After struggling in the playoffs, Bosh has never been more expendable.
As ineffective as he was during the 2013 postseason, Bosh is still the third-best player on a dynastic roster. He may not be able to perform up to his star ability alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but he can potentially be that guy for another team.
However, Miami would still want considerable talent in return. The Heat are looking to win now and have no incentive to deal Bosh for primarily long-term improvement. If Bosh is moved, it will be to shore up some of the weaknesses revealed during their most recent championship run.
Miami has a great team with Bosh, but there are scenarios that could potentially make it even better.
That's why the talk is out there—given the disparity between his ability and his production, he is more valuable to Miami as a commodity than he is as a player.
There have been no warm feelings between this Heat squad and Kevin Garnett, who has been the main antagonist in the rivalry between these two teams.
If both parties could put their pasts aside and be willing to work together, Garnett would solve Miami's weaknesses while detracting minimally from its strengths.
He can score around the basket, knock down jumpers out to 20 feet and at 6'11", 253 pounds, he is the interior defensive presence Miami needs.
Yes, he is older and slower than Bosh, but the real sticking point here will be a matter of respect.
Will KG be willing to coexist with James, Wade and Spoelstra—to say nothing of reuniting with Ray Allen after he left the Celtics? And will the Heat leadership allow such an intense outside voice into a winning locker room?
If so, then Bosh could help kickstart the Celtics' transition period, either as Garnett's replacement or as a trade chip next season. Just as KG is the better on-court fit for Miami right now, Bosh works more cleanly in Boston's situation.
Here's where the concept of trading Bosh gets tricky: The teams that are interested in Bosh and have the cap space to take him on don't have the most attractive pieces for Miami.
The Milwaukee Bucks come as close as anyone.
Make no mistake, Ersan Ilyasova is a step down from Chris Bosh. Though he has a similar stretch-forward offensive game, Ilyasova doesn't have Bosh's agility or defensive ability. He's a better three-point shooter, which would be nice for the Heat, but the downgrade in off-ball movement and trapping ability would be noticeable.
At least Ekpe Udoh would give Miami the interior presence it needs. He would immediately become the best center on the Heat roster, though without any of Bosh's offensive range.
This two-player solution is the best the Heat can get from Milwaukee, which is why the Bucks' first rounder is thrown in to sweeten the deal. If the Bucks have a chance at a core of Brandon Jennings, Chris Bosh and Larry Sanders, the pick is a worthwhile throw-in.
A package from the Phoenix Suns would give Miami a mix of short- and long-term aid, though it is simply the best package deal Bosh might garner.
It's obvious why the Suns, so desperate for star power in the desert, would want Bosh. Best-case scenario, they convince him to forego early termination and play out his contract; otherwise, they take half a season's worth of relevancy and flip him at the trade deadline.
For the Suns and Robert Sarver, their notoriously cheap owner, the latter is more appealing than you might think.
Phoenix temporarily inserts a star and a winner into its locker room while simultaneously dumping salary. They also trade out of a very weak draft, so trading the pick is not a huge blow. For a team tanking for the stacked 2014 draft, it's a win-win.
The Heat get Marcin Gortat, a very solid center who can do all the things Miami can't right now, as well as a handy defense-and-threes guy in Jared Dudley and the fifth pick in the 2013 draft. That gives them the luxury of adding a project like Alex Len or a young role player like Ben McLemore or Trey Burke to the mix.
That bolsters the Heat's lineup in the middle, adds to their corps of useful wing shooters and brings in a top prospect Miami would have no way of getting otherwise.
However, that gives Miami a more balanced team, not necessarily a better one. A half-step down might be what the Heat need to best compete against the big bodies of the Eastern Conference, but only if they believe Bosh won't play star-caliber ball for them again.
Because it takes a forward-thinking approach for a win-now organization, this is the weakest of the four scenarios. That said, considering the production Bosh is providing right now, this represents fair value for the present and future alike.
However, that initial proposal of the fourth overall pick for Bosh is no longer ideal for either party.
For one, Miami was always going to want more. In this scenario, we throw in Bismack Biyombo, an athletic force on the defensive end with gobs of potential.
On the other hand, he is also the weakest offensive player in any of these deals, though Charlotte cannot offer a good post scorer in return. After all, that's precisely why the Bobcats want Bosh to begin with—to give Kemba Walker the scoring big he has never had.
Charlotte would have to give up its center prospect along with the fourth pick, along with a future first rounder to top it off. Being a perpetually woeful franchise, the Bobcats would certainly lottery protect that pick, but it's still a solid addition.
With two appealing draft picks and a developing big, Charlotte would actually be offering Miami something resembling fair value here.
That said, the Heat would only do this if they felt the long-term improvement is enough to offset a substantial short-term drop-off; Biyombo is not in Bosh's league, nor is anyone in the 2013 draft class.
Miami could be better off three years from now because of this kind of deal, but it's an example of why a Bosh trade is such a fraught proposition. Things could be better for the Heat; getting immediate improvement for Bosh is the tricky part.