Op-Ed: Should Miami Heat keep the big three?

Posted Jun 22, 2014 by Zach Gilliland
With the recent beatdown the Miami Heat received via the San Antonio Spurs, speculation has circled the sports world regarding the future of the "big three," which consists of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade embarrass one another after victory.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade embarrass one another after victory.
flickr/Keith Allison
Many analysts and fans point to the health of Wade and the lack of production outside of James as the main reason for the possible split of the big three.
When I look at the Miami Heat right now, I don't see a big three. I see a team that is built around LeBron James, but the walls come falling down when the role players don't contribute. There is no NBA player today, nor has there ever been, that is good enough to win a championship without help.
In the past few years, Miami has received production from role players such as Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier. In the 2014 Finals, Allen played decent at best and Rashard Lewis and Chris Andersen were the only other role players that provided any meaningful minutes for the Heat.
Now we take a look at the big three. Chris Bosh has played well for Miami and doesn't deserve to take any slack from the media. He averaged 16.2 points per game this past season, and made some big shots in the playoffs.
The problem lies with Wade. I have the utmost respect for the guy, but his health is keeping him from being a top player in the league. This isn't a big three like it was in 2011. Miami is a team that has a superstar in James, an All-Star in Bosh, and a mystery in Wade.
With the ups and downs Wade has with his health, he can't be counted on to be the No. 2 guy for the Heat anymore.
So to answer the question, no Miami should not rely on this big three anymore. I think James will be back in Miami, but for them to be contenders they need to surround him with younger role players. Although Allen struggled a bit in the Finals, the Heat would be smart to bring him back on a one-year deal.
If Wade sticks around, which is very likely, he will have to watch his minutes in the regular season because of his knees. Miami will have to sign someone, or draft someone, who can provide another scoring option behind James and Bosh.
Drafting a point guard and finding a big man is also necessary for this team. The Greg Oden experiment didn't work, but the idea of adding size down low showed that Miami recognizes part of the problem.
The era of the big three is over, but that doesn't mean Miami isn't still a top team. Stop for a second and take a deep breath Heat fans. With the addition of a couple role players and a big man, this team is right back in the Finals next year.