Miami Heat forward LeBron James (center) celebrates with center Chris Bosh (right) and guard Dwyane Wade (left) against the Charlotte Bobcats in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. (USA TODAY Sports: Steve Mitchell)
Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is completely confident the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will remain with the team when the dust settles following free agency in July.
As in, 100 percent confident.
Arison, appearing on 790 AM The Ticket in Miami, said the chance of keeping the core of the team together was “100 percent.”
James and Bosh joined Wade in Miami as free agents in July 2010. All three met with other teams, including the Chicago Bulls, before deciding to take less than maximum contract value to join forces as the Big Three with the Heat.
Now, they are pushing for a three-peat as NBA champions. Wade is the highest-paid of the three and is unlikely to opt out of his current contract, but James and Bosh might do just that and take another spin at free agency.
If they do not use the early termination option to cancel the 2014-15 season on their contracts, James and bosh would make $20.59 million next season. Wade would make $20.61 million.
Miami could retain all three, but again would be limited in resources to sign them to top-of-market deals. And keeping all three would challenge team president Pat Riley to pad the roster with needed depth.
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is pushing to hire Steve Kerr as head coach, and the deal could be completed by the weekend.
ESPN.com reported Kerr, who played for Jackson with the Chicago Bulls and was general manager of the Phoenix Suns (2007-10) before his current broadcasting stint at TNT began, was swayed by a two-day meeting with Jackson. Reports last week pointed to Kerr’s preference to be on the West Coast with family, including a college-age daughter, as potential road blocks for Jackson to clear.
Kerr had not given TNT notice of plans to leave before the end of the playoffs.
Jackson signed a five-year, $60 million deal to run the Knicks and fired head coach Mike Woodson last week.
New York faces uncertainty in its rebuilding project with no first-round pick and the possibility of losing franchise player Carmelo Anthony to free agency.
If Kerr cannot be convinced to accept the job, Derek Fisher and current Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who played most of his career with the Knicks, could be alternatives.