If the Big 3 want to stay together and still give the Heat some flexibility to sign better talent around them, someone is going to have to take less money.
The best scenario for the Heat is if they all take less money, but according to ESPN they are discussing the various options they have.
The trio of Heat stars working collectively have three general options on how to put together their deals that could affect how aggressive the team will be going after other free agents. The Heat’s front office, led by president Pat Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg, will consult but have different plans for all three contingencies, sources said.
James, Bosh and Wade could all re-sign and take raises to the maximum salary starting at $22 million each, which would carry the Heat into the luxury tax and significantly limit their spending options this season and in the following seasons.
They could all take significant pay cuts, perhaps in excess of $5 million per year each, that would take the Heat below the salary cap and leave enough room to chase a major free agent like point guard Kyle Lowry. Though the Heat may ultimately investigate the possibility of Carmelo Anthony, that option has not been seriously discussed among the parties yet, sources said.
The last option is that the Heat stars could all take moderate pay cuts and stagger their salaries at different levels. This would likely not leave significant cap space but it would take the Heat below the luxury tax line and enable them up to use the full mid-level exception of $5.3 million and the biannual exception of $2 million to bring in multiple role players.
Out of all three, Wade is the one if you are just going by on the court production and frankly availability should take the biggest cut, but we just have to see what happens.
Bosh seems he would be happy in the $15 million range, which is fair for someone in his position. In the end, I think they all stay together and leave some flexibility for the Heat to make some low level roster moves.