Heat Offseason

The San Antonio Spurs were supposed to be the older team during the playoffs but it turns out the Miami Heat were a much older team and they looked slow in the finals. The Heat need to revamp their roster if they want to win more titles.  

LeBron James could shock the world again and walk away from the Heat. He is the best player in the world so he has a few options. The Bulls, Rockets are the two teams that come to mind that could add LeBron. There are other teams with the cap room like the Suns and Hawks but I don’t really see LeBron going to either team. I don’t see LeBron going back to Cleveland this time around. 

The Bulls are a solid team and LeBron could get them over the hump. I just don’t see why LeBron would leave a banged up D-Wade to play with a really banged up D.Rose. At least Wade has played over the last two seasons. Rose is coming off another surgery and if he doesn’t play LeBron will have to carry the load again. He would have some good big men to protect the paint so he wouldn’t have to guard other centers or power forwards. Noah is a good playmaking big man and Jimmy Butler could go out and guard the other team’s best player on most nights. Thibs defensive scheme is not as chaotic so he won’t be blitzing on defense. Again this is a solid team but if LeBron opts in for next season he could see if Derrick Rose is healthy and then make a decision. 

The Rockets are in the running for LeBron and Melo. I don’t think LeBron will fit with them either. Howard clogs the paint for LeBron and we all want LeBron in the paint. The team plays small ball but they are not very good on defense. Harden is not as efficient as Wade, takes bad 3 pointers, dribbles in place and is terrible on defense. Just like the Bulls they offer a big man who can protect the paint. I don’t see LeBron joining a team that does not execute well in close games. 

The Heat needs young, quality role players. The Beasley and Oden experiment didn’t work so I don’t see either one of them being back. If Ray Allen wants to return for one more season I don’t know if you sit down and have that conversation. He’s still a threat from long range but his defense is bad and you hold your breath whenever he dribbles the ball. Shane is done, Birdman wants to test his options, James Jones should be done, and Rashard Lewis was okay in the last two series against the Pacers and Spurs. Udonis Haslem will most likely be asked to take less money on his option. 

Mario Chalmers stock went all the way down after the finals but I’m not sure if Norris Cole is ready to be a full time starter. It still might be time to move away from Mario. I believe the big 3 will opt in for next season. Wade gets another pay check, while Bosh and LeBron survey if they want to stay in Miami or move elsewhere. If Wade can’t stay healthy for a deep playoff run, Bosh and LeBron might want to test their other options. 

Miami will have to hope players will take less money for a chance to win a championship. I don’t know who they are targeting in free agency but I will throw out some names anyway. At point guard I like Greivis Vasquez; his numbers are similar to Mario Chalmers so I wouldn’t call it an upgrade. Even if Ray Allen doesn’t retire the Heat need a two-guard that can step in and start if Wade has to miss games, they should target Rodney Stuckey. I know he’s not a great shooter but neither is Wade. Stuckey has been stuck in a terrible situation with the Pistons and I think a new team will help him. Stuckey can learn from the Heat organization. There are some other wing players they should target. Marvin Williams, C.J. Miles, Jordan Hamilton and even Anthony Tolliver. Each player can stretch the floor and they have good size. The Heat should also target Josh McRoberts or Kris Humphries at the power forward position. I would have mentioned Patrick Patterson but he’s a restricted free agent. At center there are not many options but they took a chance on Oden so why not take a chance with Emeka Okafor. He didn’t play last season but he was in Phoenix getting treatment from that great training staff. 

I know these don’t look like great players but they are role players for a limited time. They are younger than Battier and crew from last season. The Heat will still be a force in the Eastern Conference, LeBron can get you deep into the playoffs but he needs his role players to step up if they want to win the championship. The big 3 opt in this year; restructure their contracts the following year as the Heat pursues Marc Gasol in free agency.