[caption id="attachment_1542" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Wade leaves court today in Miami (courtesy of Jennifer Colina)"][/caption] Some news and notes today about the Miami Heat as the starting gate for free agency quickly approaches... Firstly, ESPN's Chad Ford reports that Chris Bosh has given his agent a list of four other teams that he would be open to being sent to in a sign-and-trade scenario barring the unlikely event that he re-signs with the Toronto Raptors. Thankfully, the Miami Heat are included along on the shortlist with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
Bosh likes that option, sources told Ford, because he'd get one more year on his contract and could make more money. Sources said the Raptors prefer a sign-and-trade if Bosh is intent on leaving as well. They likely would want a big man to replace the 6-10, 230-pound Bosh in the lineup. One source said Bosh's decision hinges on where LeBron James signs. "If LeBron decides to go to either New York or Chicago, I think that's where you'll see Chris land," the source told Ford. "If LeBron stays in Cleveland, I think the process is more wide open."So apparently if a sign-and-trade can't be completed then Bosh will sign with either the Heat, Knicks or Bulls outright and take either the max amount of years or possibly a shorter three year deal. The three year deal might be risky because of the possible lockout on the horizon. Regardless it's good news for these three teams in that Bosh will choose among them and bad news for Dallas Mavs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets fans. No one really believes Bosh is staying with Toronto and this little piece of news is the final nail in the coffin (can you imagine if Lebron or Wade would put out a list like this as well?). Also a possibility that if Bosh likes the idea of pairing up with a fellow All-Star like James then he would also be amenable to pairing up with Wade down in Miami. And if James does indeed stay in Cleveland than the Heat would have to be considered the frontrunner to land Bosh. Ford reports that Amaré Stoudemire is likely to leave the Phoenix Suns as a free agent after a source claims that he feels disrespected in being shopped around during the trading deadline and the summer before. He's hurt his stock in the playoffs but he was playing at a high level after the deadline passed so it's likely a team will offer him the max. It remains to be seen whether Miami will go hard after him or wait and see what James and Bosh will do. If only he actually played defense and wasn't injury prone. Oh, in case you were wondering Lebron James just wants to win (duh) and refutes rumors that he will demand his own coach. Chris Broussard of ESPN (Insider only article) thinks the Miami Heat rank only fifth in the lead for Lebron James (guess which team was first?) despite his reasonings why he shouldn't sign with the Heat are the weakest of all five teams. I mean really, how is it a "negative thing" to win rings regardless of who your teammates are? I don't hear anyone complaining about the loaded teams that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were on when they were winning rings. And pointing out that the fans here aren't that great is a total low blow. Whenever the Heat have been perennial contenders (Alonzo/Hardaway, Shaq/Wade) the arena is always rocking with plenty of people and celebrities to boot. You can't have it both ways. I thought acquiring Lebron basically doubles the value of your franchise, boosts attendance and make wherever he lands the mecca of basketball. So why wouldn't that happen to Miami where we've been fairly average since '06 and likely accounts for the dip in attendance? Dwyane Wade is back in court again and this time it's in Miami and it's all about business. This summer has been filled with court dates in both Chicago and Miami and free agency hasn't even started. Is this really the right time to move everything and uproot to another city? I don't think so personally.