Man it is just so easy to come up with the pun title for the Heat! The gift that keeps giving. So hats off to the Spurs. I wrote a few years back that the Spurs had gone from being as unlikeable as can be, to loveable. It is just like wrestling when a heel just reaches a point where he is so good at being a heel that fans start to love him for it.
But this isn’t going to be about the Spurs, and that’s the way they want it. What is a sexier write up, talking about how great the Spurs are run and have been run now for 20 years (people forget they have been a contender since the 94 season), or how the Miami Heat and all their superstars got destroyed in the finals and are now on the brink of breaking up? Yeah, it’s the latter.
So let’s begin. Will they break up? I really don’t know now. I didn’t think they would all year long. But the way the finals just shook down, how does James go back to that? Because much like I just wrote about the NY Rangers, the Heat have to be honest with themselves about this. They destroyed an awful Eastern conference. But the West is far and away tougher than the East in the NBA just like it is in the NHL.
The key to all of this in my mind is Dwayne Wade. I think Wade has to be the guy to sacrifice here. Now, maybe Bosh and James do too, but Wade should take a huge pay cut simply because he’s fading and is nowhere near what he was. He is going to be coming off the bench before too long. If he wants to keep winning titles, he can either take a massive pay cut, or take a massive pay cut and go to San Antonio or OKC.
Should he take that pay cut though, then the Heat will have a great chance to put a team together capable of winning more titles. Maybe they bring in a Kyle Lowry in free agency (let’s hope not hey Raps fans?) or Zach Randolph to give them a serious presence down low because it has been more than proven in the 4 seasons that Chris Bosh gives them next to nothing under the hoop. They’ll be able to re-shape their bench because we’ve seen plenty of guys willing to go there for less money to come off the bench and win a title.
Vince Cater would be a candidate for that, as would Shaun Livingston, Shawn Marion could replace Shane Battier as their lock down defender off the bench, Channing Frye, Kirk Hinrich, there are plenty of guys available who could give the Heat great depth off the bench.
But again, that hinges on Wade. If he isn’t willing to take that big pay cut, I think the big 3 are done. Because if you’re Lebron James why would you come back to what is a fading team? You can go to Toronto for example and play with an up and coming team in a world class city with world class facilities, be close to home, play in a very weak Eastern conference, and grow your brand even more so and honestly I don’t think people should scoff at this. Not saying the Raps will be any kind of favorites for his talent….like that?….but they’ll get a serious look from the James camp.
And look, the rumor of all 3 guys taking pay cuts to bring in Melo isn’t the answer. It sounds sexy, but there is only so much ball to go around. These guys need depth. Look at who just beat them. The Spurs obliterated the Heat, and did it because they had so much depth.
Another possibility is that they all simply don’t opt out of their contracts. They aren’t free agents yet, they all have options for 1 more season. It is possible that they don’t opt out and just see how next season goes. I’m far from any kind of expert on the NBA cap so I can’t say what they then could or couldn’t bring in, but I do know that owner Micky Arison doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax next season and there for Pat Riley likely won’t have much flexibility.
The NBA is good, but off the court it might be better and this summer is going to be as intriguing as ever before.
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