Since, Chris Bosh decided to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Miami Heat, it’s been widely expected that he would stay in Miami. It has also been reported, that Bosh would wait and see what Lebron James does in free agency. If Lebron keeps his talents in South Beach, it’s hard to imagine Bosh wouldn’t do the same, however it could be the other way around. Just as Bosh is looked at as being the X-factor, so to speak, of the Miami Heat, he could also be the X-Factor in where Lebron, and especially Carmelo Anthony decide to play starting next season.
The importance of Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat is greatly underrated. No one would argue that Lebron James isn’t the face of the franchise, and the most important player. No one would argue that Bosh is better than him. Heck. Even after his injury riddled season, most people would still deem Dwayne Wade as the Heat’s #2 guy. However, if you look closely enough you’ll see how Bosh’s skill set meshes in perfectly with how Lebron and Wade play the game. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that Bosh is often called the team’s X-Factor.
It’s not necessarily to a point where, it’s how Bosh goes, so go the Miami Heat, but it is to a point of where Bosh’s presence may dictate how a team defends the Heat. Now, it looks like Bosh is becoming the guy that could dictate where the two biggest prizes of the 2014 NBA free agency period land.
Anthony, spent last week being courted by the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and his current team, the New York Knicks. According to reports, Melo was most impressed by the pitch the Lakers threw at him. However, even if the Lakers could make bringing Melo to L.A. work financially, they seem to be the farthest away from being legitimate title contenders. Other than the Knicks, of course, who can pay him a lot more money.
Why would Melo bolt away from New York to make less money, while playing for a Lakers team that might be only marginally better? There are reports, that the Lakers could try to land Lebron, as well. That might make it easier for Melo to change coasts, but making that work financially seems like a serious long-shot. Plus, what type of role players or bench could the Lakers possibly come up with after paying Kobe, Lebron, and Melo? There is one scenario that could appease everyone involved and Bosh may hold all the cards.
Reportedly, the Houston Rockets, now seemingly out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, have shifted gears and are in hot pursuit of Bosh. The Rockets still have some cap space they would have to move, namely Jeremy Lin, but I can see them being inclined to offer Bosh the max contract he’s looking for. The question would be, if Houston would offer the 5 years Bosh is looking for?
This scenario makes a lot of sense for Bosh and the Rockets. Bosh, would be a better fit, because he wouldn’t demand the ball as much as Melo, and he would be a nice complement to Dwight Howard and James Harden. But, what about the Heat?
Lebron, also wants a max deal. The Heat shouldn’t have any problem giving that to him. If that happens, it could make it easy for Melo to team up with Lebron and Wade on South Beach. Especially, since Bosh’s contract would come off the books. That would create another ‘Big 3’ in Miami that most everyone would love to hate all over again. Melo, might be a bit of a liability on the defensive end, especially if he moves to power foward. However, the Heat would be lethal offensively. Even bigger, Melo would be that 2nd option for the next several years, that Wade looks like he can no longer be. That could be huge for Lebron, but then again, would the Heat be able afford good enough players to put around them?
So, while we were all thinking that Bosh was simply waiting on Lebron to make his decision, it might be the other way around. Bosh, doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for Miami to offer a deal like Lebron does, and that might make it easier for him to leave for a team that does. If Bosh leaves, then what does Lebron do? Could he leave Miami and head to L.A.? That seems very unlikely, but playing alongside Kobe and Pau Gasol could be intriguing. Or, what about Cleveland? Reportedly, Lebron is impressed with how things are looking in Cleveland. So, don’t count them out.
Reports are out, that Melo could announce his decision in the next few days. If that’s true, then look for him to return to the Knicks. Otherwise, there is no hurry for Melo to make a decision to play anywhere else. Especially, when Lebron seems to be taking his time and there being so many possibilities out there. Should be an interesting week or two for these players and teams, and Chris Bosh may be the X-Factor of it all.