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It looks like the Miami Heat are going to have more flexibility in free agency than anyone anticipated.
A new report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst suggests that both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would be willing to take significant pay cuts to stay with the team.
According to Windhorst, the Heat believe that they will have a maximum of $12 million in cap space after the Big 3 re-sign.
If you assume that LeBron James will get the maximum deal he reportedly covets, this is what the Heat's salary cap situation would have to look like:
James: $20.7 million
Wade/Bosh: ~$28.4 million
Norris Cole: $2.1 million
Cap space: $12 million
Wade and Bosh would earn $14.2 million each in this scenario. That's a pay cut of ~$5 million from the ~$19 million they each earned in 2013-14.
Under NBA rules, Wade and Bosh can only get 7.5% raises from the base salary in the first year of their contracts. So it's not like the Heat can simply give them a big salary bump down the line to restore their annual salaries to their 2013-14 levels.
It'd be huge for the Heat. LeBron opted out of his contract to put more pressure on Miami to build a good team around him. That $12 million in cap space gives Pat Riley the ability to do just that. He could spread that cap space around to a number of role players or add a fourth star like Luol Deng.
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