And for the second time in four years, three of the biggest names in the NBA will become free agents. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat have both elected for free agency, opting out of the remaining two seasons on their respective contracts. The Heat are now left with a remarkable $55 million in cap room.
While the moves to join LeBron James come as little surprise, it remains interesting that both were reported at the same time, only days after the Big Three met in Miami on Wednesday. Wade’s agent Henry Thomas told ESPN of his client’s intentions on Saturday afternoon, while ESPN’s Chris Broussard learned of Bosh’s decision via numerous sources.
It has been widely rumored that Wade and Bosh will be asked to accept pay cuts if Pat Riley expects to retain James and/or attract another elite free agent.
Wade, slated to earn $41.8 million over the final two seasons, has failed to eclipse 70 games played each of the last three seasons, averaging a paltry 57.3 games per season.The 10th-year shooting guard also averaged 19.0 points per game, the lowest mark since his rookie season, and only 32.9 minutes, a career-low.
For comparison, Bosh appeared in a career-high 79 games during a 2013-14 season that ended unceremoniously with the Heat’s NBA Finals loss to San Antonio, but also averaged a career-low 32 minutes per game. Rumors for the veteran forward, who was scheduled to receive $42.6 million through the 2015-15 season, included a deal that would send Kyle Lowry to Miami while an opted-out Bosh returns to Toronto but most of those reports were quickly refuted.
Side note: Udonis Haslem has also opted out and will become a free agent.
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