Heat Would Stick with LeBron James, Not Dwyane Wade If Forced to Choose in 2014

Joshua CarrollCorrespondent IIDecember 25, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 20:  (L-R) Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat sit on the bench during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I know this is not something Heat fans want to think about on Christmas day, but the truth of the matter is that Miami's Big Three likely won't be able to stay together in 2014.

Not a single player is under a guaranteed contract at the end of the next season. Needless to say, this includes Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Now, I could state all these facts about Miami's record with or without Dwyane Wade or LeBron James or even make a case for why each guy is equally important to the team. 

But the truth of the matter is that if forced to choose in 2014, the Heat would elect to go with LeBron. Can you blame them?

James is arguably the best player in the NBA right now and is seemingly continuing to get better. He'll be 28 years old on December 30th, in comparison to Wade who will be turning 31 on January 17th.

Looking about two years down the road now, that puts James at Wade's age now. 

While James has gotten better throughout his career thus far, Wade has reached a point where his regression has begun. He's clearly no longer the Flash that we saw take over the 2006 NBA Finals. 

Don't get me wrong, Wade is still one of the premier players in the league. But is he LeBron James? Not even close. 

As much as this decision may hurt Wade, especially after signing back with the Heat just a few years prior and recruiting his friends to South Beach, the NBA is a business and owners are responsible for putting their team in the best position to win.

If we're being honest here, the Heat would be foolish to choose Wade over James at this point in their respective careers. 

Now, nobody knows what could happen over the next season and a half or so. You look at Kobe Bryant who is 34 and still producing at a very, very high level, but understand that such is very rare. 

After all Wade has been through in Miami, don't be so sure he'll finish is career in Dade-County. Get it through your head now that the Heat would stick with LeBron if forced to do so in 2014, simply for what David Stern would call basketball reasons.