The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson confirmed earlier today the Heat have successfully kept Dwyane Wade in their fold, while signing highly coveted free agent F Chris Bosh, arguably the 2nd-most glittering prize remaining on the market after King Look At Me.
According to an executive with another team, Miami is working on a sign-and-trade proposal with the Toronto Raptors that would allow Bosh, a perennial All-Star, to receive the maximum salary of $125 million over six seasons. The most Bosh could sign for without a sign-and-trade deal would be for $96 million over five seasons. The Heat could offer Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers and/or future draft picks, including a first-round choice that Miami received from Toronto in the 2009 Jermaine O’Neal trade.
The Heat, which entered free agency a week ago with a league-most $45 million in salary-cap space, had already offered Wade a max contract for $125 million over six seasons.
With Wade and Bosh in tow, at stake now for Miami is the biggest prize on the free agent market: James. Heat president Pat Riley has relentlessly recruited Wade, Bosh and James — Miami’s front-office staff met with all three players in recent days — in hopes of bringing all three to Miami for one of the league’s most formidable trios.
To sign all three players, the Heat likely would have to trade forward Beasley, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, to clear enough salary to pay Wade, Bosh and James the maximum allowed, with each likely starting at a $16.6 million first-year salary.
Otherwise, each of the three stars would have to agree to take a little less in salary to make it work