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#pounditSaturday, December 5, 2020

Hard Salary Cap Could Make Big Three Unaffordable for Miami Heat

When the Miami Heat’s Bermuda Triangle formed over the summer, skeptics overlooked that the team was going to have two of arguably the top five players in the League and found several reasons to doubt them. Would their egos be too big to work together? Do they have enough size? Who would take the final shot (ignoring that they probably wouldn’t need a “last shot” to win games)? Will they have enough money left to fill the rest of their team? Some of those arguments had validity, and I still have my doubts that Chris Bosh will remain happy as the team’s third option for the duration of his contract. But another concern was whispered then and remains an issue now.

When the NBA addresses its labor situation, what happens if a hard salary cap is implemented?

David Stern ruined the Heat orgy in Miami by letting out that loud fart prior to Game 1 of the Finals. The NBA currently employs a soft salary cap that many teams go over. The ones that go over pay a luxury tax, but that option would be eliminated if a hard cap were implemented. Currently the cap is around $58 million, but it could drop significantly if a hard cap were introduced.

The NBA’s current labor agreement is set to expire at the end of June, making a stoppage inevitable. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are all signed through the 2013-2014 seasons (they all have two player options after that). They’ll combine to make over $47 million next season, over $52 million in ’12-’13, and over $56 million in ’13-’14.

If a hard cap were introduced — which would help small-market teams remain competitive and potentially profitable — the number could make it impossible for Miami to keep all three players.

Though the numbers indicate Miami could be in a tough position, this is a sky is falling scenario. The Miami Heat has been the best thing for the NBA since Michael Jordan, and David Stern knows that. There’s no way he would jeopardize his cash cow so I wouldn’t worry too much if I were a Heat fan. Matter of conjecture, I would imagine Stern believes super teams like Miami are the future for the NBA and that he will encourage this sort of behavior. Can you imagine New York getting Chris Paul or Deron Williams to go along with Amare and Melo? Hello ratings bonanza!

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