Two years ago, many people thought the Heat would dominate the NBA for years to come. Now, it seems the Big 3 might not even get a chance to win one title together.
With Miami in trouble of being eliminated from the second round of the playoffs, the Heat could be looking to break up their nucleus of superstars.
The Heat trail the Pacers 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Pacers, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN says this could be the last shot for this group to win it all. Windhorst, who covers Miami for the World Wide Leader, told Mike and Mike in the Morning that the team will consider trading one of its All-Stars if they end up getting bounced by Indiana.
Miami hasn't had the postseason success it originally hoped for, and will have trouble improving its team because of the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. According to Windhorst, the Heat may look to move Dwyane Wade in return for a few good players, instead of another star.
Wade may be the most logical person for the Heat to trade.
LeBron James is playing the best ball of his career, winning his third MVP in four seasons. Wade is better than Chris Bosh, but Miami would not get as much in return for the forward.
Wade is still considered an elite player, but scouts say his best years are behind him. He has played a lot of games in his career, and is injury prone. As a result, he has trouble when the Heat don't have a lot of rest in between games.
Miami's strategy of signing older veterans to come off the bench hasn't worked out very well, and moving Wade would allow them to acquire younger players that would better compliment their core. Aging players like Shane Battier and Mike Miller have not produced as Miami had hoped.
Trading Wade might be the best basketball move, but it probably wouldn't be the best public relations decision. He is the most popular player on the team, even more so than LeBron James. He helped bring Miami its first championship, and is the best player in the history of the franchise.
There's still a chance that the Heat can turn this around. They only trail the Pacers by a game, and could get even stronger later in the postseason if Bosh returns from his injury.
But if the Heat underachieve for a second straight year, the Big 3 might turn into the Big 2 by the start of the 2012-2013 Season.