Forget agents pitching their superstar free-agent clients, forget GM’s of teams sitting at LeBron or D-Wade or CB4’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st; could the biggest moves this offseason be determined in a player’s-only meeting between the superstars of the greatest free agent class of all time?
According to ESPN, that may be exactly what happens this offseason:
Wade told the Chicago Tribune that he’s not sure when the three players will talk, but they’ve been discussing their futures informally for a while now.
“[Free agency] has been three years coming,” the Miami Heat superstar told the Tribune. “We’ve discussed it prematurely, at different times. [But] you don’t know what guys are thinking and where they’re going. I think we’ll all sit down, and before one of us makes a decision, all of us will have spoken to each other and [listened to the] thinking.
“A lot of decisions [will be based on] what other players are willing to do and what other guys want to do. So it’s not just a ‘me’ situation here. We all have to look and see what each other is thinking.”
Don’t think this is just a meeting of swingmen, as ESPN is also reporting that Chris Bosh will be involved:
A source told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh also will join Wade, James and Johnson when they get together to discuss free agency.
No date or place has been set for the gathering, but the source said “Bosh will definitely be there.”
So the top four free agents in this year’s class will be meeting to discuss what they want to do once July 1st hits. With teams such as the Knicks and Heat possibly being able to sign to mega-stars, as well as a team like the Bulls with the assets to sign a max-player and sign-and-trade for another, this could be a meeting with huge repercussions.
From the way D-Wade is talking, it seems as if these guys have been discussing the free-agent bonanza that will be this summer for a while now, and are intent to do what’s best for their careers. If anything can be taken from the above quotes, the idea that decisions will come down to what some players are “willing to do” definitely sends out signals that these stars want to play together and win a title.
If you’re a Knicks fan, you have to be thrilled by this news. New York is currently the only team with cap space to sign two max-players, and they have to be loving the fact that Lebron/Wade/Bosh/Johnson seem to be wanting to work together this offseason.
Miami management also has to love what they are hearing. The general consensus has been that it will take a lot to lure Wade away from Florida, and with the Heat having enough to re-sign Wade as well as add a maximum contract guy and another high-salary player, they have to be dreaming big things right now.
The fact that these guys are willing to get together and talk shows that they may be willing to take pay cuts to play together for a chance at a title. Let’s imagine the possibilities for a minute:
What if free agency hits and Joe Johnson isn’t getting the offers he expected after another playoff flameout? It’s not that hard to envision a scenario in which Wade re-signs with the Heat, lures Bosh to come to South Beach and play with him, and then they both convince Johnson to sign for a little less and form one of the scariest trios the NBA has ever seen.
Take it a step further; the Knicks have around $34 million in cap space. Say that D-Wade, LeBron, and Bosh decide that they’re willing to sacrifice some money for some rings, and all decide that they want to sign three-year contracts with the Knicks at around $11 million per season, after which they can opt out and still be in their primes, capable of signing a long-term max contract with someone in the free agent class of 2013. Would any team in the league be able to compete with a trio of Wade/Bron/Bosh? Would any team in NBA history be able to compete with that trio?
Superfriends, unite? Not quite. While this is an idea that should terrify any fan of a team who isn’t in the free agent mix, truth be told, the odds are against these players teaming up together to form a super squad. It is likely that we could see Bosh team up with Wade in Miami or Wade/James/Johnson in Chicago or New York, but it is highly unlikely we see these guys take big pay cuts to play together. The fact of the matter is there is a lock-out looming that could have some serious effect on free agent contracts in the near future, and this could be the only opportunity these guys have to sign a six- or seven-year deal.
It’s always fun to dream, but fans of teams with cap-space should not expect a Team USA reunion in their starting line-up. Any team would be thrilled to land one of these guys, but if they are willing to work together then teams will literally be shooting for the stars.
Belal Abdelfattah is BSO’s newest writer and comes from a long background in sports writing at the Sports Authority Blog and The Block Radio. You can follow Belal on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/belal_a