So here's some news from ESPN's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst that will definitely go over well with all the well-adjusted NBA fans across America: The Miami Heat are mulling over a plan that would allow them to sign current New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in free agency this summer, while keeping LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh on the team.
So how the hell would this go down? It's a move that would require a lot of moving parts and handful of star players willing to take a big pay cut. The Heat would need to convince James, Wade, Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Andersen to opt out of the final year of their current contracts and re-sign with the team at a discounted rate. That could give the Heat up to $50 million in cap room to make a run at Anthony and turn the Big Three into the Big Four. For this to work, all four stars would need to be willing to leave tens of millions of dollars on the table.
Convincing four max-contract players to forfeit millions of dollars should be an impossible task, but Windhorst and Stein posit that the potential Big Four is drawing inspiration from how successful the San Antonio Spurs' trio of stars—all of whom stayed in San Antonio at a discounted rate—have been at keeping their championship window open:
James will turn 30 in December, and Bosh, Wade and Anthony all are in their 30s and mindful of their advancing age.
James feels he needs to reduce his workload during the regular season, especially with Wade at a point in his career where knee problems are limiting him to fewer games. Wade missed 28 games during the regular season as part of a maintenance program aimed at keeping him as fresh as possible for the playoffs.
Of course, neither that reasoning nor the fact that these players appear to be willing to give up millions of dollars for a chance to win will prevent idiots from getting on Facebook and labeling Anthony, Wade, Bosh, and James as cowardly clown frauds whose selfishness is going to tear apart the NBA. The good news is that such a coup would need to happen quickly. All the players involved only have until the end of the month to opt out of their current deals and start negotiating new ones, and the Heat would be able to sign Anthony after July 1. If all of that happens, we can't wait to see what kind of letter Dan Gilbert will write.