After Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Udonis Haslem opted out of their contracts over the weekend, conventional wisdom has it that the Big Three are angling to re-sign with the Heat under restructured deals. After all, the trio was spotted lunching at Soho Beach House last week.
However, it's not a done deal, and there are still some rumors and reports out there that the story could play out much differently.
First off, there's a Yahoo! Sports report from this weekend indicating that LeBron is seeking a max contract or at least something closer to it.
ESPN reported the same rumors today and says that if any other teams contact James, they'll be promptly informed that he wants a max payday.
Wade and Bosh are apparently aware of James' wishes, and it would likely fall on them to take major pay cuts to keep the team together with enough space to bring in some new players.
Though, LeBron's max dreams do rule out some other teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, and Houston Rockets do not have the cap space to sign James at the max.
Other teams, like the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Lakers, do have the space, and at least the Suns are really interested. (They're planning an aggressive push at signing LeBron and then hope to lure Carmelo Anthony as well. Granted, Anthony's own free-agency search is being closely watched as well, and no one has mentioned he'll make a trip to Phoenix.)
Then there's a Fox Sports article claiming LeBron's decision is "up in the air," and it truly hits Miami Heat fans in the guts. According to Fox Sports Ohio writer Sam Amico, an anonymous source says LeBron feels "no strong attachment to Miami or the organization." The source also says LeBron's wife, Savannah, isn't too keen on Miami and would rather move back to Ohio or to San Diego (where the two were married last year). There isn't an NBA team in San Diego, so that's not too helpful.
Amico also reports that the source says LeBron's decision will not depend on what Wade or Bosh decides to do.
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But all the other sources Amico spoke with "suspect James, Wade, and Bosh all will re-sign with the Heat and negotiate more opt-out clauses into their contracts."
So basically this a case of several sources saying one thing but a writer going with the lone source who is saying something else for the controversy. Cool job!