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Will Joel Anthony trade set the stage for other changes?

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The Joel Anthony era is over but other changes might be in store for Miami as it gears up for the long grind of a championship pursuit.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this afternoon, Yahoo!Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that long-time Miami Heat fixture Joel Anthony was part of a three team trade sending Anthony and draft picks to the Boston Celtics, Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors and point guard Toney Douglas to Miami.

The trade has numerous impacts, varying in degrees of severity and could lead to potential short- and long-term ramifications as the season (and off-season) play out. Here's a quick run-down:

Hello, Toney Douglas

Douglas, the Warrior's backup point guard, is averaging 3.7 points per game in limited action over 24 games this season. He has spent time with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Golden State over an underwhelming 4-year career. He has started a total of 30 games over that span, but played backup minutes in 270 games, averaging 19 minutes per game and just over 8 PPG in that time. He seems a good character guy, capable of playing some solid defense and showing some long-range proficiency (at just under 36% in 950 3-point attempts). A career-high of 30 points (in 2010 game against Chicago, Tampa-native Douglas can provide backup minutes for Norris Cole and Roger Mason, Jr. while Mario Chalmers continues to nurse tendinitis in his Achilles Heel.

Goodbye, Toney Douglas

But will the Heat keep Douglas? With Chalmers progressing, Norris Cole playing adequately (if not spectacularly) as a starter and shootist Mason, Jr. already in place, Douglas seems like an unnecessary piece to the championship puzzle, much like Anthony before him. Some pundits think this might be part of needed roster shake-up, and Douglas (with a significantly less salary cap impact than The Warden) could be waived to acquire another player. With Andrew Bynum's name being the most prominent one being tossed about, it's a possibility that Bynum could be added to this year's roster as Oden continues to work his way back from career-threatening injuries. The pursuit of Bynum and his potential impact (both positive and negative) have been debated over the last few weeks. Check out some previous HHH posts to read more on the subject.

All About the Big Three

With the trading of Anthony's contract, the Miami Heat will reportedly save about $11.5 million in salary and luxury tax impact, a significant amount. With the second-biggest off-season in Heat history looming larger this summer, Heat President Pat Riley made a necessary (if somewhat painful) move to free up cap space. Riley has always looked at a bigger picture when it comes to roster improvements. While he's never made a change just for change's sake, you can bet there are some other moves in the works. They may not play out entirely until this summer but, if the Heat faithful has learned anything, its that In Riles We Trust.