The triumvirate is planning one final conference call on Wednesday to decide its fate.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are expected to share a conference call on Wednesday to discuss free agency and try to move closer to finalizing their decisions, a league source with knowledge of the plan told Yahoo! Sports.
The three players are motivated to reach resolutions and make their choices public by Thursday, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. The stars and their agents with CAA continued on Tuesday to churn through numerous machinations and possibilities.
Cleveland has emerged as the clear-cut favorite to retain James. I can’t imagine that even he would have the nerve to break the hearts of his hometown Cavs fans in a grueling, one-hour ESPN special (Thursday, 9:00 pm). It just seems so unreasonably cruel.
So it could all come down to whether Wade and Bosh choose to team up in Miami or Chicago, or part ways altogether.
Bosh seems unlikely to take a discount. He wants to sign for the maximum, and he wants to do so for six full years. As it stands, the Bulls don’t have the money, and the Heat doesn’t have the required trade partner.
If Bosh can get Toronto to sign-and-trade him to Miami, you’ve got the think the Heat is in the driver’s seat. Despite the heavy-handed talk, common sense would dictate general manager Brian Colangelo would ultimately cede to Bosh’s wish, and grant him his sign-and-trade. At the very least, he would acquire a $16.6 million trade exception – and perhaps a first round pick or two – with which to make a run at a player(s) of his choosing. At the same time, he would be increasing Chris’ future salary, and thus decreasing the future available cap space of a conference rival. Not a bad combination when the alternative is losing your best and most powerful asset for nothing.
If asked for a prediction, I would say the Heat secures both Wade and Bosh, the Bulls settle on Carlos Boozer, the Nets wind up with David Lee, and the Knicks are left to scramble for a bunch of overpriced short-term contracts with which to surround Amare Stoudemire in the desperate hope of landing Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony next season.
Not too bad an outcome if you ask me!