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Why Miami Heat Aren't the Blueprint for Building an NBA Dynasty

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 21:  Dwyane Wade #3, LeBron James #6 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat look on during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena on November 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Eric EdelmanCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2013

When LeBron James made the biggest decision of his life during the Summer of 2010 on national television, it was a bizarre moment for sports fans.

Half reality show, half breaking sports news, never before had we seen such a marquee player willingly put such incredible spotlight on himself to make "official" what is normally done in the confines of a team's facility. 

No, he didn't sign any papers live on air while famously proclaiming, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach," but his word was ultimately his bond. 

Aside from deciding to simply join the Heat, LeBron and his two new teammates, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, collective made another surprising decision—they all took pay cuts. 

Although they were all free agents that could've feasibly commanded max contracts from whomever wanted to court them, they chose smaller contracts in exchange for the opportunity to dominate the league.

However, it would be a bit naive to think they were all doing this out of the kindness. Money was also on their minds.

For example, although LeBron's contract wasn't numerically as big as it could've been when he signed with Miami, he was still going to get a similarly large payday thanks to some tax savviness on his part .

The Miami Heat themselves are an anomaly—a team featuring three super-close superstars and a beautiful location that also happens to be a tax haven.

A maneuver that bordered on collusion in the minds of some detractors, we may never see such a team assembled again, especially after the most recent financial cap restrictions post-2011 lockout. 

So with all this being said, why aren't the Miami Heat a blueprint for a dynasty?

Well, as the NBA finance gurus among us have been quick to point out, Miami's method for the future is extremely risky.

At this point, is it possible to convince two superstars and a fringe superstar to yet again take pay cuts to stay under the cap and avoid hefty league-enforced penalties?

Well, therein lies the crux of the problem—will greed supercede winning?

While it may not be an issue for this close-knit group, it may be hard to replicate such success via free agency ever again.

As the financial restrictions become more stringent, so too will front offices when they have to adapt to new rules in order to avoid punitive taxes for exceeding the cap too many times. 

When you look at San Antonio and Oklahoma City, those are teams that might emerge unscathed down the road.

Both of these western squads—although not short on firepower—were collectively built from signing castaways or adding talent via the draft.

Oklahoma City knows about the burden of cap space all too well—they had to move James Harden due to contractual conflicts.

Although Miami's Big Three and company have gotten away with taking cuts and other financial shrewdness, who knows if such a blueprint will continue to work for anyone else in 2014 and beyond. 

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