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.
The mere concept would require the star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to all opt out of their current contracts by the end of the month and likely take further salary reductions in new deals that start next season to give Miami the ability to offer Anthony a representative first-year salary. The Heat also are prevented from making any formal contact with Anthony until July 1 and can do so then only if he opts out of the final year of his current contract. Anthony has until June 23 to notify the Knicks of his intentions, according to sources.
Many haters out there love to point out that what Miami has done in order to piece together their team is unfair. However, what they’ve been doing — and probably plan to do — is anything but novel.
The Spurs trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have played together for more than a decade, racking up championships in the process, all because they repeatedly took pay cuts in order to add critical role players around them.
Of the Heat’s ‘Big Three,’ many are confident James — the most pivotal player — would have the most peace of mind in regards to taking a pay cut. The four-time MVP just made out like a bandit over of what is believed to be the biggest equity cash payout for a pro athlete in history after Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Electronics. The sale landed James more than $30 million in cash and stock since he struck a deal with the company in 2008 promising to promote the high-end head phones.
Anthony and James both came into the league in 2003 and were expected to be the next Bird vs. Magic. Boy are those days long gone.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.
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