Four years ago when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh became free agents the most important player movement was neither Wade nor James. The same can be said for the three stars this offseason.
Despite a number of teams making pitches to sign James and Wade essentially giving Pat Riley some financial freedom to improve the roster, Bosh’s decision will once again be the biggest domino.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported in 2010 that if Bosh had decided to join the Cleveland Cavaliers that James would have never taken his talents to South Beach. But the summer of 2014 holds a different narrative between James and Bosh.
James wants a max deal and a better team built in Miami, something nearly impossible to do unless Bosh and Wade take significant pay cuts.
Reports have surfaced that Bosh would prefer signing a four-year max contract with another team and the Houston Rockets have him at the top of its list next to Carmelo Anthony willing to give him the max.
If Bosh leaves then James will most likely stay in Miami.
If Bosh decides to support what he has said the entire year about his wish to stay in Miami, then James may return to his home state. Bosh averaged over 22 points per game in his last five seasons as a Toronto Raptor.
Yet, somehow still had just 12 touches in Game 3 of this year’s Finals. He ranked 33rd in the league in PER last season. And at 30 years old, is most likely seeing his last big contract.
The Rockets are willing to give Bosh a four-year $88 million dollar deal, in his home state, which like Florida, has no state tax.
And Miami’s number one priority is retaining James.
Did I mention he will have the best defensive center to play along with in Dwight Howard, the aura and support of Hakeem Olajuwon and one of the best power forwards of all-time in Kevin McHale as his coach and an All-Star shooting guard in James Harden who has failed to show up in three straight playoff series and has no better accolades than Bosh? Houston appears to be the best possible scenario for Bosh if he decides to leave.
The real question is with three days left before players can sign with teams, what will Bosh do and how will he dictate everyone else’s decision?