Could the Miami Heat's Big Three become the Big Four?
The Heat are looking into creating a scenario in which they could retain potential free agents-to-be LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and add Carmelo Anthony this summer, ESPN reported Wednesday.
To make that happen, James, Wade and Bosh would have to agree to new contracts likely at a reduced salary rate to clear the way for the Heat to make a run at Anthony, the New York Knicks forward who could become a free agent later this month.
The Heat cannot make contact with Anthony until July 1 if he opts out of the final year of his contract. Anthony has a June 23 deadline to inform the Knicks of his intentions. New Knicks president Phil Jackson is expected to make a strong push to persuade Anthony to stay in New York and play out the final year of his contract.
Miami could have some flexibility with as much as $50 million in cap space this summer. The only player locked into a contract next season is guard Norris Cole at $2 million.
James, Wade and Bosh must notify the Heat by the end of June their intention to opt in or out of the final years of their contracts or become free agents on July 1.
Bosh has indicated a desire to remain in Miami. James has remained noncommittal all season.
"That's kind of like on the back burner right now," James said Wednesday after the Heat's loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Among the other teams mentioned as potential landing spots this summer for the 30-year-old Anthony are Chicago, Houston and Dallas if he decides on free agency.
On the flip side, should James choose to play for the $21 million the Heat owe him next season, the Knicks could make a run in 2015 at signing James to pair him with Anthony in New York, ESPN reported.