Longtime Miami Heat beat reporter Ira Winderman of the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL reports Tuesday morning that discussions between Heat free-agent guard Dwyane Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh have taken place examining how all three could fit under the Miami NBA club’s salary cap.
The Sun Sentinel has learned that the three star free agents have gone as far as to acknowledge that it might not be possible for the Heat to clear the needed space to start each of the three at the $16.6 million maximum salary that they would be eligible for in the first year of new contracts.
According to the source, the three have agreed to consider to “split the money up,” if need be.
By unloading the $4.96 million 2010-11 salary on the contract of forward Michael Beasley, as well as potentially minimizing the cap hit of the buyout of forward James Jones, the Heat would be on the cusp of being able to extend maximum offers to Wade, James and Bosh.
According to Winderman, the trickiest part of the deal appears to be the Heat trading for Bosh:
Bosh could be accommodated in such a scenario by the Heat either sending Beasley to the Raptors or including him in a multiple-team trade that involves Toronto. The Heat also could send draft picks to Toronto, including the Raptors’ future first-round pick the Heat currently holds, as a means of Bosh receiving his maximum contract length.
How amenable Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo would be to all that remains to be seen. Colangelo has said in the past week that he was prepared to lose Bosh without receiving compensation.
According to the source, a strong sense that the three might play together next season in South Florida came together only in recent days, although it had been discussed previously by the three.
James and Bosh joining the Heat would be an absolute marketing masterstroke for James and the NBA. Makes too much sense. But with so many moving parts, I’m still extremely skeptical.
UPDATE: Of that reported Miami summit, Herald reporter Michael Wallace added this morning that two of Wade’s representatives are disputing the story.