With less than 14 hours until the most anticipated free agency period in the history of sports begins, rumors are still swirling about which players will end up where.
Paul Pierce has notified the Celtics that he will be opting out of his deal. Dirk Nowitzki also made the shocking announcement that he would be testing the free agent market as well.
Put those two on a list with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen and many more who will be looking for max contracts when the bidding period opens tonight at midnight ET.
One of the most intriguing rumors we have been hearing in the days leading up to the start of free agency is one that has LeBron James teaming up with fellow All-Star Dwayne Wade in Miami.
Could this possibly work? Let's look at all the factors.
Yes, two superstars teaming up would be a great idea for any franchise to try, especially for two guys in their scoring prime. Imagine the pressure the Heat would put on opposing defenses if they could throw the top two of the top five scorers in the NBA last season at you.
Even so, with all the money the Heat would likely spend on getting both Wade and James, how much money would they have left over for role players?
The Heat only have two players under contract for next season: Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers. Those two are nice players, but could one of them step up and be a third option on a championship team?
With all the money they would spend to get the two superstars together, the Heat would not have too much more money to spend on the remaining eight to 10 players needed to fill out their roster.
There has also been talk of the Heat trying to sign all three of the big free agents: LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh. That would be the ultimate dream for some Heat fans, but hear me out.
Remember the last time a team tried to overload itself with superstars?
That's right, it was the 2003-2004 Lakers. Yes, the team that had Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone reached the NBA Finals, but it had some serious bumps along the way and never reached its talent potential because they didn't have any role players.
Basketball is a huge team game. Rarely do you see a superstar carry a team to a championship with out a lot of help along the way. Sure, Kobe has five championships, and he couldn't have done it without Pau Gasol.
However, he also couldn't have done it without Derek Fisher. Or Andrew Bynum. Or Lamar Odom. Or Sasha Vujacic. Or even Shannon Brown.
You also need a balanced team to succeed in the NBA. Kobe had Pau down low as a second scoring option, which gave the Lakers offense depth, but he also had quality scoring options in other places.
Same thing with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Boston. This year, they had Rajon Rondo, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen, Tony Allen all filling their specific roles and leading the team to a surprising trip to the Finals.
LeBron and D-Wade are both excellent scorers, but aren't they kind of the same offensive player? Both love to drive to the hoop and get contact while making layups and both have at least respectable jumpers on the outside. Can two superstars with the same offensive skills succeed on the same team?
I know that it is very likely that during this off-season, we will probably end up having two big names signing with the same team, but I don't like the idea of these two guys both signing with Miami.
Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade seems like a better championship match to me, but I'm not sure that Heat fans would like it if their team passed up on LeBron for a lesser player like Bosh.
Yes, the Heat would be really fun to watch with both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade on the court at the same time, but would Miami be a championship team with those two guys?
That's the Heat's decision to make.