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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Will Wade, Bosh opt-out = Melo to Heat?

By Ian Begley

We already know that the Miami Heat have discussed internally the possibility of their "Big 3" teaming up with Carmelo Anthony.

That scenario still feels more like fantasy than reality at this point. But on Saturday, the Heat took a necessary step toward making that fantasy a reality when Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem opted out of their contracts to test free agency.

Chris Bosh is expected to do the same.

These transactions are all apart of a plan to give Miami some financial flexibility to add a big-name free agent this summer to help the Big Three chase another title.

Could that free agent be Carmelo?

ESPN.com reported earlier this month that the Heat have discussed the possibility of trying to sign Anthony as a free agent. Anthony would have to take a significant pay cut to join the Heat but there are several scenarios in which the Heat can clear enough space to make a run at Anthony.

All of those scenarios involve James, Wade, Bosh, Haslem and Chris Andersen opting out of the final year's of their contracts. Anderson has reportedly already decided to opt out.

The most plausible Melo-to-Miami scenario has the Heat clearing $55 million in cap space to sign all four players. If they divided that space evenly, that would leave Carmelo with a starting salary of $13.8 million on a four-year contract totaling $58.8 million. Signing that kind of deal would force Carmelo to leave more than $70 million on the table.

Anthony can sign a max contract worth $129 million over five years with the Knicks.

Now, some believe that the Heat will chase a point guard or center with their extra cash instead of going after Anthony. Kyle Lowry is a name that is mentioned often.

But, if Miami truly has interest in Anthony, Wade and Haslem opting out on Saturday was an important step in its pursuit of the Knicks' star.

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