Miami Heat fans would be forgiven for fearing the worst concerning the futures of their three best players at the end of this season, with recent reports claiming that LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh could all leave the franchise.
However the Heat’s president Pat Riley - who is credited with having brought the three superstars together in the first place - believes that the trio will remain playing together for the foreseeable future, even though they can all choose to opt out of their contracts and join the unrestricted free agency market.
"We feel we have the best organization in the league for those players to stay, and to also attract others to want to come here,” Riley told U.S sources.
"With our three guys, we hope that this turns into a generational team. And that it's not just we're at the end of this four-year run right now because players have some options this summer."
Of course Riley’s optimism isn’t misplaced. The Heat are well on course to make the playoffs this season, and they’re vying for their third Championship win in a row.
This is no small part down to the convergence of the aforementioned triumvirate of Bosh, Wayde and King James. Riley also acknowledges their influence, but insisted that the successful combination was one that the Heat had envisaged as early as 2006.
“"They got exactly what they wanted," said the Hall of Fame coach, who has nine NBA championship rings to his name.
"Look at where they were before and look at what's happened to them. They joined forces, they all sacrificed money, sacrificed roles. What they got out of it was back-to-back championships, and the opportunity this year to win another one.
"It would be very hard for me to think anybody would walk away from the possibility of making this a long-term happening that can go for 10 or 12 years. But you never know. You just don't know."