Miami Heat Free Agency: Eric Bledsoe among potential targets

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Jun 12, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) reacts during the second half of game four of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you’ve heard LeBron James has decided to take his talents back to Cleveland after four years of “NBA college” in Miami. All is not lost, what looked like a complete rebuilding project is on hold on the news that Chris Bosh is staying in Miami as opposed to signing with Houston as was the genuinely assumed to be the case if James left. Still this remains a tremendous blow Miami’s status as a legitimate contender for the next several years.

After wrapping up the Bosh re-signing, Miami still has plenty of work to do.  Bosh’s salary will start at around $20.3 million in the first year of his new deal. After singing Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts to small deals, the Heat will have around $30 million in salary committed to five players (Granger, McRoberts, Norris Cole and rookie Shabazz Napier ). So with all that salary money and roster space available, where does Miami go from here?

First, they have to resolve the contract status of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem. Both players undoubtedly participated in Miami’s all-in gamble this summer with some assurances that management would “take care of them.” Though such understandings aren’t binding (and in fact are possibly against league rules), going back on those kinds of handshake deals could badly hurt the Heat  in future dealings with players and especially agents. The size and structure of those deals will go a long way towards determining who Miami can pursue to fill out there remaining roster spots.

For the sake of argument, Wade’s new deal will probably be in the range of 3 years and $50 million (starting at around $16m in year one) and Haslem will get around $5 million for 2 years. With these two added back to the roster, the Heat will be on the hook for around $51 million (including cap holds for an incomplete roster.)

With around $12 million to play with, who should they chase?  Early reporting the Heat in the hunt for replacement small forwards such as Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza. Those players are certainly options, but instead of chasing after a like-for-like replacement for LeBron what if the Heat decided to break outside the small forward box while going younger?

Here are three possible options:

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Tags: Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Eric Bledsoe Greg Monroe Lance Stephenson Lebron James Miami Heat NBA NBA Free Agency

  • MichaelNupe Thompson

    They can’t get both Bledsoe and deng money wise. It would be a nice consolation prize for LeBron but feng ain’t taking a pay cut. I hope that with contract talks taking so long he’s lowering his wants. Sun’s aren’t going to let Bledsoe go easy even though that would give them 4 point guards 3 who can start. Then a rookie who can actually produce. They can still out Bledsoe at the 2 but then that leaves Thomas and ennis backing up dragic I hope they don’t trade dragic he’s a good fit for the suns but maybe with them having all these point guards they may let him go easier than we think. I haven’t seen Bledsoe play but what about his game makes him get referred to as miny bron. Is it his dynamic dunking out ability to take over games or the ability to play 2way ball

  • Juan Tamad

    I really wish they would go younger and infuse new bloods to be a contender in the near future. Overpaying bosh wade haslem mcbob and granger for long term will not help them.
    Recruiting quality FA starts from 8M.

  • ArGa27

    Eric Bledsoe would sure look good in a Heat uniform. The rebuilding has begun.

    • Dwayne Holloway

      What’s the latest on this? Has he expressed interest in Miami?? Could Miami trade Chalmers & get Bledsoe I a there team deal?? This guy is a beast & would definitely shine In Miami. He needs Miami as much as they need him.. He would be the best true PG Miami had had since Tim Hatdaway!!Phx has talented guards everywhere. Miami not so much.