If you’re an NBA franchise and you don’t already have a legitimate superstar on your team and money to spend, you are screwed.
The NBA is not a place for the weak, and thanks to LeBron James’ cowardly act in July we’ve entered a “Superteam” era unlike anything we’ve seen in the NBA since the 1980s.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers stand in Miami’s way this year, but the reality is that both are due for a slip. Boston’s “Big Three” have experienced a resurgence in 2010, but at their ages they can’t hope to sustain success past next year. And the Lakers already appear to have lost a step as (gasp) Kobe Bryant might be slowing down sooner than later.
Which means the NBA is about to be the Heat’s domain. Whether Miami wins the NBA Title in 2011 or in two years, the truth is that this team appears poised to go on a run during the six seasons “The Heatles” are together. At least, right now it looks like no one will be in the way.
Fast forward six months.
The New York Knicks look poised to acquire Carmelo Anthony, whether it’s through a trade this month, or via free agency after the season (or whenever there’s a new CBA). They are very likely to have ‘Melo and Amar’e Stoudemire going into next season, and let’s not forget that Chris Paul has made his desire to play on a Superteam very clear and has been linked to the Knicks before.
Fast forward to July, 2012.
Dwight Howard and Kevin Love could hit the open market. Unless Orlando wins an NBA Championship, Howard seems likely to move on, and everyone knows that Love wants out of Minnesota. Howard supposedly wants to play for the Lakers, and Love has been tied to another Superteam in waiting, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Eighteen months from now we could have this scenario:
LeBron James + Dwyane Wade + Chris Bosh vs. Amar’e Stoudemire + Carmelo Anthony + Chris Paul vs. Kobe Bryant + Pau Gasol + Dwight Howard vs. Kevin Durant + Russell Westbrook + Kevin Love vs. Derrick Rose + Joakim Noah + Carlos Boozer.
Far-fetched? Maybe. But if anyone wants to contend with the Heat after the Lakers and Celtics (as currently constructed) experience their inevitable declines, than they’ll have to create their own Superteam just like Miami.
It’s impossible to forecast the future, but NBA GMs better be doing just that.
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