The Big Three era of the Miami Heat has been one of pure dominance. Four consecutive Finals appearances, only the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have done that. Back-to-back titles in ’12 and ’13, both also awarded two MVP trophies for LeBron James. A total record of 283-114 in the four years of the Big Three. Yes, it’s been a a great run. However, after Miami’s lackluster performance against the Spurs, will the Big Three be broken up? Is the dynasty over in Miami?
When LeBron successfully teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, the expectations were obviously high. In four years, LeBron’s been awarded with two titles. Not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.
Although, just how long did we expect the Big Three to stay intact? Long enough for LeBron’s teammates to completely stop contributing, like exactly what happened in the Finals. Or until Miami’s salary cap space completely implodes, like exactly what’s happening now.
To this point, it doesn’t really matter who wants to stay in Miami, it’s about who they can keep. The Big Three are all going to be free agents in the summer. All three collected just under $20 million each last year, each one will make over $20.5 million next year.
The Big Three aren’t the only free agents in Miami however, in fact Norris Cole is the only player that is locked in for the upcoming season. Literally every other Heat player can opt out of their contracts andĀ become free agents. Returning the Big Three would allow the Heat to re-sign only three other players, which would still put them $6 million over the cap. If you thought LeBron looked tired last year, this would be bad.
Multiple players are already set to be out of Miami this summer. Chris “Birdman” Anderson announced that he will opt out, Shane Battier is officially retired, and Mario Chalmers is likely to be gone after a bad year Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are players Miami would likely want to keep, however, both could easily retire or explore free agency.
The Heat have also looked in to bringing in some big name players, to help ensure LeBron will stay. The most notable being Carmelo Anthony, which is honestly not likely to happen. There have been rumors that the Heat and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry have a “mutual interest”, Miami needs point guard production, and that Miami is interested in Pau Gasol, who’s been rumored to leave the Lakers for about three years now.
The number one question, of course, is what will LeBron James do. Will he stay in Miami, but likely take a pay cut, will he go to Cleveland, will he team up with Melo, could he team up in WASHINGTON? Now imagine how sick that would be.
The offseason does not look promising at all for the Heat. The Big Three sure have been a pleasure to watch, but it likely comes to an end this summer.
- Justin Hodges is a Staff Writer for ProSportsExtra.com