Pat Riley's plan, by any sense of the word, is ambitious.
He's not trying to land just one superstar free agent. He's trying to corner the market by landing all three.
After spending a year moving contracts and trying to get far enough under the cap to afford three superstars, Riley put the last phase in motion on Thursday.
Riley was in Chicago today where he met with Chris Bosh. The goal was to get a quick commitment from Bosh, and then turn that commitment into an agreement with Dwyane Wade. Once he locked up Wade and Bosh, he wanted to blow away LeBron James with those two commitments in a planned meeting with James in Cleveland on Friday.
As of Thursday night, Riley is going to Cleveland without any commitments. Sources say that while the Bosh meeting went well, he has yet to agree to a deal with the Heat. Bosh has already met with the Rockets and Nets and has a planned meeting with the Bulls on Friday.
Riley's inability to immediately lock up Bosh runs contrary to the loud rumblings all week that Bosh to the Heat was a virtual done deal. The consistent word for the past 48 hours was that Bosh wanted to get the process over quickly and that the Heat were his first choice. While that still may be the case, Thursday's events cast some haziness on the conventional wisdom.
Riley has a back-up plan. He met with Amare Stoudemire early Thursday morning, but he left the meeting without making an offer to Stoudemire.
As for Wade, he met with the Chicago Bulls for two hours on Thursday and then had a meeting with the Nets scheduled for Thursday night. While the overwhelming consensus has Wade re-signing with the Heat, the longer this process plays out, the more the Heat will start to sweat.
If Riley doesn't hear what he wants from LeBron on Friday (and all signs point to LeBron waiting until, at the very least, his meetings with the Bulls and Cavs are over on Saturday) or Bosh, the plan may change.
With Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay already off the board, the Heat don't want to be the team left without a significant free agent. If both Bosh and LeBron remain non-commital, sources say the Heat will try to sell Wade on pairing up with Stoudemire in Miami.