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Should the Heat break up their dynamic duo for a chance at Dwight Howard?
The trade: Miami trades Dwyane Wade and Joel Anthony to Orlando for Jason Richardson and Dwight Howard.
Why Miami should make this trade:
In short, the Heat would be absolutely unstoppable. They would have the league's best center and perimeter player. They would have arguably the league's two best defensive players.
And that's not even factoring in Chris Bosh.
Not only would Miami's new big three of LeBron James, Howard and Bosh be incredible, but the trade would also make them deeper. Jason Richardson would be a far better fourth Heatle than anyone this group has ever had, and would fill in admirably for Dwyane Wade.
Miami would boast a nine man rotation of James, Howard, Bosh, Richardson, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Shane Battier, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. I hate to guarantee titles, but absolutely nobody would beat that team.
Miami's alpha dog issues would disappear. No more clumsy give and take between James and Wade, this would be LeBron's team. While questions still remain about his fourth quarter abilities, you have to imagine the pressure would dwindle if he could go back to playing like Cleveland LeBron full time.
If Miami ever decided to trade Wade for Howard, they would immediately become not only the best team in the modern NBA, but potentially the most talented team the league has ever seen.
Why Orlando should make this trade:
It's rare for a team to get 100 cents on the dollar for a star, but Orlando does just that in this trade. In Wade they would get a player who might actually be better than Howard, but just didn't fit in quite as well as he had to with his old team.
Owner Rich DeVos wants to remain competitive after trading Howard, and considering Wade has dragged far worse supporting casts to the playoffs then the one currently in Orlando I'd say it's a near certainty that he'd be able to do it with the Magic.
Finally, can you imagine how angry Wade would be at this trade? He puts the Heat on the map, first by winning the '06 title and then by bringing his buddy to South Beach, then he gets traded because a better opportunity presented itself to the Heat?
A motivated Dwyane Wade would tear through the league. I'm not prepared to say he'd match Kobe Bryant's absurd 35.4 points per game in 2006, but it's definitely possible. If Orlando is dead set on competing after trading Howard, nobody could come close to offering them a player as good as Wade.
Why this trade won't happen:
The NBA operates on politics as much as it does logic, and while this trade would virtually guarantee multiple titles for the Heat, they would simply never trade Wade.
The sentiment of loyalty is rare in professional sports, but Wade's connection to the Miami community is too great for the Heat to ever consider trading him. Unless they were receiving Michael Jordan in his prime, the fans of Miami would never accept trading Wade.
There's also the fact that Howard simply doesn't have nearly as much trade value as Wade. Regardless of how close they are as players, Wade is locked up for a multiple seasons which makes him way more valuable as a trade piece than Howard. Therefore, even though the trade makes the team better, Pat Riley knows it isn't equal value.
Finally, are we entirely sure Dwight Howard would welcome a trade to the Heat? He has been as vocal as any current player in bashing LeBron for how he handled his free agency, and he always seems to get up a bit for games against Miami.
Miami would likely require Howard to sign an extension before trading for him, but if he didn't and then bolted in the summer they would look awfully stupid for giving up Dwyane Wade to get him. It's a bit of a stretch, but we can't know for certain whether or not Howard would accept a trade to the Heat.