Now that the Miami Heat’s quest for a three-peat was destroyed by the San Antonio Spurs, speculation about the future of the Heat has begun.
ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard said there’s likely a one-percent chance that Carmelo Anthony lands in Miami this July in free agency.
“This is not my opinion,” Le Batard explained on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” this morning. “This is coming from the Heat organization. That is what they said, that is the number they put on it. They called it a very, very long shot and they said one-percent chance. They said that they thought the same thing about four years ago when LeBron was faced with this decision.”
James wasn’t giving any hints about what he plans to do after losing Game 5 on Sunday night. But he clearly will want and need more help in order to win another championship. Here's a good take by ESPN's Brian Windhorst on what LeBron likely is thinking.
James, Wade and Bosh all can opt out of their contracts. But as our Ian Begley notes, Anthony would have to take a big pay cut to sign with the Heat. Melo can sign a max deal for $129 million over five years with the Knicks.
But as Begley points out, Anthony might have to sign a deal with a starting salary of $13.8 million if he were to go to Miami if James, Bosh and Wade split the amount evenly to be able to sign Anthony. In that case, Anthony’s four-year deal would be worth $58.8 million total.
Le Batard said he believes James will take less money to stay in Miami. He’s not so sure about Anthony, though.
“It matters to LeBron to be playing with his friends,” Le Batard said. “He wants to be doing this with his friends, with his brothers and so that’s where Carmelo gets thrown into play. I don’t know ... that is a lot of money to ask Carmelo to leave behind."
And then there's how Melo could be viewed if he went to Miami.
“And furthermore Carmelo would be doing it and would be viewed as weak doing it by coming to Miami,” Le Batard explains. “It’s interesting because it only be viewed weak as coming to Miami. If Carmelo chose San Antonio somehow and San Antonio can make it work, people wouldn’t look at it the same way. Something about this team, Miami, the way it was put together, the flash, and the hatred around it that would make it something else with Carmelo here in Miami."
"But LeBron wants to play with his friends," Le Batard adds. "Wherever he will be playing, he will be playing with his friends.”