2011 NBA Offseason: 5 Moves the Heat Must Make to Get Back to the NBA Finals

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2011 NBA Offseason: 5 Moves the Heat Must Make to Get Back to the NBA Finals
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Well, it didn't take long for questions to arise. 

Only one day has passed since the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals, and yet, numerous questions are already being asked regarding Miami's future:

Should the Heat trade Chris Bosh so that they can surround LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with more quality players? Will Pat Riley replace Erik Spoelstra as Miami's head coach before next season? Should the Heat dismantle its core of the LeBron, Wade and Bosh, and hope that they can build around one of the stars? 

The answer to all of those questions, is simply, no. 

Yeah, the Heat didn't meet everyone's expectations in their first season together; but Miami did reach the NBA Finals and held a commanding 15-point lead over Dallas with seven minutes remaining in Game 2 before squandering the lead and the potential 2-0 choke hold on the Mavericks

So, it's not like the Heat had a terrible season. You can't tell me that the 28 other NBA teams, who didn't make the NBA Finals, wouldn't have loved to be in Heat's position: playing for a chance to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy

But, if that's the case, then why are sports writers—like Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock—calling for a total upheaval of Miami's core?

Look, I hated the idea of the Miami Heat even before their preseason celebration, but even I think it would be ridiculous for Miami to break up its core of James, Wade and Bosh. All three of Miami's stars are still relatively young—James (26), Bosh (27) and Wade (29)—so it's not like their window of opportunity is closing. 

However, if Miami wants to get back to the NBA Finals in 2012, they need to do a better job of surrounding The Big Three with role-players that complement their style of play.

Here's a look at Miami's roster during the 2010-11 season:

PG: Mike BibbyMario ChalmersEddie House

SG: Wade, Mike Miller

SF: James, James Jones

PF: Bosh, Udonis HaslemJuwan Howard

C: Joel AnthonyZydrunas IlgauskasErick DampierJamaal Magloire

With the contracts of Chalmers, Bibby, Howard, Dampier and Magloire expiring on June 30, and Ilgauskas debating retirement, Miami has only eight players—assuming that Jones and House will pick up their player option—under contract for the 2011-12 season: House, Wade, Miller, James, Jones, Bosh, Haslem and Anthony. 

Thus, to fill out its roster, Miami will have to acquire players who are willing to sign a mid-level exception, bi-annual exception or a minimum salary exception. At the same time, the Heat have to be smart about who they sign, and shouldn't throw contract offers at the likes of Bibby, Dampier or Magloire just because they will sign for the minimum salary exception.

Here's a list of the five offseason moves that will propel the Miami Heat back into the NBA Finals.

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