The media is really pushing the idea of Carmelo Anthony going to the Heat, and I get it, at least from the media’s perspective. It’s a sexy story, it gets clicks on the web, it fuels interest, and it sounds like a big deal. However, the media perspective is the only perspective where I see Carmelo Anthony going to the Heat as being a good idea. I certainly don’t see it as a good idea from the Heat’s perspective, and here’s why.
Firstly, I don’t see Chris Bosh opting out of his contract. He is slated to make 20.6 million dollars next year, and then 22.1 million the year after that. He is not worth that money on the open market, and he doesn’t receive the lucrative endorsement deals that other NBA stars do to pad his yearly totals. For Chris Bosh to opt out of his contract, he would be sacrificing quite a lot of money. Bosh’s numbers have declined every year he’s been on the Heat. His agent might argue that this is due to taking a backseat to Wade and LeBron, but it’s hard to argue he’s worth 20 million when he’s putting up Jeff Green numbers. You can add in the fact that his playoff numbers are worse than his regular season numbers now for the third year in a row. All of this information tells us that Chris Bosh’s star is no longer on the rise, he’s entering the downswing of his career and he would be making a poor financial decision if he opts out of his current contract. It’s a lot to ask of him simply for the prospect of being on a winning team. The Heat have finished their fourth finals trip and come out of it with only two rings. So Bosh will understand that taking a pay cut doesn’t necessarily guarantee another ring, only a chance at another ring. Not to mention, he does have two rings now. He’s not desperate to prove he’s a winner like when he decided to leave Toronto. It all sounds well and good to make your decisions based upon altruistic ideals, but Bosh would have to wave goodbye to between 10 and 15 million dollars that he’s unlikely to ever see again. I would be very surprised if Chris Bosh opts out of his contract.
Second, there’s Dwyane Wade and his contract decision. Wade’s situation is very close to Bosh’s in that he is seeing declining numbers and looks to be entering the twilight of his NBA career, however, Wade’s and Bosh’s financial situations are vastly different. Wade has made a lot more endorsement money in his career and 10-15 million dollars is not as big a deal to Dwyane Wade as it is to Chris Bosh. Not that 10-15 million dollars is not a big deal to everyone, but there are obviously degrees of importance. Still though, Wade will never see another NBA contract the likes of which he has now, and that will certainly factor into his decision. The biggest difference for Wade is that he’s been a member of the Heat for his entire career, has seen them to five NBA Finals, and three championship rings. Dwayne Wade is as much the Heat as any other figure in the franchise’s short history. Dwayne Wade is a king in Miami, and could stand to benefit from that for years in the way Dan Marino has. So Wade may be more inclined to sign a Heat-friendly deal. However, with that said, Dwayne Wade has a Miami-sized ego, and men with egos that large rarely take a significant pay cut happily. I don’t expect Dwayne Wade to opt out of his contract. If he does, he is a much bigger man than I just gave him credit for being.
So, given my opinion on Wade and Bosh, I just don’t think there will be the room for Anthony’s contract with the Heat. Reality will set in and two of the Miami Big-Three will realize that it would be a poor financial decision to opt out of their current contract. How this will affect LeBron’s decision, that’s a different story.
However, for arguments sake, let’s assume Bosh, Wade and James all opt out of their contracts and agree to stay in Miami for less money. Should this happen, I still don’t think that Carmelo Anthony is the answer the Heat are looking for.
The Heat are not lacking in scoring punch, and there are only so many possessions you can fit into an NBA game. Adding a prolific scorer doesn’t really make sense unless you are expecting to see a drastic minutes reduction for Wade. Not to mention, how much are you willing to pay to strengthen a team in a facet of the game they are already strong in? Even after reduced salaries, James, Wade, Bosh and Anthony, would take up the vast majority of the teams finances. The Heat would, once again, find themselves unable to build a deep roster.
This brings us to the most important issue facing the Heat this offseason, and the most important reason why Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make sense as an acquisition. The Heat lost the NBA Championship this year due to a team whose lack of depth was exposed by a team whose depth was exceptional. The Heat’s old and tired legs could not hope to keep up with the machine that is the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James may be the best player in the league, but he can’t guard five positions at once. The Heat’s defense resembled Swiss cheese in the finals. This wasn’t a result of lack of knowledge, the Heat at times in the past have brandished a stifling defense, but a lack of depth and youth reared its ugly head and left them punchless against a team who knew how to pass the ball with precision.
Carmelo Anthony cannot help this situation enough to make a substantial difference. Firstly, Anthony is not exactly what you would call a defensive stalwart, and even if you’d like to argue that Carmelo possesses the ability to play good defense due to athletic prowess, he’s still just one man. The Heat have massive holes in a lot of places going into this offseason.
Point guard is a position of trouble at both first and second strings. Mario Chalmers was simply ineffective, and Norris Cole is not a championship level backup. Chris Anderson is a nice role player, but I’m not sure he should be your starting center in an NBA Finals series. Battier is retiring, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis might follow suit, and neither Allen nor Lewis can impact the game defensively. Projects like Oden and Beasley proved to be little help in the long run. You start to wonder what this team has to look forward to.
The Heat need to fill too many holes to blow what cap space they might have on one person. Especially not a person whose greatest asset is something the Heat already have. It sounds flashy and looks dangerous on paper to have Lebron, Wade, Bosh and Melo in the same starting lineup, but those players can’t play 48 minutes per game for an entire NBA season and playoffs.
I’m sure the rumors will continue, but the only way I see Melo and LeBron teaming up, is if they decide to make it happen outside of Miami.