Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Relax, I'm not saying it's the Miami Heat or bust.
If each member of the Big Three opts into the next year of their contracts, or re-signs for the maximum amount allowed, this dream is dead. But it's not dead yet.
Dwyane Wade will be back with the Heat next season. Fact. He will also accept a substantial pay cut. Maybe.
"When I get into that position, it’s something I’ll think about," Wade said of free agency and potentially taking less money, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. "You have to sit down at the time and see what is best for you and for your team."
Wade accepted less when he helped orchestrate the Big Three's formation, it's not unreasonable to believe he could do so again. One of the other two—LeBron James and Chris Bosh—could also leave. Even if they don't, again, the Heat have options.
Pay cuts could be taken or Gasol could agree to join the dance party at an extremely low cost. Think Ray Allen or Shane Battier. The Heat have that effect on players. They've also been searching for a few good big men who aren't named Joel Anthony, a la Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Greg Oden.
Think of a rotation that features LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Gasol. Wow. Double wow. Triple-double-bubble wow.
As far as long shots go, this one's stretched wafer-thin. Combined, the salaries of Miami's Big Three could exceed $60 million, key word being "could." Broken-record style, pay cuts. Or maybe Bosh feels like being an Alpha Dog again, and will seek greener pastures, thereby disbanding the Big Three. Mostly the pay cuts thing, though.
But remember, Gasol wants to play for a winner, limiting his options. He will have to make a crazy sacrifice himself if he wishes to leave the Lakers. And if Wade resists the urge to sign that "Kobe deal," Miami becomes a plausible destination and legitimate threat.