Yesterday, LeBron‘s city of choice was Cleveland. The day before, it was Chicago. The day before that, was it was New Jersey.
Today, however, according to Newsday‘s Alan Hahn, LeBron has agreed to join Dwyane Wade in Chris Bosh in Miami. “The Big Three is here,” he tweeted.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard confimed Hahn’s claim by tweeting early Thursday: “Sources with knowledge of the situation indeed saying LeBron will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart.
Even with the new salary cap for next season — $58 million — LeBron and the other two stars would have to take a paycut, which has rarely happened in pro sports. And then the Heat would only have four guys on the books, with Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers potentially on their way out if the team engages in a sign-and-trade to give the big three more money. Even still, the Heat wouldn’t be able to offer all three max contracts. Per Chad Ford:
If the Heat can’t clear the cap space, each player could sign for slightly less than the max and likely lose roughly $7 million on a five-year contract. That number could be adjusted based on the league’s final cap numbers.
Alternately, the Heat can work with the Raptors and/or the Cavs to do sign-and-trades for Bosh or James. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has indicated that he’s willing to talk sign-and-trade with the Heat but so far has balked at the idea of taking Beasley in any such deal. Cavs owner Daniel Gilbert has been steadfast that the Cavs won’t participate in a sign-and-trade for James.
If the Heat cannot work out a sign-and-trade with the Raptors or Cavs, James and Bosh could each leave an additional $30 million on the table thanks to collective bargaining rules that allow their home teams to offer higher raises and a sixth year on their contracts.
Of course, if LeBron does move to South Beach, the biggest winner would be Stephen A. Smith.