I received an interesting note from a Miami Heat Insider privy to the most private thoughts within the organization, and interestingly, not only were the big three concerned about their ability to get past Chicago, they were also jealous of the cast the Bulls had been able to assembled.
First, bear in mind, this information predated Rose's season ending ACL tear in the playoffs.
Apparently the loss to the Bulls without Rose followed by another loss with Rose effectively not playing (since the Bulls were something like -30 over his minutes) was enough to give the Heat significant fear of the Bulls in the playoffs. They thought last year if they shut down Rose the Bulls would fold, but this year the rest of the group played well enough to carry the team when Rose was out or a non factor.
Not only did the Bulls performance against them add a bit of doubt in their ability to make it to the finals, it made them focus on just how poorly Miami had done in putting a cast together. To put it bluntly, Pat Riley promised the big three a much better supporting cast than he's been able to deliver.
The big three have felt they shoulder too much of the load [no surprise or real inside information there], and they're disappointed in the front office's ability to put things together. Of course, it seems unlikely that Chicago will be able to keep that cast together either, so perhaps Miami can calm down their expectations a bit.
Meanwhile, the front office looks like they'll look to move Chris Bosh for parts this off-season if the Heat don't win a title. The cost of keeping the big three together long term will be difficult for Miami to bear, especially since they still play in a market with limitations in terms of how much revenue they can bring in even when things are going well.
The thinking is that if it doesn't get done this season that they might need to try something new. Granted this was also prior to the Bosh injury which may change the thinking some since if they lose they won't have done so at full strength. If they do mix it up, Chris Bosh is the most likely to go because Dwyane Wade has too much cache with fans, and you can't trade the three time MVP.
It brings up a number of interesting possibilities for Miami. Would you trade Bosh for Boozer + Asik? Would the Bulls do that? Bosh will almost certainly opt into the final years of his deal which would put him at roughly 4 years 80 million dollars remaining. I like him more than Boozer (by quite a bit) but it will be difficult for the Bulls to field a decent roster with him on the books making 20 million a year.
For that matter, does anyone really want Chris Bosh for 20 million a year? I wonder to myself whether Bosh is viewed as a bad contract at this point? He's obviously a very good player, but he's not really a franchise player while making franchise player money. I don't see Chris Bosh leading anyone anywhere as a number one, and with the new salary cap rules performance per dollar because the most important metric.
Is Chris's performance per dollar good enough?
Interesting stuff overall.