The Miami Heat had just about the most to lose from the NBA lockout. Having one of the highest revenue teams in the NBA, Heat owner Mickey Arison avoids losing a sizable sum of money. More importantly to Heat fans, though, is the fact that Arison's trio of superstars will not be robbed a year of their prime due to the lockout.
As long as Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play on the same team, that team will be one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals every season for the foreseeable future.
But even if the lockout was resolved without canceling the season, it was not a sure thing that the Big Three partnership could survive a new collective bargaining agreement. At one point, NBA owners were hoping to impose such a strict salary cap and luxury tax that the Heat may have been forced to trade one of the Big Three in order to pay for the rest of the team.
That outcome did not come to pass, and the Heat got lucky on another front as well: the midlevel exemption. Under the new...