Talk of breaking up the Heat's Big Three will really start to pick up if they fail to make it out of the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Up to this point, most of that chatter has centered on moving Chris Bosh, but that would be ridiculous. The Heat's weakness is its lack of size in the paint, so trading a big man would not make much sense unless they can get a better big man.
Dwight Howard's name has been floated as a possibility and it makes sense. Bosh and Howard's salary numbers are pretty similar. Plus, both teams would view the trade as an improvement to their roster.
But for the Heat, they run the risk of only having Howard for a year. He has made it clear that he wants to explore free agency when his contract ends after the 2012-13 season.
The more logical move is to trade Dwyane Wade.
His game is too similar to LeBron James' and Wade is two years older than Bosh. Plus, in terms of attitude, Wade seems to have gone to the dark side. His shouting match with coach Erik Spoelstra in the third quarter of Thursday night's game is one example in a recent trend of petulance from the Chicago native that first reared its ugly head when Wade shoved Rip Hamilton off the court toward the end of a regular-season matchup with the Bulls.
At some point Pat Riley will be making phone calls, looking to make a trade. It would be irresponsible for him to not call the Bulls and make an offer. The offer would likely be Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson for Wade.
John Paxson and Gar Forman should turn it down immediately, then counter with Noah and Hamilton for Wade.
The trade would benefit both teams. For the Bulls, they would get a proven scorer that can help the team stay afloat while it is without Derrick Rose and the probable absence of Loul Deng early in the season. With all of his faults, Wade still averaged 22 points per game last season. That's slightly more than what Rose averaged, by the way (21.8).
The Heat would also finally solve its major weakness -- lack of size and rebounding. Noah pulled down close to 10 rebounds a game this season, while the Heat's starting center Joel Anthony only grabbed four per game. That's almost the same as Derrick Rose, by the way (3.4).
Plus with Noah, the Heat get the comfort of having him locked up for four more seasons as opposed to Howard who could walk at the end of next season.
The trade would also send Wade home to Chicago and Noah back to Florida where he has had a lot of success over his basketball career.
What do you think? Would you trade Noah for Wade?