Dwyane Wade: Why Dealing Superstar Is Miami Heat's Best Hope for Success
The team's chances of meeting its self-imposed high expectations are once again slipping away, giving credence to the idea that dealing Wade would give the Heat a better chance to win.
With Chris Bosh sidelined and Miami's bench unable to fill the void, there was extra pressure on Wade and he failed to deliver. He made just 2-of-13 shots and turned the ball over five times as the Indiana Pacers cruised to a 2-1 series lead.
The normally reserved Wade even had a verbal confrontation with head coach Erik Spoelstra, a sign that frustrations are starting to boil over for the team that many people expected to dominate the NBA for years to come.
Wade, Bosh and LeBron James certainly believed it. The trio's level of confidence at their introductory press conference was astonishing, even more so looking back on it now. It seems like they truly believed they were just going to steamroll opponents.
What the Big Three seemingly forgot was the fact that basketball is a team game. It takes a lot more than a few superstars to win a championship. Without reliable role players to fill in the holes, the Heat will always be living on the brink.
Can the Heat win a title with the current roster base?
Sure, the Heat can dominate the regular season based on pure athleticism alone. But, when playoff time rolls around and every possession matters, it's not as easy to put your head down and attack the basket. Not to mention that the Heat's style of play is tiring.
So, while the Heat are struggling to find players who can provide solid minutes, the Pacers are showing them the benefit of depth. Indiana has a player at basically every position who can produce off the bench, allowing the Pacers to succeed even if a main contributor is having an off night.
The only depth the Heat have is in the elite-slasher category—unfortunately, it's filled by both Wade and James. And since only one of them can fill that roll at a time, it often leaves the other guy to wander around aimlessly.
In other words, Wade and James just aren't a good fit together. Neither one has developed a reliable outside shot, so they both fall back on their ability to drive to the hoop. That makes defending them a whole lot easier.
Think about the NBA's other successful trios.
The Boston Celtics have Paul Pierce (who plays the same role as Wade and James), an elite shooter in Ray Allen and a reliable post presence in Kevin Garnett. Of course, Rajon Rondo has improved greatly to give them another weapon.
In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs have a slashing point guard in Tony Parker, a dynamic shooter in Manu Ginobili and the “Big Fundamental,” Tim Duncan. The Spurs also have a boatload of bench players who understand their roles.
As you can see, both those teams have three key players who all do something a little bit different to help the team win. And, just in case things aren't working, they have other pieces who can help fill in the gaps necessary to make a title run.
The Heat have two players that like doing the same thing, an injured power forward that is prone to off games and not much else.
Fact or Fiction: The Heat should attempt to deal Wade.
That's why trading Wade in the offseason would optimize their chances of winning a title.
At 30, he still has plenty of value on the trade market and should allow the Heat to get some pieces to build around James, who has more years left on his legs.
It's not a guarantee by any means—nothing is—but it's the best thing the Heat can do for the long-term outlook of the team. Even if they were to win one title with the team that's currently constructed, that would be a massive disappointment in the grand scheme of things.
Building a more complete roster starting with James as the cornerstone gives the franchise a much better chance of success. Even though it may not be a popular move with fans, they won't be complaining when the banners finally start getting raised.
Ultimately, trading Wade is a lot better than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
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