James, Wade and Bosh will dictate how the Heat look at the summer…
With their reign as NBA champions coming to an end, the Miami Heat face some difficult decisions this summer which could define their more immediate future.
The priority in the coming weeks will be the future of their ‘Big Three’, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all possessing the option of opting out of their contracts.
While that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will consider pastures new, the Heat could see it as an opportunity to further negotiate their deals in order to gain more financial flexibility in attracting another top name in the off-season.
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has been linked as a possible target, but as conceded by Bosh, it is “very, very unlikely” that that deal could be made given the sacrifice Anthony would have to make.
Nevertheless, if the trio are to remain in Florida, then coach Erik Spoelstra will need to strengthen the roster around them as ultimately that is where they fell short this season.
While critics will point to Wade’s struggles in the Finals along with Bosh’s failure to be aggressiveness enough, the Heat bench has been a hallmark of their success but that was severely lacking against the Spurs.
Shane Battier has already announced his retirement, and it is understood that Ray Allen could be considering the same option, while the likes of Mario Chalmers, Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen and Rashard Lewis could all become free agents.
However, while it is important to remember that ultimately the Heat lost to the better team in San Antonio this year, it perhaps isn’t the right time to rip everything up and rebuild in order to start the process all over again.
There were clear deficiencies in Miami’s game this past season, and they need to address the lack of shot blocking inside the paint. In addition, another priority will be to add three-point shooting to compliment the offensive weapons that they already have.
During their two-year reign as NBA champions, Battier and Mike Miller proved vital components of the team in the post-season, and with that lack of shooting and ability to space the floor, Spoelstra hasn’t been able to get the best of his team who may have also have suffered from fatigue, both mentally and physically, after four straight trips to the Finals.
Regardless, the most important decision this summer will likely be that made by James, as his choice on whether or not to stay will not only impact on the franchise’s strategy, but it could also influence those around him.
Bosh has insisted throughout the process that he would like to stay and believes that his two star team-mates will join him at the AA Arena again next year.
However, James and Wade have been silent on their futures to this point, and it remains to be seen whether or not this is the end of an era for the Heat or if it is merely a temporary glitch in their attempt to continue to build a legacy.