If Lebron, Wade, and Bosh all opt out of their contracts and sign new contracts it would put us in a much better position to succeed in the future. We only have the Big 3 and Haslem, Birdman, and Cole under contract for next season. The 2014-2015 salary cap will be set at 77.0 million and if they do not opt out our payroll would be
Total Payroll 69.5 million
We would only have 7.5 million to make up the rest of the team. Granted we can go over the cap to bring back our guys (Chalmers/Allen/Battier (if he does not retire)) but we would be forced to go over the cap and pay more in taxes in the future. Also, our guys are getting older and we will need to be able to bring in newer guys to be able to sustain our winning ways.
In 2010, Lebron and Wade were the top 2 players in basketball and were equivalent, and Bosh just came off a 24/11 season so he was seen as a near max guy as well. 4 years later the story is not the same. Wade is still possibly a top 10 player when healthy and Bosh is a top 20-25 player but has a different role than he did in Toronto.
If Wade signs something like 5 years 60 million (12 million annually), Bosh 5 years 72 million (14.4 million annually), and Lebron 5 years 125 million (25 million annually) that would allow us to continue to compete for the foreseeable future. Lebron is the best player in basketball and brings a ton of money to the Heat organization. After everything he has done for us over the last 4 years he should not have to sacrifice as much as everyone else. The 25 million/year contract would just be under max (max is 35% of salary cap, which would be 26.95 million in 2014-2015) and make him one of the highest paid players in basketball, which he completely deserves. Wade is getting older and when he is healthy, he is worth more than 12 million/year, but if he is going to continue to miss 1/3 of the season, this contract would be fair for him. He is still worth alot of money, but we have to be realistic if we want to stay a contender. Bosh is still a legitimate all star and still in his prime. He continues to improve year in and year out and is a legit 2nd or 3rd option. He is not worth 20 million/year, but he isn't worth a whole lot less than that either. If they sign those contracts our payroll for next year would be
Birdman 1.5 million
Total Payroll 59.65 million
That would save us about 10 million for next year alone. Shane Battier is going to retire after the season but Ray Allen said in February he does not plan to retire. We could bring Ray Allen back for something like 1 year 3.5 million (with a 2nd year option) and Chalmers back 4 years 23 million (5.75 million annually) and still have some money
Total Payroll 68.9 million
We would still have a little over 8 million to bring in other role players. Maybe Vince Carter wants to win a title before he retires and takes a mini MLE like both Battier and Allen have over the last few years. Maybe Danny Granger wants to do the same. Perhaps Mike Miller could return. Maybe we could get really lucky and nab a big like Emeka Okafor. And remember, we could go over the cap to resign our guys so we could wait to sign Chalmers and Allen until we brought other guys in. In this scenario we could nab 2, possibly 3 decent role players who could contribute.
I do not believe this team needs great fundamental changes, but I do believe we will need to continue to be able to bring people in every year like we have been doing. We actually did not do that last year and we look weaker than we did a year ago. If Wade and Bosh are willing to sacrifice and really make this Lebron's team, as he in also receives the largest check, we can compete for at least another 3 years after this year. We would stay on top as long as Lebron is on top.
If they all opt in and continue to get their current deals, we will obviously compete this year, and probably next year too. After that however, our run could be over.
Discuss what you think the Heat or Wade and Bosh should do this offseason.