Prior to the start of his fantasy basketball camp at Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Wade admitted he believed LeBron wasn’t going anywhere next summer, when he’s eligible to hit free agency.
“I have no reason to believe anything else,” he said of the Big Three staying in Miami, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “We all love it here. We’re all committed to compete for many, many years to come. Obviously, the business side will take over at one point.”
Wade’s optimism is certainly encouraging, but at the same time, what else is he supposed to say? That he thinks LeBron will want to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or Cleveland Cavaliers? That he thinks LeBron already has one foot out the door?
His response was typical to that of a current teammate. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t genuine. It probably was. Lots of B.S. would have to be going on behind the scenes for Wade to believe LeBron wouldn’t be open to returning as a member of a team he just won two straight championships with. Things would have to be slowly deteriorating for LeBron to have given any inclination that he would like to leave.
But to the best of our knowledge, he hasn’t. South Beach has been good to him, and its been good for him. Seeking a third consecutive championship, LeBron has put himself and the Heat on the verge of achieving NBA immortality. While I won’t say he’s going to re-sign in Miami, I will say there’s no way in hell he’s made a decision to leave already. That would be ludicrous.
Of course, we could read in between the lines. Wade himself admits the dreaded “business side” of everything will take over soon enough, at which point LeBron will have a decision to make. This could be Wade’s way of telling us LeBron will opt out, or that there is a chance he could leave.
Let’s not read in between the imaginary lines, though. Wade’s sentiments could also be referring to the fact that Miami will be facing harsh luxury tax penalties next summer, thereby potentially motivating them to break up the Big Three. In this case, that would spell bad news for Chris Bosh more so than it would LeBron or Wade, but regardless, maybe that’s it.
Or maybe that meant nothing. Perhaps it was just Wade thinking aloud with no direction. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a collusive rhyme or reason to his responses.
Because as I’ve said before, and I’ll say again and again and again, there’s no telling what LeBron will do in 2014. Not even if we’re Dwyane Wade. As the deadline to opt out nears and Miami’s season unfolds, speculation and reported rumors can be taken more seriously.
Ultimately, however, nothing anyone, including Wade, says can be taken to mean anything other than what it actually means. Here, Wade makes it clear he doesn’t believe LeBron, Bosh or himself are going anywhere. And we should believe that he believes that. We just won’t know if that’s indeed how the cookie will crumble until after next season.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.