Why the Miami Heat Are Better Off Without LeBron James

Brad LeClair@beerad87Correspondent IJuly 10, 2010

On Thursday night at 9:22 PM Eastern, the face of the NBA changed and LeBron James jumped ship from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat. LeBron said he made the decision that morning after consulting his mother and friends. To me, the decision was final when Chris Bosh announced he was joining Dwyane Wade and the Heat.

In what many believe to be the best three man tandem now in NBA history, the Heat have a chance at being a true NBA Dynasty if all falls into place. But with that said, the Heat aren’t the Celtics, who also have a big three, but all of them play a role with the team.

When Garnett was acquired in a deal that saw Al Jefferson and multiple other players going to the Timberwolves, Garnett was nearing the prime of his career. Today, Garnett is still a force on the defensive end, but his offensive game is diminishing. It’s not gone forever, but its declining.

Ray Allen, who was acquired from the then Seattle Supersonics in a deal that saw amongst others, Jeff Green going the other way, was another smart move by the Celtics GM Danny Ainge. Allen, one of the best shooters of all time, works best when moving off screens, meaning, he works best without the basketball in his hands; essentially he’s a catch and shoot extraordinaire.

Paul Pierce is a decent defender, but he’s the one player of the big three who can create a shot out of nothing. He’s been the face of the Celtics since he’s been drafted and I hope that remains the same for the rest of his career.

In Miami, there are just too many superstar players who work best with the basketball in their hands. James works best in a Magic Johnson like fashion, driving to the basket and dishing it off for an easy assist. Wade, plays very similar to LeBron, taking the ball at the top of the key and driving it without any regard for human life to the basket.

As for Bosh, being a Raptor fan most of my life and seeing Bosh evolve as a player these past seven years, he truly works best with a point guard who feeds him the ball and he is given the until the shot clock runs out to shoot the ball. He was never a good passer out of double teams and often coughed up the ball on many occasions.

The Heat right now, apart from possibly signing Mike Miller, don’t have that spot up shooter on their team. Many NBA players could flock to South Beach just to ride the big three’s coattails, but right now the roster is pretty dry.

For me, the Heat were better off with LeBron staying in Cleveland or choosing New Jersey, New York or my favorite all along, Chicago. Bosh during his entire tenure with the Toronto Raptors never had a prolific wing player and was the main reason why Toronto has never amounted to much in the playoffs, aside from the fact they had no defensive center presence on the team.

Bosh when he signed with the Heat found that player in Wade, who I feel compliments his game extremely well. Now with James in the picture, Bosh I feel has quickly become forgotten. I have no idea how he’ll adjust from going from a franchise cornerstone getting 20 shots up a night, to playing the role of essentially Amir Johnson with better touch with the Heat.

Not to mention, the Heat could have used that $16.324 million they used on James and rather surrounded Bosh and Wade, both top 10 players in the league, with a better supporting cast. The Heat have Mario Chalmers signed and he remains the only roster player other than them on the team. This is not the same as Boston, who has young players like Rondo, Perkins, Davis and Allen as prominent starters and depth on the team.

The Heat essentially have about 20 million to spend on 11 players to fill out the rest of the roster before the hit the luxury tax, which judging by their roster and possible cash flow as a result, they could easily afford to pay. The minimum salary in the NBA varies depending on service, but I’ll average it to 1 million a season. I just don’t know how many guys will want to take such a severe pay cut to play there.

To me this reminds me a lot of those people who go into fantasy auction drafts and buy three superstars within the first 12 picks. After they spend all their money on those players, they are left to wait until they pick sleepers and guys who slip in the draft who come cheap. That’s what the Heat are dong now. Either trying to buy old, possibly washed up former players like Mike James or Jason Williams, or they hope players will come and take a pay cut, like Shaquille O’Neal or Tracy McGrady. Both of whom you could argue are nearly washed up themselves.

So my question to you is, are the Heat better off with the big three and very questionable depth going forward, or are they better with just Wade and Bosh and still having resources to sign decent players to fill out the rest of the roster?

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