The Miami Heat are heading into a very important season as back to back defending NBA champions, as LeBron James and the Big 3 can opt out of their deals at the end of next season and that poses an interesting dilemma for the franchise, as they may have to reload on talent once the 2014 season is finished.
The Heat defeated the Spurs in seven games and looked strong in the playoffs, but the Big 3 look more and more human (apart from LeBron) and now the Heat may have to rethink their plans. The team obviously wants to keep James, as he is the best player in the world and by far the best of the Big 3 and while Wade likely will be around as well, Bosh appears to be on the way out and that means the team will have to bring someone back in to pair with LeBron for another run at titles.
The Lakers are licking their lips waiting for James to hit the free agent market, but if it were up to the Heat they would sign him long term and never let him have that decision, as the last time he did he left the franchise he was with for another one and Miami isn't looking for that to happen. The biggest issue for Miami will be to bring in another superstar to play with James and while there are many names out there, some options include Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Pierce and Andrew Bogut, who all may be available next summer.
Many speculate that James will get an extension and if the Heat can figure out how to work the cap right, they will be able to get some other stars in as well and one of the most interesting options posed by Bleacher Report is Paul Pierce, as he will be an unrestricted free agent after this season with the Nets. While that move seems unlikely, so did LeBron to Miami and with Piece getting a bit older, he would fit the mold of the veteran joining the roster to win another championship.
Pierce is about to finish his big contract and while he is an older player, he could add valuable minutes and depth for the Heat on the roster and a move like that could help James stick with the team over someone like the Lakers. His numbers were good last season at solid 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists and that could be something the Heat end up looking into. On the younger side, if DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings can't come to a contract agreement, he will be a restricted free agent after averaging 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds last season, he could bring some raw talent and athletic ability to the roster to take over for Bosh.
One of the best fits could be to add Andrew Bogut, as he has turned his career around since getting dealt to the Warriors and after averaging 5.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in 32 regular-season games, he is looking healthy this offseason and he is getting into his prime age and that could be perfect for Miami. Bogut has proven to be a consistent center and with career numbers at 12.2 points and 9.2 rebounds, he could be a great addition. Another option could be Zach Randolph from the Grizzlies, as he averaged 15.4 points and 11.2 rebounds last season and is clearly one of the top big men in the game.