Now that the rumors surrounding New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony have ramped up, perhaps the most interesting rumor has emerged lately.
The Miami Heat are expected to pursue Anthony while retaining their big three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Of course, unless each player takes a pay cut, that scenario is virtually impossible.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders believes the Heat are a longshot to land Anthony, but explains that it is possible.
Currently all three have two years and $42 million remaining on their deals. Like Carmelo, each could opt out and sign new deals in the four to five year range worth anywhere from $90 million to $129 million.
Would all three trade their remaining two years and $42 million for four years and $80 million? If they would the HEAT are knocking on $12-$13 million in cap space. If Udonis Haslem trades his final year and $4.62 million for a two or three year deal in the $2 million per year range, the HEAT’s cap number comes up $2 million. If any of the Big Three take less money, there becomes more cash to pursue Carmelo.
It’s far more likely that Miami pursues lower priced free agents, but the HEAT have the means to get to the table with Carmelo. It really just boils down to money and whether all four guys would agree to less than market value to keep the NBA Finals training rolling.
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line.