Miami Heat Off-Season: Who Should Stay for a Three-Peat?
People already want to know how the Miami Heat will go from "Re-Heat" to "Three-Heat," something only three teams (L.A., Boston, and Chicago) have done. How will they keep the motivation at the same level it's been during the past three seasons? How do they circumvent salary cap restrictions enough to keep the supporting cast together another year? Can Wade's knees hold up through another vigorous and physical championship run? Though now is the time for rest and reflection on what the team has accomplished over the past three years, soon it will be time to grind again in search of that rare three-peat.
The theme seems to be that most of the players will take a well-deserved hiatus from basketball, at least that's what they are planning on now. LeBron stressed in postgame interviews that he would take a good break, but the next day he talked about how he misses the game already, so closing up shop for a few weeks might be easier said than done.
Dwyane Wade is another story. Doctors have recommended that he take off an entire month of basketball -- as in nothing, as in dude, read a book on the beaches of Aruba. The details pertaining to his knee injury have come out, and they are equal parts good news and amazing. The good news is he doesn't believe he will need surgery; the amazing news is the knee injury and the treatments he was getting during the playoffs would have any normal person laid up in bed for weeks rewatching Breaking Bad. While their summer of 2014 status has already been the topic of much conversation, the reality is there is still a championship defense to worry about first.
Luckily, most of the team's most important players are under contract through at least 2014, but Ray Allen can decide he is not among those players and not return. Allen has a player option that calls for a decision in the next week, a decision that might be more about years under contract and money than about where he wants to play. Allen can opt out and re-up with the Miami Heat for only a minor raise, but it would add a few more years onto his contract, making Miami his home for the rest of his career. Though that decision would be wise for his wallet and family stability, it would put even more stress on an already tight Miami Heat budget. Early word is no matter what, Ray wants to stay in Miami, and management and his teammates want him back; it's just a matter of how much he wants to sacrifice and how the team can wiggle around the salary cap restrictions at this point.