Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why No Move May be the Best Move

A few months ago we made "The Case for Allen Iverson" and speculated how his addition could help tide over Dwyane Wade's disappointment with the team. Now, it's all quiet on the South Beach front and the feud between Wade and Pat Riley has taken a back seat. After the failed attempt at Lamar Odom and the subsided discussions including a Boozer-to-Miami trade it seems that reality has set in: The Heat will likely be entering the 09-10 season as is.

The issue here is short-term success versus long-term success. On the short-term side you have Wade wanting the Heat to be a contender A.S.A.P. On the long-term end you have Riley and his vision of an open checkbook for the 2010 free agent market. It seems that at this stage the long-term route is the best choice.

ESPN.com already dubbed Miami as the best prepared team for the big "Twenty-Ten." That justifies Riley's course of action and gives fans a reason to have hope. It may not be a popular move, but it's likely to be the smart move.

Not to mention, entering this season with the current roster is not something to sob about. Michael Beasley will get the minutes he deserves, Mario Chalmers will have a year of experience under his belt and the team will have stayed intact and continue to bond coming off a season in which they reached the playoffs. There are still many questions to answer, but the team only has room to improve.

As for those who are worried about D. Wade "wasting" a year of his prime, as he enters the age of 28 in January, there is a calming fact that they should take into account: Michael Jordan didn't win a championship title until the age of 28 (he went on to win five more from thereon after). It's hard to argue that Jordan "wasted" the seven seasons before that. Nobody today falls in the same category as Jordan, but athletes today, like Wade, have a physique similar, if not more enhanced, than Jordan did. The wear and tear of a long basketball career can be withstood by many of the top athletes currently in the NBA.

Sure. Boston, Orlando and Cleveland all stocked up for a championship run this season and it's hard to put Miami in the same category as the "Big Three of the East." But what move can Miami make that will put them in that group at this point? Would trading depth for quality starters do it? How about giving up the future (i.e. Beasley, Chalmers and/or Cook) for a big-name player or two?

The Heat are in a tough situation and it seems that their best chance at a title can come next season when the market is ripe with quality players.

A goal of a 50 wins and a second-round playoff appearance isn't too much to ask for from the Heat and it would be an improvement. With the cards Miami's been dealt it's better to let the East go all-in and duke it out, while saving the two Aces in the hole for the next round. That's the best time to push in all the chips and leave the rest up to destiny.

List of Notable 2010 Free Agents
  • LeBron James
  • Chris Bosh
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Paul Pierce
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Joe Johnson
  • Michael Redd
  • Rudy Gay
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Manu Ginobili
  • Carlos Boozer
  • Randy Foye
  • Raja Bell
  • John Salmons
  • Mike Miller
  • Jason Kapono
  • Roger Mason

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