Is Dwyane Wade the key factor in keeping LeBron James in Miami?

wade_key_factorIs Dwyane Wade the key factor in keeping LeBron James in Miami past this season?

Through 54 games this season, the Miami Heat have racked up a phenomenal record of 40-14. They are currently first in the Southeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference. They remain as one of the teams likely to win the NBA Championship, after winning the past two back to back.

When “The Big Three” got together in 2010, it was no question to how dominant they would become. The question was how long they would remain teammates. Some said that having all that talent on one team would cause for some player’s statistics to decrease, which would lead to frustration. Now in their fourth season together and seeking their third championship together, that question is rising. With LeBron James becoming a free agent at the end of the season, many are curious to whether he will stay with the Heat or take his legacy to a different city.

Many would think it would be silly of him to leave now, given how successful the Miami Heat have been since his arrival. On the other hand, James has made it clear that the only thing on his mind is winning. If he chooses one team over another, it’s because he believes that’s the team he has the best chance to win with. That being said, if the Miami Heat don’t end up with their third straight NBA Championship, there is a chance that LeBron James can take his talent elsewhere.

As the question between whether LeBron James will stay with Miami or not has risen, two possible circumstances have shown to provide an answer. The first one, which has already been touched on, is The Big Three winning their third NBA title. The second, is the health of Dwyane Wade. Connecting the two, it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat have a better chance of winning a championship with Dwyane Wade healthy and playing. So, it could be possible that the health of Dwyane Wade after this season plays a big role in LeBron James’ future in the NBA.

A Third Championship

Eyeing in on the situation was Miami Heat F Chris Bosh, who believes that a third championship is the key to keeping Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and himself together in South Beach. “With everybody being under contract and having no tomorrow, it’s kind of exciting because we know what we have to do for one and then, two, it’s like it helps you focus on what you need to do in that moment instead of next year or whenever,” Bosh stated to the Miami Herald. He added, “If we take care of business, we know everything is going to be all good. So, we just have to take that mentality and that kind of erases all the doubt.”

In a later interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Chris Bosh said “ …we’re professionals. We know it comes with the job. We can’t do anything about it. We just have to make sure we take care of our business, stay together and just really answer the call to adversity when it comes.” “Everybody wants to know what we’re going to do (after the season). Yeah, I get it. Everything depends on this season. If we win, cool. If we lose, that’s when it’s like ‘What if?’”

Bosh has a point. Being at the end of his contract, much like James and Wade, he knows that winning is above anything. If they can’t prove to win, then the possibility of leaving each other becomes more and more likely.

Dwyane Wade’s Health

Over the past couple of years, Dwyane Wade has had constant knee issues. Those troubles have been a lot more frequent through this season. Through 54 games this season, Wade has missed 15. Come playoff time, that number needs to be zero. They know they need Wade healthy in order to be a better team. LeBron James knows that, too. Wade’s health will play a big role in James’ decision on where to call home at the end of the season. For James to stay, the Heat need to win. For the Heat to win, it helps to have Wade. It all makes sense.

Statistically, the Heat are 31-8 when Wade plays. In those 31 wins, he is averaging 19.1 ppg, 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds. So not only are they better when he plays, he’s also playing very well. This gives the Heat a huge bounce and makes them very difficult to defeat.

The Miami Herald reported that Dwyane Wade said “he has no reason to believe that any of the Big Three will sign elsewhere after this season, when he, LeBron James and Chris Bosh can exercise opt-out clauses.

Miami Heat Financial Issues

Arguably the biggest factor in James’ decision will come down to the Heat financially. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are all scheduled to make over $20 million dollars this season. In addition to that, they’re also scheduled to make $21 million dollars the next. Basically, what that means is the NBA’s luxury tax is going to be keeping an eye on them. Going above the salary cap for a team can deem quite expensive.

Although keeping the Big 3 in Miami is going to be priority number one for management, it doesn’t mean that it will be possible. It’s likely that one of the three will have to be left out after the season. Who that may be remains a question, but it would be foolish to have that person be James.

Wrapping it Up

Overall, it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat will look a bit different going into the 2014-2015 season. With no guaranteed contracts recorded, the possibility of James, Wade and Bosh not returning next season is likely.

In the possibility of all three of them staying in Miami, that would mean a portion of their supporting cast may be dropped. It will be tough financially to keep the team the way it is now. Safe to say, some people will be leaving. The question is who..

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