As the Miami Heat organization turns to next year’s quest of the mythical three-peat, there is one asset the defending champions must consider moving.
This doesn’t mean Bosh should be dumped to the first team that comes knocking on the Heat’s door this summer. Nor does it mean Miami’s big man isn’t cut out to give LeBron James and Dwyane Wade what they need for a third straight title.
This is about due diligence.
When you run a business, you spend hours running through files, making sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and that every move you’ve made is in your business’ best interest moving forward.
Professional sports are no different. In the Miami Heat’s case, we’re speaking of a business worth over $600 million.
And when you have that many dollars at stake, it’d be foolish to turn a blind eye to offers for one of your assets. Offers that could very well put you in a better position to maximize your profits by winning a third straight championship.
Team owner Micky Arison and general manager Pat Riley have put far too many dollars and way too much work into this organization and this current roster to not follow through with their due diligence.
When teams get complacent, the only thing left is the decline. And most times, that decline isn’t too far off once a state of complacency is reached.
Now, in the current circumstances surrounding the Heat, there’s no doubt Arison and Riley will at least mull over the different options for a Bosh trade this offseason.
Wade Not an Option
The argument for Wade’s departure from the franchise he’s spent the entirety of his career with undoubtedly exists. It’s out there, and some fans have muttered it more than once over the past year or two.
After all, Wade is an asset just as Bosh is. He might not be as tradeable at this point in his career, but he is in fact an asset, nonetheless.
And to be honest, the general context of the argument does make sense in many ways.
Wade has repeatedly shown the inability to finish seasons strong and healthy in recent years. LeBron James was undeniably more productive throughout the past postseason when Wade wasn’t on the floor. Wade is on schedule to take up one-third of Miami’s salary cap space over the next three seasons.
These reasons are why many Heat fans have been coaxed into not only thinking would a farewell to No. 3 be in Miami’s best interest, but actually believing it’s not a stretch this could be an imminent reality.
The truth is, however, Wade isn’t going anywhere.
Because without Wade, LeBron never would've come to Miami three summers ago. Without Wade, the Heat very well could currently be sitting with zero titles in franchise history. In short, Wade has arguably become the most important player in Miami’s 25-year history.
He may have turned the keys of “Wade County” over to his pal King James in recent years, but make no mistake about it, Flash is still very much a face of the Miami Heat organization.
On top of that, Wade and James share a brotherly bond. James has continually expressed his belief that his partner in crime can still produce at a championship level.
And let’s be real, keeping James happy is the focal point for Riley over these next few years. Whatever the King wants, the King shall get.
Do you really think trading one of James’ best friends, a man who his kids view as an uncle, and a basketball player who had one of the most efficient seasons of his career this past year, is what James wants?
Getting back to Chris Bosh, Miami surely understands the reality that teams will be calling over the next few months and making offers.
Many of the offers will likely be easy for Riley to hang up the phone after politely saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
However, there may be one or two proposals that come in that will make Riley think.
Bosh, despite his declining production alongside Wade and James, is a very tradeable commodity.
It’s understood that the Heat’s big man clearly made the biggest sacrifice on the court. Once the alpha male of a Toronto Raptors squad, Bosh is now the third wheel in Miami. Out of the three, Miami’s scheme has placed him the most out of his comfort zone.
If Bosh were placed in a situation where he could again stand as the top dog on a roster, it wouldn’t come as a shock to anyone if he again began averaging a double-double in no time. Teams throughout the league are undoubtedly aware of this.
And when you look at Bosh from Miami’s standpoint, the dollar signs are a bit much to ignore. While his ability to stretch the floor is pivotal to the Heat’s small-ball style of play, he’s tied with James for the highest paid player on the roster.
Is that worth a progressive declining average in points and rebounds from the big man over the past three years? There likely isn’t a clear and concrete answer to this question.
On one hand, Bosh has seemed to be the perfect fit for what Miami wants to do on the offensive end. His willingness to sacrifice his personal achievements on the court isn’t exactly something you see every day in this league.
On the other hand, you can’t help but wonder if there are better pieces out there for Miami than Bosh. The declining production, most notably on the boards and his glaring posting of zero points in this year’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, might be too much for you to ignore.
Either way, it’s not difficult to see why Riley will at the very least ponder what moving Bosh’s contract might hold for this potential dynasty in the making.
We can discuss the pros and cons of a Bosh trade all day long, but at the end of the day, the simple reality is the chances are more in favor of Bosh staying in Miami rather than leaving.
The reason why is simple.
Getting this group to come together wasn’t an easy task by any means for Riley and Arison. This was a plan that was carefully executed, both financially and according to basketball means.
The only way Riley will ever actually pull the trigger on a deal for Bosh would be if he believes it’s absolutely the franchise’s last resort.
There’s no need to sugar coat it: The road to the finals will be tougher than ever for Miami next year and it will be even more so if they stay put with their roster as currently assembled.
It’s no secret Miami is on the market for a big man to lessen the burdens against the bigs of the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. With the move to acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, even the Brooklyn Nets and Brook Lopez could prove as a threat to the Heat next season.
Chris Andersen re-signing for one more year certainly helps the Heat, but there’s a belief held both in Miami and around the league that there’s still one piece missing to the puzzle if Erik Spoelstra and his squad would like to pull off the third championship in as many years.
Whether it ends up being Greg Oden, Samuel Dalembert or some other veteran willing to take a pay cut, Miami is expected to get what they want when it’s all said and done.
And if that does end up being the case, there simply won’t really be a need to place Bosh’s contract elsewhere, especially with Arison seemingly being more than willing to take on the luxury tax pains as the team’s owner.
However, if for some reason Riley strikes out on a big man, he will be forced to consider a Bosh trade more seriously than ever before.
The Heat’s goal is to keep Wade, James and Bosh together as long as possible, but a scenario that doesn’t include a viable big man may very well force the franchise to restructure its goals. It doesn’t seem likely that James, Wade or Riley would be willing to risk next year’s title on sticking to a plan with a foundation that appears to be washing away in South Beach.
James will be continuing his quest to become the greatest of all time. Wade understands his window to compete for titles isn’t going to be open forever. And Riley has hinted that this ride with this current team, specifically speaking of James, will likely be his last in the league.
He doesn’t want that ride to end sooner than it has to.