Born and raised in Miami, you know I had to post the great news about Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joining the Miami Heat. I’m a Heat fan, what do you expect? Hopefully LeBron James will decide to come alongside the other two stars for a chance to win his first title. We will find that out tomorrow at 9pm. ESPN gives us the scoop on Wade and Bosh:
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are teaming up together on Wade’s Miami Heat, the two free agents said Wednesday.
“We’ve wanted to play with each other and we have a golden opportunity to do that. We’re going to take advantage of it,” Bosh said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Wade said it was difficult to turn down a return to Chicago, where he grew up. But in the end, an opportunity to play with Bosh and build a title contender in Miami won out over his desire to play in his hometown, he said.
“Now we can get on the pace of building a championship,” Wade said.
It was not immediately clear whether Bosh — who spent seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors — will sign with Miami outright or join the Heat through a sign-and-trade deal. Bosh could earn $125 million over six years via sign-and-trade, but only $96 million in five without it.
ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard first reported that Wade would return to the Heat and Bosh would join him.
Whether LeBron James, the kingpin of this summer’s celebrated free-agent class, will join them in Miami remains to be seen. James will announce his decision at 9 p.m. ET Thursday during a one-hour special on ESPN.
Wade and Bosh are expected to get the maximum amount allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, though the addition of James could change the players’ salaries. Contracts cannot be officially signed until Thursday.
Asked why he didn’t agree to a sign-and-trade that would have paired him with James in Cleveland, Bosh said he decided that Miami was the best choice available to him.
“I wasn’t sure if LeBron was coming back [to Cleveland] and I just wanted to leave that decision up to him,” Bosh said. “I wanted to choose the best situation for me and my family and Miami was the best decision for me.”
The two players, said it was not an easy decision, as Wade was courted by his hometown Chicago Bulls and Bosh called Toronto his “second home.” Both also said the signing was not about the money, adding they were willing to sacrifice on that front to give the Heat the flexibility to build a contender.
“It was very difficult, one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make as a professional player,” Wade said. “It came down to Chris and his decision to play here in Miami — I couldn’t pass up on that decision.”
“I couldn’t make this an emotional decision — I had to take my emotions out of it,” he added.
League sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher that Heat president Pat Riley was trying to convince Bosh to take the five-year max deal and leave Toronto outright. The Raptors are trying to persuade Bosh to demand a six-year deal and a sign-and-trade so that they get something out of the deal.
Wade and Bosh are also expected, along with Riley, to continue to lobby James to join them in Miami, despite the financial complexities involved for the Heat to make room for all three. However, neither took the opportunity for additional lobbying during their appearance on “SportsCenter,” saying they preferred to leave it up to him.
“We all make our own decisions at the end of the day,” Wade said. “Of course, we would love for LeBron to join Miami — who wouldn’t? But at the same time, LeBron is going to make his own decision.”
Amid a growing sense among rival executives that James intends to stay with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that James is still seriously considering joining forces with Wade and Bosh in Miami and, during a conference call early Wednesday morning, had a discussion about the possibility that all three could wind up playing together for the Heat.
Earlier this week, the Raptors reportedly had been reluctant to do a sign-and-trade, especially with Miami, contending the Heat did not have any players of interest. But if Bosh leaves outright as a free agent, the Raptors are left with, at most, $4 million in cap space to replace Bosh.
“I have nothing official from anyone,” Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said in a text message to the AP.