Chris Bosh: LeBron James and I Will Stay With the Heat

Source: Keith Allison / Flickr

Well, almost. According to Bleacher Report, the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh was in the midst of a true-or-false game with the hosts of The Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday afternoon when he dropped the LeBombshell. Le Batard asked if the forward would stay with the Miami Heat next season. Bosh answered, “True.” Le Batard followed up with the same question about LeBron James, to which Bosh replied again in the affirmative.

One of the things that made the Miami Heat’s 2011 season so brilliant/dastardly was the way the team had optimized its cap space around signing three max-level players to nearly identical max-level deals. All three signed contracts under the old CBA, and all three deals gave each player — Dwyane Wade, James, and Bosh — an early opt-out. The Heatles formed in 2011, and in 2014, the player options are fast approaching. Largely in response to Miami’s mechanisms, the NBA owners locked out the players in 2012 and crafted a new CBA with a massive fiscal penalty on teams paying out big contracts to stars, making it harder to keep super-teams like the Heat together.

Bosh, for one, seems confident that both he and LeBron will remain in Miami next season. The idea of Wade leaving has never been seriously discussed, as Wade has only played for the Heat in his 10-year career and seems destined to retire in South Beach.

Source: Keith Allison / Flickr

Per ShamSports, the Heat have a salary of  $81.3 million for this season. That’s well over the $58.7 million salary cap and far into the luxury tax threshold of $71.7 million — for each dollar the Heat have tied up in salary beyond that, they’re paying an additional $3.25 in tax. And, if the Heat stay in the luxury tax for next season, they’ll trigger the repeater clause, which will see them paying an additional $4.25 for each dollar they wind up over the threshold.

That’s part of the reason Miami has been so careful with its contracts and part of the reason why there’s a possibility that the Heatles end up in a Wings/Plastic Ono Band/solo George Harrison split. If Bosh, Wade, and James all opt in to their contracts, the Heat will already be over the cap — and that’s before the team fills out the rest of the roster, which will be compromised based on the restrictions for tax-paying teams. (All tax info is courtesy of the indispensable Larry Coon FAQ.)