The Miami Heat are about to play a pivotal Game Four in the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. That, however, hasn’t stopped talks of the defending champs breaking up their core.
The Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has reached the Finals in every season, since they came together in the summer of 2010. Expectations have been so high, though, that trade rumors often begin to swirl when the team gets into any bit of trouble.
With Miami in danger of falling behind 3-1 in the series and failing to defend their title, some in the media have suggested the Heat should make major changes in the offseason. Former Los Angeles Lakers guard and current analyst for ESPN Magic Johnson has suggested that this will be Miami’s last run with all three stars.
"I think what we may see is the end of this Big Three. I think that things will change, no matter what happens. Things have to change with that team, because everybody has caught up to them now," Johnson said on a Wednesday conference call. "I just think that you can just see the handwriting on the wall. You've got to make some changes with that team. And you have to realize Derrick Rose is coming back for Chicago and they have cap space and they are probably going to make a move to get better. Indiana will try to get better, the Knicks will try to get better…”
If Miami were to move one of their top players, it would be either Bosh or Wade. James can opt out of his contract in 2014, and some believe he could use that clause to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there’s no chance they will trade him.
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"You know man, I don't care," Bosh said, regarding the trade rumors. "I keep saying it. At first, I used to care. But that hindered my game and they're going to talk about you, anyway."
Recently, Bosh has been at the center of a rumor involving the Charlotte Bobcats. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported that the Bobcats are exploring trading their No.4 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. According to Washburn, the club could look to move their selection in exchange for Bosh. The Heat big man has expressed his desire to remain in Miami for the remainder of his career, but his admission that he’s selling his house fueled speculation that he could be preparing for a change.
Wade might not have the same trade value that he did when the Big Three first came together. The shooting guard hasn't been very effective in the playoffs, averaging just 14.2 points per game. After battling through several injuries and possibly being passed his prime, teams may be reluctant to pay him over $20 million per season.
Discussions of the Heat brass making major changes might be premature. The team won 66 games in the regular season and has a good chance of winning their second straight title. Similar talks were had last season when Miami trailed the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the club went on to win the series and the NBA Finals.