Miami Heat president Pat Riley's effort to bring back the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in free agency has reached a fascinating tipping point. With none of the free agents committed to deals yet, league sources tell that Bosh's future has emerged as the tipping point in Riley's master plan.

Riley's attempts to lure free agents to join the Big Three have been stalled by uncertainty over where the financial terms of Bosh's and Wade's prospective new deals with Miami would land. With James seeking a max salary for next season -- and deservedly so -- how much room Riley can create for other free-agent additions hinges on Bosh and Wade.

Given that Wade, in physical decline at age 32, opted out of $42 million over the next two seasons, rival teams believe he must have been assured that he would recoup that money by agreeing to a longer deal to return to the Heat. But as reported Friday night, there will be a max market for Bosh -- especially if James and the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony finalize plans to return to their existing teams.

Several teams chasing James and Anthony would have a max slot for Bosh if they struck out on their two top targets. At minimum, the Rockets, Mavs and Lakers fit that description. The Bulls, Suns and Cavs also possess -- or have been working on creating -- room for a max free agent starting north of $20 million. For that reason, Bosh is viewed around the league as the most likely member of the Big Three to break off and change teams.

A rival team executive told Friday that the growing belief around the league is that Bosh would prefer a four-year max deal with another team to a discounted, longer-term deal with Miami. So many pieces in the Heat's puzzle are connected, and one of them falling out of place threatens to tear the whole thing apart.