On March 9, 2012 just before the NBA trade deadline I wrote an article stating that the one trade the Miami Heat needed to make was to trade Dwyane Wade, Norris Cole and Mike Miller to the New Jersey Nets for Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Anthony Morrow.
As expected I received a huge amount of messages and replies filled with scorn, derision and absolute hatred. However, as expected, I was right. The Miami Heat should have traded Dwayne Wade for Williams, Lopez and Morrow. Had they done so, I have no real doubt they would be dominating these NBA playoffs rather than looking like the second or third best team in their own conference with no real hope of winning the championships.
However, it's not too late for Pat Riley to make up for his mistake and trade Dwyane Wade before the start of next season, then simply sit back and watch LeBron James and his talented new teammates win not one, not two, not three ...
While it may be too late to acquire Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, as both are now free agents and can sign with whichever team they choose, there are still some very solid trade options for the Heat to consider, the top ten of which are listed on the following slides:
Wade, Mike Miller and Joel Anthony to the Hawks for Al Horford and Joe Johnson
The above trade makes so much sense on so many levels for both teams that it is as close to a no-brainer as one can hope for with an NBA trade.
The Miami Heat are a powerhouse team, but they have two very serious flaws that could prevent it from ever winning an NBA title in the LeBron James era. Those two missing pieces are a dominant center and a starting shooting guard that can stretch the defense and make the long range shot with consistency.
This trade solves both issues instantly by giving the Heat perhaps the third best center in the NBA today in Al Horford as well as a star shooting guard in Joe Johnson, who makes nearly twice as many three pointers as Dwyane Wade attempts per game .
The Atlanta Hawks would certainly give up a lot in the this trade, but the simple fact is that they would receive the best player in the trade in Dwyane Wade, would save a great deal of money, which is important to the Hawks ownership, and would receive a true superstar that will hopefully energize their stagnant fan base and pack the Highlight factory with fans.
I believe the above trade is both the perfect trade to instantly transform the Miami Heat into the league's next great dynasty and is quite possibly the best value trade the Orlando Magic can possibly hope to receive for their Superman, Dwight Howard.
Orlando would be receiving a dynamic superstar duo in Wade and Bosh and would most likely be a much-improved team next season with a legitimate shot at winning the East if they can sign a solid center to a veteran's minimum contract in free agency or trade for one by using Ryan Anderson in a sign-and-trade deal.
Miami would have the greatest perimeter/center duo in LeBron James and Dwight Howard the league has seen since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal terrorized the league during the early '90s. The Heat would also have a lineup perfectly built around the unique skill set of LeBron James with a dominant center (Howard), a hustling power forward (Davis and/or Haslem) and multiple long-range shooters (Chalmers, Richardson, Miller, etc.).
If the above trade takes place, I would not be surprised to see LeBron James average around a triple double next season and literally put up over 30 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds per game while also forming the most dominating defensive duo in the league with Howard.
Wade, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Norris Cole and the #27 Pick to the Magic for Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson
The above trade would be a lot for the Heat to give up for Dwight Howard and two garbage players. However, we are talking about Dwight Howard, and therefore I believe it would be well worth it.
The LeBron/Dwight pairing would be dynamite and akin to the dominating Shaquille O'Neal/Kobe Bryant duo that lead the Lakers to four conference championships and three NBA titles in a 5 year span from 2000-2004. If the Heat can also convince a solid veteran starting point point guard and shooting guard to sign for the veteran's minimum contract, they could be in for a historically dominant season.
The Magic may balk at any offer from the Heat that doesn't also include Chris Bosh. However, receiving Wade, a decent starting center, a talented young point guard duo, a first round draft pick and the ability to dump the useless contracts of Duhon and Richardson should convince even the Magic to sign on the dotted line.
Wade to the Warriors for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry
The above trade is both a no-brainer and an extremely risky trade for the Miami Heat due to the injury histories of both Bogut and Curry. However, when one considers that Wade has missed an average of 17.5% of his career games due to injury, which is just over 14 missed games per season, the risk factor becomes easier to handle.
Bogut is a top five center in the league when healthy and Curry has the potential to be a top five point guard. Furthermore, both players are perfect compliments for the talents of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, which is something no sane individual can say about Dwyane Wade.
The Warriors would also be silly not to agree to this trade as they need a true team superstar—someone to build around and to attract other top free agents to the Bay area. Wade would give them such clout in spades.
Wade to the Grizzlies for Marc Gasol and a re-signed OJ Mayo
The above trade could be an absolute boon for the Heat franchise as it will give them both a young All-Star center and an extremely talented and young shooting guard who both compliment the skill set of LeBron James extremely well.
The Grizzlies are set to lose OJ Mayo for nothing this offseason due to salary cap restraints, which makes this trade an absolute no-brainer for Memphis as they are receiving the single best player in this trade.
Wade and Mike Miller to the Lakers for Kobe Bryant and $3 Million Cash
One way to know you have come up with a great trade is when fans of both teams ridicule you as a lunatic. I have no doubt that fans of both the Lakers and Heat would scream heresy when they read such a trade proposal, and I therefore know the value is legitimate.
Lakers fans would be upset due to the fact that they feel that Kobe Bryant is the superior player and they'd be correct in doing so. However, they need to understand that Wade is both three and a half years younger than Bryant and on a contract that is about 40% less expensive, which means a lot in the days of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Heat fans would be nervous due to the fact that Kobe is older and more expensive, but they would also need to understand that Kobe is indeed the superior player, will fit better alongside LeBron than Wade does and will be bringing a title to South Beach more quickly than they can say "sideline blowup".
Wade, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to the Lakers for Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, $3mil cash and a future No. 1 pick
The above trade is simply a variation of the previous trade proposal with the added addition of Pau Gasol and a future first round pick from the Lakers and the addition of Chris Bosh from the Heat. This trade would give the Lakers even more youth and financial savings, and it would give the Heat even more experience, defensive prowess and championship mettle. The addition of Gasol is also something Kobe Bryant may demand if he is to waive his no trade clause and join LeBron in Miami.
The above trade is both a no-brainer and extremely risky due to the presence of potential overproduction that both John Wall and Jordan Crawford represent. If the Heat believe Crawford is a starting-caliber shooting guard in the NBA and that Wall is a future All-Star, then they would be insane not to make this trade.
As for the Wizards, whether they would agree to this trade or not depends on how highly they value John Wall. However, trading an overpaid Nenê and a young guard combo that could be viewed as a "project" in exchange for one of the top ten basketball players on the planet in his prime may make a lot of sense for the struggling Wizards franchise.
Wade to the Hornets for Emeka Okafor and Two 2012 Lottery Picks
Whether the above trade would turn out to be a success or failure for the Heat would depend on the how well the two players they would draft fared in the league. Personally, if the Heat made this trade I could see them drafting a starting backcourt combo, such as Bradley Beal and Damian Lilliard—two sharp shooting, athletic guards that could be the second coming of the Isiah Thomas/Joe Dumars duo that lead the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back titles.
I also believe that the Hornets would strongly consider this trade proposal, as the city of New Orleans is in desperate need of a true superstar. A backcourt pairing of Wade and Eric Gordon would give them not just two stars, but perhaps the most potent scoring backcourt in league history
Wade to the Bobcats for Corey Maggette, Gerald Henderson and their #1 pick
If the Miami Heat could parlay Dwyane Wade into the above average Corey Maggette, promising young shooting guard Gerald Henderson and Anthony Davis, the most dominant defender the NCAA has seen in years, they would be remiss not to at least consider such.
Michael Jordan may be counting down the days to the NBA draft, believing that Anthony Davis will not only single-handedly resurrect the pathetic Bobcats franchise but Jordan's tarnished image as a talent evaluator and front office executive.
However, Jordan certainly remembers Kwame Brown.
While Anthony Davis may never become the colossal bust that Brown was for Jordan's former Wizards team, he may in fact become more similar to Brown than Dwyane Wade in the way he can impact, or fail to impact, a game. Such is the risk one takes when drafting a collegiate athlete, let alone a college freshman like Davis.
I believe Jordan would indeed seriously consider swapping the top pick in this year's draft for arguably the present best shooting guard in the NBA.