If Heat Add Carmelo Anthony This Summer, Rest Of NBA Should Surrender
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | June 13, 2014
Remember that pep rally the Miami Heat held at the American Airlines Arena in summer of 2010 after LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with the Heat to form a superstar trio with Dwayne Wade? LeBron made a memorable statement that day: "Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven …. " LeBron was referring to how many championships he expected to win with Bosh and Wade.
The record for most NBA titles in a row is eight by the Boston Celtics from 1959-66. No one is saying the Heat has a shot at matching that mark as they try for a third straight championship. After all, they are down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to San Antonio; they were just blown out twice in their own building, and no team has rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals. The Heat is a 6-point underdog against the Spurs for Sunday night’s Game 5 in San Antonio, which will have live betting at Bovada. The Spurs are now -1800 on the series line, with the Heat +900.
The Heat obviously aren’t thinking about next season yet, but James, Bosh and Wade can all choose to opt out of their contracts and become free agents. Most believe they won’t, if
Miami wins the finals, but that’s looking bleak. In fact, the big news this week wasn’t about whether LeBron will leave Miami this summer, but rather about the possibility of Carmelo Anthony joining him in southern Florida.
Miami is actively trying to figure out a way to sign Anthony and turn the Big Three into a Big Four, which would arguably make an unbeatable club. It would also feature four of the top five players selected in the 2003 draft. (Where is Darko Milicic these days?) James reportedly wants to play with his buddy Anthony at some point in their careers, and this might be their best chance. Anthony has a $23.5 million player option for next year with the Knicks but is not expected to exercise it. Then he could get something like a $130 million extension from New York or take less and play for a title contender like Dwight Howard did last summer.
Anthony must inform the Knicks of his decision by June 23rd. New Knicks president Phil Jackson wants Anthony to play next season on his option, and then Jackson can sign a big-ticket free agent like Kevin Love to play with Melo in New York when the team has cap room. James could play on his option next season and join Anthony in New York in 2015.
The NBA has a salary cap, so how could the Heat possibly lure another superstar? For one, Heat owner Mickey Arison is a multi-billionaire and has proven he doesn’t care about paying huge luxury tax penalties. James, Bosh and Wade would have to give a hometown discount in new contracts, which they all did last time. James, for one, doesn’t need the money as he’s one of the highest-paid endorsers in sports. It’s possible that Miami could have a payroll commitment of just $2 million on the books for next season (Norris Cole), which would allow the Heat to pay LeBron, Bosh, Wade and Anthony and essentially surround them with minimum-salaried veterans who are chasing championship rings. It already has been proven that guys are willing to do that to play with LeBron.
Is a Big Four likely? No. Each player would be giving up tens of millions of dollars, and then you have the egos involved. Would Anthony be happy playing second to James? Wade a number three behind those two? And Bosh the fourth option when he could be the primary superstar on another team? The more likely scenario is the status quo in Miami, and Anthony either re-signing with Knicks or going to the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets and Bulls would be immediate number one challengers to Miami for the 2015 NBA title if Anthony went there. Look for Anthony free-agent props at Bovada following the finals.