Chris Bosh has made it clear to everyone involved that he wants a max deal through a sign and trade to make up for his lack of endorsement money. The Bulls have made it clear they are trying to package Chris Bosh with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.
Most scenarios published have the Bulls signing either Wade or James to a max contract - worth $97 million over 5 years - then offering something in a sign and trade with Toronto for Chris Bosh.
The only way the sign and trade deal could work is if a third team steps in to the picture and the Raptors get someone they actually like (read: not Luol Deng). This all seems to make sense until you look at the most crucial aspect of the deal.
WHY SIGN AND TRADE CANNOT WORK:
Look at the values of the contracts being offered:
Wade/LeBron $97 mil for 5 years
Bosh $125.5 mil for 6 years
See the problem here?
There is absolutely no way LeBron James or Dwyane Wade will come to a new team and make less than anybody else on the roster.
With the Larry Bird Exception, teams have an advantage signing their own players by offering them a significant amount more than anyone else. So that would mean Dwyane Wade stays in Miami for his max money. Miami could do a sign and trade for Bosh and have two maxed players at 6 years and $125.5 million. This would effectively torpedo the Heat since they'd be paralyzed under the weight and length of those contracts, unable to do much besides sign players at the minimum.
Let's make one thing clear - players are in this for the money. Unless a player is at the tail end of his career (Karl Malone, Gary Payton), they will not take less than they can get to join a team with a chance of winning a championship.
So this becomes less a question of who will get 2 out of the big 3, it's who will be hurt more by massive, long term contracts. The Heat have put themselves in the best position financially to sign two free agents, and they are also in the worst position to win after they sign those two.
The Bulls, improbably, are in the best position of any team since they offer a playoff team (barely). However, they are in the unenviable position of convincing Chris Bosh to take the 5 year $82.8 million deal in the name of winning. And let's make no mistake about it, LeBron and Wade both view Bosh as the missing piece for them (whether you believe that or not is up for debate). So who is going to give here? Wade and James will never take less than Bosh, so it's up to CB4 to back down.
Unless Bosh agrees to the 5 year max contract, this could end badly for a lot of teams as each decision causes an avalanche from Utah to Miami, New York to Houston. It's time to see if these players can restore our faith in them again, if they really are about winning a championship. Otherwise, we're back to cheering for a bunch of greedy guys in shorts who horde the ball like they do their money.
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