CHICAGO, March 20, 2012—Let’s get this straight right off the bat: the Heat are a tremendous basketball team. They have as much talent alone as any team the NBA has ever seen, often using their raw athleticism to overwhelm awe-struck opponents. They also seem to have solved the biggest mystery in the league regarding LeBron James’ fourth quarter woes: they try their best to be up by 30 when the third quarter ends.
But if they don’t win a championship this year, they need to make a trade. No more excuses, the Heat need to win now. If they fail for a second time, a trade would be Pat Riley’s best option for long-term success, and sending Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to Orlando for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu would do the trick perfectly.
Chris Bosh is simply expendable to the Heat. He’s the best third option in the league to be sure, but the first two consume so many shots that the Heat don’t need a top tier player at his spot. What the Heat do need out of their big man is a little more of a defensive presence and some more rebounding.
You know, the things Superman does to make himself look immortal to the rest of the league.
Howard would be the best upgrade imaginable for Bosh, and his defensive combination with LeBron would just be terrifying. The best interior defender in the league and three-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Howard teamed up with a man that often guards everyone from point guard to center in the same game would just be impossible to plan for. Both players have otherworldly defensive skills, and the combination of the two would be the best defensive duo since Bill Russell and Bob Cousy.
Oh, and don’t forget that those two won six championships together, which is closer to the seven that LeBron promised than the Big Three’s current goose egg.
The hardest part of this trade would inevitably be the Heat’s parting with their true franchise player in Dwayne Wade. But think about it, what does he do that a combination of Howard and Turkoglu wouldn’t? Lockdown defense and dropping bombs from beyond the arc are check and check, and LeBron would take care of the penetration they’d lose in his absence.
They’d even have a few extra bucks lying around to pay someone else to do that to. The Heat haven’t had spare change since the Big Three was assembled at the start of last season, and they desperately need a point guard as well as a mediocre backup center to plug in for 10 minutes per game.
In other words, the Heat would only gain from this.
Lucky for the Magic, they could say the same thing. Howard’s exit from the Magic seems inevitable, so why not get a king’s ransom in return for trading him and a grossly overpaid Hedo Turkoglu? There would be no risk of Howard leaving in free agency, and the Magic would guarantee themselves two phenomenal young assets for years to come.
It would be hard for the Heat’s front office and fan base to stomach, but this trade makes basketball sense. Both organizations should do themselves a favor and get this deal done as soon as this year ends if the Heat can’t get their act together and win a championship.
To contact Nick Goralka, see above to send him an e-mail containing a question, comment, or scathing insult. His work appears in Alley-oops for Touchdowns! in the Communities at the Washington Times Online.
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