Miami Heat: Why Next Season Will Be the Last for the Big 3 If They Don't Repeat

Kyle RamosCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: Chris Bosh #1, Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrate during a rally for the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat proved this season that they could rise above the massive amount of criticism and finally fulfill the promise of championship glory for the biggest and baddest big three in the NBA.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have some work to do if they want to achieve the goal of not one, not two, not three...but apparently eight championship banners in Miami. 

While that's a lofty goal, to say the least, the first one is always the hardest. While we may just be seeing beginning of how good the big three can be, the question is how long can they sustain team success with a team full of role players surrounding them?

An even bigger question is at what point in the next few seasons do the team leaders decide that the big three isn't working and realize that they need to cut it down to a big two or even a big one?

A bold, but explicable, guess would be if the Heat do not repeat as NBA champions next season, this big three will be brought to an end.

This decision will not be because the big three didn't perform well overall together or that there will be chemistry issues between them. Instead, it will be about taking away one star for the overall betterment of the team.

James is also in the absolute prime of his career and continually makes the case for the best basketball player on the face of the Earth. He already has a championship, three MVP Awards, six NBA All-First team selections and eight All-Star appearances in his nine seasons of service. Therefore, I think it's safe to say that he would be a good player to keep on your team at any cost.

Wade is a fan favorite in Miami who was a key force in assembling the big three and also the main reason for the success of the Heat without LeBron and Bosh. He can still put up great numbers even with having to share touches with LeBron and Bosh. 

That leaves Chris Bosh as the possible odd man out. While he was a superstar in Toronto, lighting up the record books and the stat sheets, he may find himself on his way out if the Heat don't get another championship banner next season.

Think about how much better the Heat could be all around without Bosh. Not to say he's hurting their play or that he can't continue to contribute, but the Heat could use more depth on their team if they want to keep pace with the rest of the league.

Bosh is due to make around $36 million over the next two seasons, which is a lot of dough considering that two other players on the roster are going to be making about the same amount. If the Heat were able to get rid of his monster contract and get a nice package in return, we could see a whole different kind of beast.

With Bosh, LeBron and Wade, along with pretty average depth on the Heat, they still managed to be the best team in basketball this season and win it all. However, Mike Miller is falling apart from multiple injuries, Shane Battier is starting to get up there in age and the Heat have no reliable center.

If Bosh was dealt for some help at the center position and some decent backup wing players, that could help the Heat tremendously. Not to mention, the free cap room would allow the team to sign players in free agency.

Now, I am aware of the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and while the situation in Miami is great right now, coming off a championship season, a loss in the playoffs next season could prove to be very sobering for the Heat.

The other teams in the NBA are going to be constantly adapting and evolving to make themselves better, so that they could beat the Heat in the playoffs. The Thunder, for example, seemed to be just a few missteps away from making their five-game series with the Heat into a possible seven-game series in the favor of OKC.

The Thunder will learn from it and maybe add some more pieces to help them improve for next year. 

Miami, however, is limited financially with all of their large contracts, and so, they may be stuck with what they have. While what they have is great right now and maybe even still the best in the NBA, they may be getting passed up by teams with more flexibility and youth.

This is something that I know won't sit well with Pat Riley and the rest of the Heat front office. The urge to make a drastic move may come as quickly as next season if Miami doesn't continue to meet championship expectations.