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At this point three superstars joining forces has become the norm in the NBA. We've seen it here in Boston, we've see it in Miami, and across the league other teams are always attempting to pull it off (Houston a prime example).

But we've never really seen four superstars play together, and with good reason -- money.

The salary cap is around $60-65 million and with cap holds and the like, that leaves only about $55 million to be divided up for any four-some that wants to align and sign together as free agents. With the max salary close to $20 million for an individual player, that means for four max type players to play on the same team, major pay cuts would have to take place.

But if all four guys put winning above money, it is possible.

And in what would be the worst thing ever, apparently the Heat are going to see if they can make it work this summer if Carmelo Anthony opts out of his Knicks deal. From Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst:

The Miami Heat's immediate focus remains overcoming a 2-1 NBA Finals deficit to the San Antonio Spurs, but discussions have begun within the organization about trying to grow their so-called Big Three into a Big Four, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team's leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding New York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony this summer in free agency.

The mere concept would require the star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to all opt out of their current contracts by the end of the month and likely take further salary reductions in new deals that start next season to give Miami the ability to offer Anthony a representative first-year salary. The Heat also are prevented from making any formal contact with Anthony until July 1 and can do so then only if he opts out of the final year of his current contract. Anthony has until June 23 to notify the Knicks of his intentions, according to sources.

...

Sources say internal conversations within the Heat organization about pursuing this course have run concurrently with Miami's bid to win a third consecutive championship, with sources adding that James in particular is likely to try to recoup potential salary sacrificed through fresh off-court business opportunities if the Heat's new dream scenario does come to fruition.

So basically, each guy could take (about) $13-14 million per season and make this happen. Considering all four guys made $20+ million this season -- that would be a pretty major pay cut. But it would also set the Heat up to stretch their current run (four straight Finals appearances) into close to a decade long run atop the Eastern Conference.

At the moment Miami's biggest issue is Wade's decline from top-10 guy to top-25 guy in the league. Enter Melo, who would become the number two scoring option, and all of a sudden you have the clear cut favorites for the next 3-4 seasons.

For Celtics fans, this is the worst case scenario. Sure, it would turn the Heat into even greater wrestling villains (it would restore Heat hate to 2010-11 levels, remember the intense hatred that followed that team everywhere?), but it would also basically cut off any chances for another team to rise up and take down LeBron.

Miami would have a monopoly on the damn league..and that's no fun at all.

At the moment it's too early to get nervous. It's just a report, and quite a bit still needs to happen for it to go down. Namely, all four guys need to take something like 4 years, $52 million as opposed to 4 years, $90 million. That's a monster amount of money to leave on the table, even for guys who have made as much as them.

But if it does happen, it's going to be pretty depressing. We've all been biding our time until the Heat are vulnerable, and to see that clock reset would be a real kick in the gut.

P.S. At what point did these guys decide that it was more fun to all play together instead of trying to beat one another. I get why they're doing it, but don't they get that it cheapens it? Weak.


Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

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Michael Dyer 6/11/2014 08:21:00 PM Edit
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