Miami Heat's top choice is LeBron, but team won't risk wait

Two people who spoke to the Heat said LeBron James is clearly the
outside free agent most coveted by the Heat, but Miami does not want to
risk losing out on other targeted stars by waiting too long. Re-signing
Dwyane Wade remains the No. 1 priority.

“They’re going to get a feel for who they have the best shot at and will craft their strategy accordingly,” a source close to the Heat said. “They will pursue more than one guy. James is their top choice, but if they get a yes from Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire, I’d be shocked if they told either to hold on so they can wait on LeBron” — unless Miami has strong reason to believe James is coming. “If they get one of those three, they would feel confident they can keep Wade. Their biggest anxiety is losing Wade.”

The Heat expects to have between $17 million and $22 million in cap space after re-signing Wade — enough to add a second maximum-salary player but not a third.

Though Wade has said he prefers to stay, the Heat fears he could bolt if the team does not upgrade a lot this summer. Free agents can agree to deals beginning July 1, but cannot sign until July 7.

Though odds are against a James/Wade pairing, “the way the Heat looks at it is how do you pass on a chance to try to get two of the three best players in the league?” one source said. “They raised the Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen comparison.”

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