MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James went first. Dwyane Wade followed a few days later. And now Chris Bosh has made it a clean sweep.
The Big 3, for now anyway, are free.
And Pat Riley will soon have the chance to make the Miami Heat even better.
Bosh told the Heat on Sunday that he, like James and Wade, will be exercising the early termination option in his contract and forgoing the final two years on his Miami deal — making him a free agent. The move was not unexpected, and gives the Heat a gigantic amount of financial flexibility to shop with when the free-agent window officially opens at midnight Tuesday.
Bosh’s decision was the last domino that the Heat needed to fall in order to free up the biggest amount of money possible heading into free agency.
“Chris is one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league, and he has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons,” Riley, the Heat president, said in a statement released by the team. “We look forward to meeting with Chris and his agent in the coming days to discuss keeping him in Miami for many years to come.”
Riley expressed similar sentiments when James opted out Tuesday and Wade exercised his option Saturday.
“I like it here,” Bosh, who averaged 16.2 points this past season, told The Associated Press this month. “It’s Miami. Enough said. People are dying to get here.”
Like James, Bosh could have made $20,590,000 this coming season, and $22,112,500 in the 2015-16 season. Wade was due to make slightly less in each of those years, but between those three and Udonis Haslem — who did not exercise a player option to make $4.6 million next season — that’s about $66 million in salary that Miami could have been locked in to paying if these decisions went another way.
Instead, the thinking seems to be that in order for the Heat to get better, players knew they needed to give Riley room to work.
“Being able to have flexibility as a professional, anyone, that’s what we all would like,” James said earlier this offseason, shortly after the finals.
All three will be free to sign elsewhere, but there’s no indication yet that they’ll even look at other clubs — and if they agree to new deals with the Heat, the team would almost certainly have more than enough financial freedom to upgrade a team that has been to the NBA Finals in each of the last four seasons, winning two championships.
With the NBA’s salary cap expected to be somewhere around $63.2 million for next season, the Heat will have tons of spending power — though much of that, they hope, will go right back to keeping James, Wade and Bosh together. The luxury tax threshold should be around $77 million next season, and perhaps up to $81 million for the following year.
Reserve guard Norris Cole has a guaranteed contract for just over $2 million for next season, and little-used center Justin Hamilton has a partially guaranteed deal that could wind up being worth $816,000. Everyone else from the team that lost to San Antonio in five games in this season’s finals either will be a free agent, or in Shane Battier’s case, has retired.
Among other key Heat free agents: Ray Allen has indicated he would think about returning, point guard Mario Chalmers is expected to listen to other teams but said late in the season that he enjoys Miami, and forward Chris Andersen said he’s prepared to play the waiting game.
Andersen said last week that he expects to hear what James, Wade and Bosh will do before Miami makes any decisions regarding the filling out of the roster.
“You know how it goes, man,” Andersen said. “Big money goes first.”
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31