The Heat are contemplating options this off-season on adding New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to their current ‘Big 3’ of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, according to a new report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein
Windhorst adds that in order for this to happen, all four players would have to take significant pay cuts. Windhorst estimates that Anthony would likely have to take a pay cut in the neighborhood of 10 million a year, while Wade, James, and Bosh would likely have to take a cut of about 7 million.
ESPN’s Stephen A.Smith also promotes the likelihood of a James-Anthony alliance in general.
“If both ended up being members of the 2015 free agent class, I think there’s a better than 90% possibility that they would end up playing together because I happen to know it’s something that they both want to do”, says Smith.
Smith adds emphatically that the destination for the team up is still unclear at this point. Rather, he believes that if both players became free agents, they would take the chance to unite, wherever it may be.
Though the idea of a Big 4 featuring Carmelo Anthony in South Beach is certainly intriguing, its begs a number of questions, starting with these three.
- Given Melo’s reputation as an egotist, it remains to be seen whether he’s the type of player willing to take a significant pay cut to win.
- Along the same vein, there is only one basketball, and Melo would almost certainly need to make sacrifices in order to mesh his play with the Heat. Currently, the Heat have established a effective system, with Wade willingly playing the Robin to James’ Batman. Other players then fulfill their roles of either playing defense, or working to space the floor with their shooting. Given that Melo is an incredibly high-volume shooter, it remains to be seen whether he’d be able to give up offensive possessions and play a more secondary role. Melo’s defense has also been oft-criticized, and would be exposed on the Heat if those criticisms hold true.
- Lastly, there is the question of legacy. Many thought the original Big 3 pair-up in 2010 was overkill, reflecting the increasing sentiment in the NBA of joining your enemies rather than overcoming them. The addition of Anthony to the Heat would create a type of star-studded roster never seen before in the NBA, and players like James and Anthony would have to ask the question of how playing on these teams impact their legacy.