Even as so many of us continue to question whether anyone in the East can really capitalize on the defending champs' frailties, TNT's Charles Barkley continues to trumpet the need for an in-season trade in Miami similar to the deal Houston struck way back in 1994-95, when the Rockets concluded that they didn't have enough to repeat and unexpectedly swooped up Clyde Drexler at the deadline.
Those Rockets, with Phi Slama Jama college teammates Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon reunited, indeed took off after the trade and won it all as a No. 6 seed out West. But that remains one of the few instances, along with Detroit's acquisition of Rasheed Wallace in 2004, in which a prominent addition as late as February was followed by a championship in June.
The Heat, by all accounts, just aren't open to that sort of shake-up. No matter how much chatter there is about its lack of size, rebounding woes and defensive slippage, from The Chuckster or otherwise, sources plugged into the league's personnel grapevine say that Miami isn't prepared to part with Chris Bosh, not only in a bow to that daunting history, but because it's not exactly comfortable from a player-relations perspective to break up a star trio that famously plotted its move to South Beach in unison in the summer of 2010.
Said one rival exec with some interest in Bosh: "I think they are committed to him."