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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Jun 20 2011 @ 6:26 pm In Miami Heat | No Comments

The anger has died down a little bit.  The disbelief that Miami lost to Dallas is gradually turning into respect for the way the Mavericks played in the Finals.  Time does heal and it’s only been a week since the Heat lost Game 6 of the NBA Finals and watched their season end on their home floor.

Now the focus has shifted towards next season, assuming that there is a 2012 season with a potential lockout looming.  Plenty of things have been said and written about what Miami needs to do to improve, why this season was a failure, and an “I told you so” type attitude towards the Heat 3 and their inability to win a championship this past season.  Some have even suggested that the team needs to be blown up and reconstructed.  Those people need to have their head examined.  If Miami had lost in the first round or been embarrassed at some point along the way, then maybe you do something radical.  This team lost a six game Final’s series to a Mavs squad that I believed was the best team in the NBA entering the playoffs.  As close as Miami came to a title, you can be sure that Pat Riley will make some moves in the offseason.

Here are the players I can almost guarantee will be here next season:  Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, and Joel Anthony.  Chalmers and Anthony will probably not be starters next season, but both have proven to be solid contributors for the Heat and both have been with Miami for a few years now.  The other four guys all received new contracts before this season and both Miller and Haslem started to get healthy as the playoffs went along.

The most notable player not on the list above is LeBron James.  I don’t think that Riley will actively shop LeBron, but I know he will listen to anything that he thinks will improve the Heat.  There have been suggestions of a James to Orlando deal in exchange for Dwight Howard.  I don’t see that happening.  LeBron to the Clippers for Blake Griffin and Chris Kamen is a tantalizing idea.  I’ve suggested that one before, but it’s very unlikely as well.  The reality is that Riley probably won’t even get into any negotiations involving any of the “Big 3″, but if he were to entertain a trade involving one of those guys, Bron makes the most sense.  He is the highest profile, the youngest, and at the same time he is the most expendable.  He and Wade do many of the same things for the Heat, but his mental make-up is simply not the same as DWade’s and never will be.

The rest of the roster is completely up for grabs.  Guys like Eddie House and James Jones might return, while others such as Eric Dampier and Mike Bibby almost certainly will not.  This will be an interesting offseason to watch for Heat fans.  The biggest question, however, is will we have a NBA season and when will it start?

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