Fans and NBA executives are curious about the future of the Miami Heat’s Big Three leading up to the 2014 offseason. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all exercise early termination options to become free agents, but the tallest member of the trio is confident Miami’s core will remain intact.
“I know everyone wants to know and the whole speculation thing. I think everybody is going to make it work out,” Bosh said, per Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears. “We have a chance to continue to play at a high level.”
Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweeted the following quote from Bosh:
Although the Big Three certainly has an opportunity to keep competing as an elite unit, the only member who did so during the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs was James.
The four-time MVP posted huge numbers while shooting an impressively efficient 57.1 percent from the field, but the supporting cast deserted him.
After scoring 18 points in both of the first two games, Bosh all but disappeared during Miami’s three straight losses. In Games 3-5, the 30-year-old averaged 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. He shot 1-of-7 from beyond the arc during that span, including a 0-of-5 dud from downtown in Game 5.
D-Wade, meanwhile, looked like a complete and utter shell of himself during the season’s final series. His lethargic defense prompted a near-12-minute video montage pointing out his lack of effort on that end of the court.
He averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the series. He shot 43.8 percent from the field and an uncharacteristic 69.2 percent from the free-throw line.
While Bosh was candid with reporters looking for answers to Miami’s offseason questions, LBJ didn’t want to divulge any tidbits about his future.
“You guys [the media] are trying to find answers,” James said, per Spears. “I’m not going to give you one. I’m just not going to give it to you. When I get to that point, I’ll deal with it.”
James could decide to continue his career with a different organization, but as Spears wrote, “The options are limited.” He cited the Los Angeles Clippers (which don’t have room to sign James with a minimum of $66 million already committed) and the Chicago Bulls (which would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer and trade Taj Gibson just to free up enough cap space).
If the Big Three ultimately decides to stay together in Miami, they’ll need plenty of help to cover an increasing number of weaknesses.
Shane Battier is set to retire, Ray Allen could follow him and Rashard Lewis—though not the player he once was—is said to have other suitors via free agency, according to Spears.
Aside from backup point guard Norris Cole—the only Heat player with a guaranteed contract for next season—Pat Riley will have to fill out a new roster from scratch.
That likely starts with retaining the three All-Stars, but Riley will have to once again work managerial magic for the Heat to return to championship glory.