With the reigning, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player having a new home alongside All-Star and MVP caliber players,one has to wonder if this could be the end of LeBron James as a definitive MVP candidate.
Putting the two-time MVP next to a former NBA Finals MVP will certainly make for a dynamic duo, but with their playing together diminish one or both the ability to stake claim to the league's highest individual award?
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been in the running for the MVP every season of their career, but where do they rank among the most likely candidates for the Most Valuable Award for the 2010-2011 NBA season?
The Celtics resigned Paul Pierce to a four-year contract after he opted out of the final deal of his contract. Pierce was not in the running for last season's MVP award, but he is certainly the Celtics team MVP and will be relied upon for a similar performance next season.
Pierce comes off a season in which he 18.3 points and steered the Celtics to Game Seven of the NBA Finals. However, the Heat's stars may find out what Pierce has known over the last few years. It's difficult to get a taste of the MVP award when you have three power-sharing stars on one roster.
Williams is rapidly growing into one of the best point guards in the game today. He comes off his third straight season of at least 18 points and 10 assists per game and with the exit of Carlos Boozer, Williams will be relied upon even more to contribute to the Jazz offense.
Williams made his first All-Star Game last season, was named to the 2nd Team All-NBA, and received one third-place vote in last season's MVP voting. The 2010-2011 season could be the time Williams makes the jump.
Steve Nash lost Amar'e Stoudemire to free agency, but the Suns are on the verge of getting Nash new toys to play with in Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress.
How that affects the Suns as a team remains to be seen, but it likely won't slow down Nash who averaged 16.5 points and a league-leading 11.0 assists per game last season. How long the 36-year-old point guard can keep going at a high level, but until he shows signs of age there is no discounting his presence in the MVP race.
Dirk opted out and re-upped to remain a Maverick most likely through the rest of his career. Nowitzki remains one of the best, most dynamic big men in the game. He averaged 25.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and remains the centerpiece to the Mavericks.
Nowitzki, the 2007 MVP finished seventh in the MVP voting last season and consistently remains a top 10 candidate for the award.
Anthony averaged 28.2 points per game last season, the second highest of his career, and could be in for an even bigger season in 2010-2011 given his pending free agency following the season.
That could be enough to entice one of the game's best scorers to go off for a career season and his first MVP award in the process.
Wade is a former NBA Finals MVP and the 2008-2009 scoring champion. While the former could be in sights next season, the latter may be harder to come by because of his new cast of teammates.
Wade's scoring average will likely diminish given LeBron's presence on the roster and the power-sharing could ultimately diminish his running in the vote totals. Wade's talents keep him high on the list, but LeBron's and Bosh's presence will likely force a vote-sharing scenario that cuts his chances at an MVP.
The Magic big man, and the game's best big man, has achieved nearly every award a player can earn-except MVP. One of the best interior scorers, rebounders, and shot blockers, Howard has the tools be the next MVP.
Howard finished fourth in the voting a year ago and is the Eastern Conference player most likely to benefit from the Heat's moves in the MVP voting.
One cannot discount the two-time reigning MVP, but like Dwyane Wade, his chances at a third straight MVP award will be lessened given his new roster. LeBron will likely see a drop in his scoring average and the sharing of votes will hamper his chances to win another MVP.
The Heat have been compared to the Yankees for their signings, but they're also like the Yankees in that MVPs are now harder to come by given the talent on the roster. It's why Alex Rodriguez's MVP awards in 2005 and 2007 were the first Yankee MVP awards since the mid-1980s. LeBron faces a similar fate.
Durant became the youngest scoring champion in league history last year by tallying 30.1 points per game. We are witnessing the rise of the league's youngest and best superstar.
With LeBron and Wade likely splitting votes, next season could be the time Durant becomes one of the youngest MVP award winners ever.
Why would it be anyone else? Kobe comes off back-to-back titles with an arguably stronger cast around him. Bryant earned his first MVP award after the 2007-2008 season, and with LeBron possibly sharing votes, the opportunity is there for Kobe to win his second