Over the last couple of days, ESPN and other media outlets have taken advantage of the free agency craze and utilized the nation's interest with a variety of rumors from "inside sources," which has infused a rash of articles and speculation about where the top free agents are going to land.
Dwyane Wade is going to Chicago. Chris Bosh is going to Cleveland. LeBron James is going to New York. Wade and Bosh are going to Chicago. But, what are the legitimacy of these rumors? How can we really be sure what is true and what is false until pen hits paper?
In the thick of these rumors has been the Miami Heat and where their superstar, Dwyane Wade, will land. Although over the last few days, Miami Heat fans heart rates have significantly increased with the news that Wade is "leaning towards Chicago," let's not panic until anything is final.
Assuming Wade will resign with Miami, which I think he will, here is the team's ideal and most realistic scenarios.
Despite all the babbling by the media, Dwyane Wade will be back in a Heat uniform next season. I've spent the last few days stressing over this situation until I realized that Wade has to resign in Miami.
30 more million dollars, loyalty, legacy, championship, and heart. Enough said. He has built a legacy in Miami with a Finals MVP award, as well as being the leader in almost every single Miami Heat statistical category.
He has stated numerous times that he loves Miami and that is heart lies with the Heat. The Heat have one of the best players in the league, the most cap space, and have the appeal of South Beach. There is no way Wade is leaving and there is no way the Heat won't be able to attract another top-tier free agent.
All these Wade-to-Chicago rumors are just the media making up things in order to have something to put on TV and make money. If anything, Wade is just using all the hype as leverage to get Miami to make a move.
Why else would he say on his Twitter account, "I am going to make a site- how little they know.com?"
Out of all the likely scenarios, Wade returning to Miami is the MOST LIKELY scenario.
Regardless of all the speculation that has just popped up with Bosh and the Toronto Raptors working out a sign-and-trade that would send the Raptors All-Star to Cleveland for Anderson Verajo and JJ Hickson, I don't see that as being realistic.
Bosh is reportedly not very intrigued by the possibility of going to Cleveland. While he does want to pair up with LeBron James, he apparently does not want to do so in Cleveland. He wants to be either in Chicago, Miami, or New Jersey.
And if LeBron wants to stay with his hometown Cavs, then it looks like Bosh will just have to team up with the next best option, Dwyane Wade.
Wade and Bosh had dinner in Chicago last week to discuss the possibility of playing in Miami together. In addition, Wade has said numerous times that he wants to stay in Miami, so he was surely recruiting Bosh to play with him in South Beach.
It looks like Wade and King James could be battling over the services of Chris Bosh.
I've been saying this since day one. LeBron James won't sign and was never going to sign with Miami. Despite the three hour long meeting that James had with Pat Riley and the Heat front office, I don't think he ever seriously contemplated joining up forces with D Wade in Miami.
He calls himself "King James" for a reason and that is not to be a second option on a team that is not led by him. He was born and raised in Cleveland and is more than a King in Ohio, which is why he wants to stay put and why he is pushing for Bosh to get traded to the Cavaliers so bad.
That's why the Heat need to rely on Bosh coming to Miami, because LeBron is not happening.
Since Pat Riley's "Dream-Team" scenario most likely won't happen and the Heat will only have two maximum players under contract (Wade and Bosh), they will have extra money to spend on middle-tier free agents.
And since Bosh is a natural power forward, they are still in the mix for a center. David Lee is a perfect fit. He is a double-double machine and would form a potent frontcourt duo with Bosh.
Lee has reportedly already had a meeting with the Miami Heat and it supposedly went "really well." Hopefully, he signs with Miami and gives the Heat a very legitimate frontcourt duo.
With Miami's point guard issues worse than ever with only Mario Chalmers under contract, the Heat are desperate for a starting point guard.
While Felton may not be the best PG in the league, he still is a solid player with good offensive skills that can beat defenders off the dribble and create his own offense.
The former UNC guard averaged 12 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last season. While Jameer Nelson exposed him in the first round of the playoffs this year, Felton would still be a very solid pickup for a Heat team that hasn't really had a legitimate point guard since Tim Hardaway and used Carlos Arroyo as their starter this season.
It has been reported that Felton is scheduled to meet with Miami and New York this week and he already met with the Heat last week. So, it is a very realistic possibility that Felton will be in a Heat uniform next season.
With all the attention of this year's free agency being focused on the "Big Three" of James, Wade, and Bosh, people have seem to forgot about the other really talented players that are still on the market.
Take Heat forward Udonis Haslem for example, who has been a very reliable player in his seven-year career. No one has even talked about him other than the fact that he has fielded several offers from several teams.
In addition, Dorrell Wright had a breakout year last season for the Heat and Pat Riley has stated he wants to resign the former first round pick.
Once all the pieces fall into place and the major players are under contract, the Heat will resign Haslem and Wright to fill out their bench. The two forwards are perfect role players necessary to complete a championship-caliber team.
Since Miami won't be using up all their spending money on the Big Three, they will have money left over to fill out their roster.
And with their remaining cash, I expect them to pursue a Mike Miller-like player (aka someone that can shoot three's and space the floor.) Miller has already taken a meeting with the Heat and at 30 years old, it's time for Miller to start playing with a contender and not the woeful Washington Wizards.
If Miller decides to go to a different contender, then I expect Miami to go after the likes of Ray Allen, Jason Williams, or Jamal Tinsley.
If Bosh does somehow end up in Cleveland or dart to Chicago, then Boozer is likely going to end up in a Heat uniform.
Riley has pursued Boozer for years and the forward even publicly stated last season he would love to play in South Beach. He has a home in Miami and it is well documented that he has a connection with the Heat.
The most likely reason Boozer has been so mum on his free agency status is because he is waiting to see where Bosh lands. Once Bosh signs, Boozer will be every team's second best power forward option.
And if Miami fails to sign Bosh, then I see Boozer immediately signing with Miami.