Just a few days ago, it looked like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would re-sign with the Miami Heat at a discount in order to re-join LeBron James, who would get a max deal. However, that plan remains entirely up in the air at this point, partially because Bosh may decide to chase the big bucks elsewhere.
"A rival team executive told CBSSports.com Friday that the growing belief around the league is that Bosh would prefer a four-year max deal with another team to a discounted, longer-term deal with Miami," wrote Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Berger noted that there are many teams which are, or could be, in position to give Bosh a max offer.
"Several teams chasing James and Anthony would have a max slot for Bosh if they struck out on their two top targets," he noted. "At minimum, the Rockets, Mavs and Lakers fit that description. The Bulls, Suns and Cavs also possess -- or have been working on creating -- room for a max free agent starting north of $20 million. ..."
The key for retaining Bosh may be in James' hands.
"Bosh is back in a second if LeBron commits," one league source involved in the dialogue told Yahoo Sports.
Meanwhile, Heat president Pat Riley had preliminary talks with Luol Deng's camp, but they may not be able to afford Deng if Bosh, Wade and James stick together.
Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Deng will not take a salary significantly below his market value, believed to be above $10 million annually, merely to sign with the Heat.
As for the man among men, King James, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on SportsCenter Sunday morning that little is known about his thinking besides how much he wants to get paid.
"I think the most important thing to realize with Lebron is no matter what's out there, he has only made one thing clear -- and that's that he wants a max contract," Windhorst said. "Everything else is pure speculation."