing something? Why is all the talk about lowry? The heat need a big and greg monroe seems like a good fit. If they can’t get him even jordan hill would get some boards.

  24. blood says:

    lbj wants to win.. thats why he will do whatever it takes.
    thats why he wont be like mike. because he needs a bunch of good players just to win a championship ring..

    • Hans says:

      Yes, because Jordan didn’t play with another HOFer his entire career. He won all six championships with no talent hacks.

      Jordan played in an era with zero luxury tax and next to zero foreign born players. I’m not saying Jordan wasn’t the greatest of all time, but let’s not pretend he did it alone and under identical circumstances. And let’s not forget how well the Bulls did when Jordan took time off to play baseball (55-27 in 1993-94 and a 2nd round playoff loss).

      • Kevin says:

        Jordan played with Pippen, who is in the HOF. The game was fixed when Jordan played. He got all the calls. I liked Kobe better. Hate his attitude, but love the fact that he worked for everything.

    • ungga1429 says:

      Yeah.. you forgot to mention though that rodman and pippen were with him when he won. oh and their is the great steve kerr. its a different era dude. stop comparing.

      • Mada says:

        Yeah, Michael Jordan also played with the great Luc Longley, the great Will Perdue, the great Trent Tucker, the great BJ Amrstrong…it was a different era, yer right. All of a sudden these players have become superstars to Lebron fans, so it’s not worth the comparison and make excuses. A few months bak, it all “Big Three”, now it’s all just Lebron and no superstar support. Whatta load of. The real score is, with what help Jordan got from management, he worked his way around it.

  25. BT says:

    Now that Wade has opted out, I’m getting the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before Bosh opts out and they all renegotiate their contracts in Miami. Free agency will be a zinger, though, as I still believe James at the least will be monitoring closely the acquisitions in Miami before deciding to return. They’ll have to sign several free agents regardless of the circumstances, but I think if you see the likes of a Kyle Lowry signing on the dotted line for Miami, that will be the key to resigning the big three.

    It’s all very interesting and possibly the only time in history where a teams best 3 players opting out of their contracts is a positive sign for the club. Bizarre.

  26. Steven says:

    To opt out, restructure their deals and provide more flexibility and cap space to re-tool their roster, I like to know how that is taking the easy way out? Every team does that look at the spurs big 3 if they was making a lot more money than they are now they probably wouldn’t have the roster they have to have one the championship… Teams trade and get rid of players all the time… How could the Heat get better as a team if they was to pay 3 players max deals, they wouldn’t have any or much money left over to go out and sign real good players… Just look at who they signed last year, two player that wasn’t a factor but they didn’t have much money invested in them, because they didn’t have much money left over to invest…

  27. Jason says:

    As a SPURS fan, this opting out that Lebron, Wade, and Haslem is doing is actually helping thm out because it allows more flexibility in the cap space. Now if Lebron changes teams because of this, then He’ll lose my respect even more. But hopefully the team can add to it. wouldn’t mind a Spurs vs Heat 3

  28. Avery Milton says:

    I think LeBron would be a really good fit in Houston with harden, Howard, and the rest of the guy’s!

  29. ken mathas says:

    Best shot for the heat to get to the finals again would require
    1 keep Big 3 and get dwayne wade to get surgery or improve his knee for him to play at higher standard ( may include him missing early part of next season
    2 Sign Lowry and a solid big man to contribute eg ryan anderson, greg monroe, marcin gortat ect
    3 develop shabazz napier into 10-15 point spark off the bench and solid backup guard with cole(also trade chalmers)
    4 Hope melo stays nyc or joins them or the rockets (because it would be a major problem for them if he joins chicago)

  30. chris07 says:

    this is what i want to hear thear all stares and equals and freinds they made the best move some times money does not cont thears greater things then money one for a option more rings and for that you need more role players it does not matter if you re some of the best players in the nba you always need help its like famaliy some body always thear for you to give a hnd when you re down and for ya guys have a good one

  31. YeahYeahYeah says:

    To opt out, restructure their deals and provide more flexibility and cap space to re-tool their roster is taking the easy way out.
    You my friend are a bonafide hater.

  32. Geronimo says:

    C: P Gasol
    PF: C Bosh
    SF: L James
    SG: D Wade
    PG: K Lowry

    That’s a fab five team :-s

    • Brainundrum says:

      Spurs would still merc that team all day long.

      • Mike says:

        Agreed. The biggest problem the Heat had with the Spurs was stopping the ball movement. Gasol would make no difference whatsoever. Miami needs more athletic wing defenders. It’s a shame they’d never consider Lance Stevenson.

    • lolheat says:

      I guess those 5 guys avg 45 min a game thru 82 game regular season if their health holds up thru that and to get 12 easy eastern conf wins to get to the finals again…. swept by the wcf champ. d’aw opt out try again.

  33. TheKush says:

    This is not what I wanted to hear but whatever! They better win it next year otherwise they’ll be more depressed and have less money to quell the pain of losing! Great job Lebron at least players are starting to recognize your value and the intensity you bring to the NBA every single game. Lebron lived up to the hype it’s about time the rest of these guys do the same. Great job by Pat Riley as well I like the fact that he’s a general manager that’s not afraid to beg for his best player to stay on his team. HEY TIMBERWOLVES MANAGEMENT YOU COULD LEARN SOMETHING FROM PAT RILEY!!! YOUR FRANCHISE MAKES ME SICK!!!

    • Mike says:

      LeBron hasn’t lived up to the hype at all. He was supposed to challenge Jordan for the title of GOAT. He made false promises to his home team, changed franchises when life got too hard, and now he has a dismal 50% success rate in the finals to show for it.

  34. YungMussuBlack says:

    Great article. You were acurate in your earlier predictions.

  35. mee(a)t says:

    Well i didn’t expect haslem to opt out

  36. Adam says:

    Didn’t Lebron say “follow my lead?”. And yep, they all are…jumping ship and taking the easy way out.

    • Dave says:

      Well won’t you look silly when that doesn’t happen…..

    • J to the B says:

      @Adam
      Seems you do not understand what ‘opt-out’ means. They are opting out so that they can be re-signed to Miami for a lower salary, hence they can bring in better players around Lebron.

    • chris07 says:

      if it was not for wade none of this well have happend so get the story wright

    • louie moreno says:

      @Lebron, you just don’t quit, winner or loose, you have to stick together as a team, you can’t win all the games,

      • Think About It For Just A Second says:

        @ Blood

        Everyone has needed good players to win.

        Mike had:

        Best sidekick – Pippen
        Top rebounder of the league and one of the top defensive players -Rodman
        Best 6th man – Toni Kukoc
        Best three point shooter in the league at that time – Steve Kerr
        One of the top defenders in the league – Ron Harper

        Tell me again about how Michael didn’t need good players to win…