Does Dwyane Wade’s future depend on LeBron?

The short answer is…maybe.

Have you noticed how all of this LeBron-to-the-Knicks talk has died down as the Cavs put up the best record in the NBA this season? That’s because Cleveland is a favorite to make the Finals, and with the way the Lakers are struggling against the Rockets out West, the Cavs are looking more and more like an NBA champion. If they do manage to win a title this year (or next), it will be very difficult for LeBron to jump ship without looking like a total a-hole. So he won’t. If he wins a ring, he’ll stay in Cleveland.

So the Knicks will have to look elsewhere for their superstar — enter Dwyane Wade. As Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel writes, the Big Apple would be an attractive destination for Wade.

The Knicks have the money. They have the allure. They have coach Mike D’Antoni’s fun style. They can tell Wade he would revive Knicks basketball and get the kind of spotlight only New York offers such stars. Who wouldn’t be tempted by all that?

So Hyde advocates that instead of waiting for 2010 and trying to add a star big man like Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire while at the same time re-signing Wade, the Heat should go ahead and trade Michael Beasley to Toronto for Bosh this summer.

So there’s the Armageddon scenario for the Heat: It advances only slightly next year, misses on Bosh, has the Knicks singing a siren song to Wade … and loses him.

If you’re Riley, do you risk that? All for Beasley, who, much as I like him, posed as many questions as answers this season? Even Wade, who measures his words, allowed as to how Beasley frustrated him at times with the immaturity.

The best way to sign Wade this summer is to offer concrete evidence he can win big here. That means landing his friend, Bosh. They were Olympians together. They share the same agent. They respect each other greatly.

That’s why the smartest move to make is trading the salary-matching pair of Beasley and Mark Blount to Toronto for Bosh.

It’s an attractive scenario to wait until 2010 and add Bosh to a lineup that includes Wade and Beasley. But there’s a good chance that Bosh could sign with Cleveland or that the Knicks could come in and steal both Bosh and Wade away from the Heat. Why risk a future with Wade for the promise of Beasley? While it sounds a little crazy to trade a young player with a ton of upside for a guy you might be able to sign outright the next summer, it’s risk versus reward. A Wade/Bosh combo would guarantee the Heat would compete in the East for the next five years. Throw in the steady Udonis Haslem, a more mature Mario Chalmers and a small forward to be named later, and Heat would have a nice lineup. But the biggest reason the Heat should acquire Bosh is that it will almost guarantee that Wade re-ups as well.

Now the question is — will the Raptors go for it?

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