Should Greg Oden fear the future?
As great as they are, the possible pitfalls that could pester two of Miami's Big Three are troubling.
Yes, the big boys on the Miami Heat certainly have uncertain futures, but it would be silly to say they're the only ones whose ultimate destinations are currently uncertain.
Who else in Miami has to contend with the frustrations of an uncertain fate?
Oden's Last Stand?
At the end of the day, the world of professional sports is a business.
Guys are expendable, and as such, not all contracts end up being extendable.
Case in point: Greg Oden's formerly Portland Trailblazers fame—or infamy, depending on how you look at it.
Greg Oden is like a battering ram built of balsa wood. He's used for big time impact, but his structure is too fragile to ever be truly reliable...or so it seems.
The balsa wood analogy is a bit harsh, given he has looked great when healthy, but the unfortunate reality is another season-ending injury spells doom for his future as a professional basketball player.
Internet sports bloggers with too much time on their hands aren't alone in this way of thinking, either.
The fact Miami signed him to a one-year, sub $800,000 dollar contract (via HoopsHype) is what you call a low-risk investment with the potential for a huge payoff. It also says they don't necessarily expect it to pan out, but hey, if they "win," they look like geniuses.
At the end of the day, Miami's front office has nothing to lose other than a little bit of cash.
This is like being a multi-millionaire and you put $1,000 on a huge underdog to win straight up—if you lose, so what, no big deal. If you win, okay, great, I'll take it.
For the sake of Oden's health and his career, he'd better hope all goes well health-wise this upcoming season, otherwise, it's a wrap.
The Final Straw For Michael Beasley
Here's a major disclaimer: Michael Beasley isn't signed to a regular season roster just yet.
He's been given a bargain-bin level contract similar to his new (possibly temporary) teammate, Greg Oden.
In other words, his future is as mysterious as the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.
No one has any idea what's going to happen to Beasley, and perhaps, Beasley himself has no idea. Seeing Michael Beasley signed on a roster is like seeing that Ben Affleck has been cast in a movie you wanted to see.
Are Miami Heat fans getting Gigli, or are they getting Good Will Hunting?
While Miami sports an All-Star cast that couldn't possibly be ruined by one bad apple, one bad performance can sometimes detract from the overall product on the court as well as off.
Miami doesn't need negative media attention or a disrupted locker room should Beasley's bad habits rear their ugly heads. Keeping this in mind, you can bet the Miami front office is handling Beasley with a zero-tolerance policy concerning any toxic behavior on his part.
Despite all of his incredible talent, Beasley has struggled with being an undersized tweener and, of course, his multitude of off-court troubles.
As with Oden, Miami has very little to lose.
But Beasley on the other hand? If he likes playing professional ball in the United States, he'd better get on the right track before it's too late.
Should Norris Cole Be Concerned?
While it's extremely unlikely anything happens to Norris Cole, he shouldn't be completely content with coasting this upcoming season.
Cole's contract for 2014-15 is subject to a team option. This means that Miami could choose to not renew his contract.
Here's the good news: Cole has been relatively healthy, he's young, and he's played well for Miami during his tenure.
However, as of late, Miami has shown to favor financial flexibility over anything else.
The Miller situation in particular is a sobering reminder that no one is immune to the business end of basketball. If need be, Miami will do what they have to do for the franchise's long term benefit.
Cole is still an awesome asset to have off the bench, and while it seems unthinkable at the present that Miami would sever ties with him, remember, anything is possible.
Who is the most expendable?