NBA Rumors: Miami Heat Should Not Pursue Carmelo Anthony

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NBA Rumors: Miami Heat Should Not Pursue Carmelo Anthony
USA TODAY Sports

It may be tempting for the Miami Heat to pursue Carmelo Anthony this offseason in free agency, but bringing him in to create a Big Four would be a mistake—both financially and on the court.

The New York Knicks are trying to bring him back for the 2014-15 season. He has a player option and could become a free agent this season and forgo the final year of his contract, which would be worth more than $23 million.

In the event that he does use his player option and become a free agent, ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein are reporting that the Heat are trying to clear cap room to bring him in to play alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh:

Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team's leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding New York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony this summer in free agency.

Sources say internal conversations within the Heat organization about pursuing this course have run concurrently with Miami's bid to win a third consecutive championship, with sources adding that James in particular is likely to try to recoup potential salary sacrificed through fresh off-court business opportunities if the Heat's new dream scenario does come to fruition.

It will be hard for the Heat to make this work financially, and even if they do, they'll have to find a lot of cheap contracts from their bench players. The salary cap may potentially rise nearly $5 million from $71.7 million to $77 million, according to Stein, but even then this move will be very difficult.

USA TODAY Sports

According to Spotrac, all but one member of the Heat has a guaranteed contract for next season, and that's point guard Norris Cole, who will be making just more than $2 million. LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen all have player options, which the Heat will be pushing for them to use to free up cap space.

Miami Heat Players With Player Options for 2014-15
Player 2014-15 Salary
LeBron James $20,590,000
Chris Bosh $20,590,000
Dwyane Wade $20,164,000
Udonis Haslem $4,620,000
Chris Andersen $1,448,490

Spotrac

If Anthony did join the Heat, all four stars would be expected to take a pay cut, but even then they'd each be expected to make $15-20 million. Realistically, the best-case scenario is that the four take up somewhere between $65-70 million, and combined with the $2 million for Cole, that would give the Heat $5-10 million at most to deal with eight bench players.

Bleacher Report's Howard Beck is skeptical that the four stars would be willing to take massive pay cuts to make this work.

The other side of this potential move that would be difficult is having all four players working together on the court. All four are great players, especially on offense, but we saw problems before with so many offensive-minded players on the same team when the Los Angeles Lakers brought in Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to play with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol just a couple of years ago.

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The problem with having all four players on the court at the same team would be finding ways to get them the shot attempts they're used to taking. Looking at this year's regular-season numbers, the four combined for 65.1 field-goal attempts per game.

To put things in perspective, the Minnesota Timberwolves led the NBA with 87.5 shots attempted per game. Essentially, even if the Heat were able to go from the fewest shots per game (76.5) to the most, those four would take around 75 percent of the team's shots, which just isn't realistic.

Heat fans would love to see a team with Carmelo and LeBron playing side by side, but so many things would have to happen financially for the team to pull it off, and even then it would be difficult for Miami to sustain and produce a championship contender.

 

Note: All contract information provided by Spotrac.com

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