Q: There is a scenario that Pat Riley could execute, either at the trading deadline or a year from now, that would positively impact the salary cap: Trade Chris Bosh. Of course that is dependant on Bosh returning to form as a top forward, which won't be known for a number of months. But with Hassan Whiteside, this year's No. 10 pick and Luol Deng and/or Josh McRoberts, and perhaps a surprise or two, it might create an overall better balance and team suited to go deep into the playoffs. Bosh is a supportive player and he could again be in demand in Houston or, who knows nine or twelve months from now, when his salary won’t be as big a hit as it is now. And given the fact that Riley is both creative and generally willing to make a tough deal . . . - Dick.
A: From the moment Chris signed his contract last July, he knew he would be on the clock. And the reality is that the criticism already had begun before he was lost with his illness. While the overriding concern, correctly, from that point was on Chris' health, you can bet that the expectations will resume where they left off. As long as the Heat remain in chase mode when it comes to championships, I think everything will be in play. That doesn’t mean that Chris can't (and potentially won't) eventually be part of the solution. But in a salary-cap league, you have to keep all options open, When Chris re-signed with the Heat last summer, he was guaranteed his money. But that didn't necessarily lock him in to all five seasons with the Heat. The Heat need Bosh to be great. There certainly were flashes of that last season.
Q: Why do think Dwyane Wade chose now, this upcoming free agency to demand more money? He's always been willing to sacrifice for the good of the team if it meant it would help us win. Is he simply looking to get repaid for his sacrifices? Or is he no longer willing to play for less because he feels it's no longer worth it based on factors like age, health and roster personnel? Those factors could all play a part in a guy trying to pocket as much money as possible before closing the curtains on a career. I'm trying to make sense of the timing. There's no doubt in my mind Wade wants another ring before it's all said and done. But if Miami can't build the roster to help him get that, pocketing as much money as you can before finally dancing with retirement or simply heading elsewhere really are his only options - Ben.
A: First, for all the conjecture, we have not heard the words out of Dwyane's mouth demanding that he get paid. But I do think the narrative in the league has changed. With new leadership in the players' union, and with the possibility of a new round of labor negotiations in coming years, I think players are being dissuaded, possibly from peers, from simply conceding on contracts to help facilitate teams round out rosters. If there was no salary cap, there would be no need to get caught up in such decisions. And the players know it.
Q: Do you think Dwayne Wade has the hunger and drive for another one or two NBA championships? You don't hear him say, "I want to show the world I can win without LeBron" (the way Kobe Bryant kept talking about championships after Shaquille O'Neal and even Pau Gasol left Los Angeles). - Stuart.
A: And that is the Part B to the Wade salary equation. No matter the age and injury, is the championship desire where it stood before age and injury entered the equation? Kobe may have pushed for the money, but the accompanying rhetoric was of a player still bent on greatness. I think Dwyane is still there. But it would help if that was the rhetoric we were currently dealing with.