Getting O'Neal and Moon Helps, But the Heat Need to Do More to Retain Wade

Josh BAnalyst IFebruary 14, 2009

Dwyane Wade has done everything for the Heat this year, whether it's offense or defense. He leads the NBA in points, but he is able to incorporate his teammates with seven assists per game.

On defense, no opponent's shot is unblockable when Wade is guarding them, averaging 1.4 per game.

But Wade may be doing too much for his own good. He's taken the Heat into playoff contention after a last-place finish.

He's done it with an inexperienced supporting cast in which rookies Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, plus sophomore Daequan Cook, have played major roles.

But while Wade is the least of Miami's problems, he's also their biggest problem.

The problem: How will Miami keep Wade after he can become a free agent in 2010?

The Heat have tried to contend, and their X factor was Shawn Marion, who couldn't find his way in the Heat system.

Miami struggled to find success for both Marion and Beasley, never finding a way that Marion could play small forward and play like he did in Phoenix without hurting Beasley's development.

Marion was expected to be the Heat's second scoring option behind Wade, but at only 12 points per game and the Heat's ranking of 24th in points per game, he wasn't working out.

Marion along with Marcus Banks were sent yesterday to Toronto for Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon.

Marion's contract expired after this season. The Heat slightly opened up their window of contention with this trade as O'Neal's contract expires in 2010. While Moon's expires after this season, he's not much worse than Marion.

But Wade still lacks anything close to a championship caliber supporting cast.

O'Neal is the inside presence the Heat were lacking, but he's still not enough. As a center, his field goal percentage of .479 and seven rebounds per game have disappointed the Raptors.

Moon is more than good enough to make the Heat forget about Marion's defensive presence. He's a good dunker and his range is developing.

Unfortunately, Moon would generally be the fifth or sixth best player on a championship team.

Wade is in the same situation as LeBron James in 2010. Although the Heat only have $17 million committed for the 2010-11 season, what's to stop Wade from going to a team like the Pistons or Knicks?

Winning is what could keep Wade in Miami, and it will be hard for him to win with this team.

He has no suitable second scoring option. There is no interior defense. Many of his teammates have never seen the post-season, just to name a few flaws.

If Wade can get another team to the finals in the next two seasons, there would be more incentive for him to stay. But don't bank on it, considering the rest of the team.

Miami Heat, don't take Wade for granted. Get this guy more help.