The Miami Heat’s Big Three era, irrespective of what happens over the next month and the tumultuous offseason that will follow it, will be remembered as an unqualified success. The last four years have been good to the denizens of South Beach.
LeBron James got his rings and his respect.
Dwyane Wade added some jewelry to secure his lofty place in the game’s long history.
Chris Bosh—though not as obviously accomplished as his two aforementioned teammates—earned accolades from hoops heads and his coach as an unselfish space-creator and enabler who made Miami’s mini-dynasty really hum.
But a four-year term might be it. Each of James, Bosh and Wade has an early termination option in his contract that, if activated, will allow him to become a free agent this offseason. The superfriends era could be over as quickly as it began.
“Could,” of course, being the operative word.
Pat Riley will surely do everything in his power to keep the core together this summer—and, based on their public remarks, that three-man nucleus seems perfectly willing, even eager, to accommodate him.
What follows are several of the factors—from the outcome of the 2014 playoffs to the perspicacity of head coach Erik Spoelstra—that the terrific trio are likely to consider when weighing a return to South Beach.