The Miami Heat have been linked to multiple free agents in the first day that teams can contact potential new players, and the team may have more money to spend than many expected thanks to Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
The two names believed to be at the top of the Heat’s wish list are small forward Luol Deng and point guard Kyle Lowry. Both can get much more money from other teams, and if the Heat want them, the team’s Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will have to take significant pay cuts.
That may be exactly what is about to happen in Miami. The Heat have told potential free agents that the team will have more than $12 million to spend on free agents, both John Canzano of the Oregonian and later ESPN reported.
Canzano reported Bosh’s new deal with the Heat will be a five-year contract that will have a first-year salary of $11 million. In addition, according to Canzano's report, Wade will sign a new four-year contract with a first-year value of $12 million.
Chris Bosh’s 5-year deal with Miami expected to start at $11 million in year 1. Dwyane Wade will sign four years, $12 million in year 1
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) July 1, 2014
Bosh and Wade were set to make roughly $42 million over the final two years of the contract they just opted out of before free agency began.
If those numbers are accurate, the Heat will have the money needed to at least be close on signing Lowry or Deng, because if the money’s close, the Heat has the luxury of pitching playing with James, Bosh and Wade, along with no state tax and a perfect climate.
Based on the numbers from Canzano’s report, Bosh and Wade’s contracts would total $23 million in year one. If LeBron re-signed for a max contract worth around $20 million in year one, the Heat would have used roughly $40 to $45 million of the approximately $55 million in cap space the team started with at the beginning of free agency.
That would give the Heat the flexibility to go after Lowry, Deng or possibly even Washington Wizards free agent center Marcin Gortat.
The Heat have also been linked to Marvin Williams, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Tervor Booker, Trevor Ariza, Caron Butler and Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas.
While Heat president Pat Riley works on his salary cap situation and attempts to lure a top free agent again to Miami, LeBron’s agent Rich Paul is scheduled to meet with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.