Mario Chalmers was taken in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft, and he has only played for the Miami Heat. After a rocky first two years, Chalmers has been the starting point guard for the entirety of the last three seasons for the Miami Heat.
Now, after a very rough 2014 NBA Playoffs, the Heat selected Shabazz Napier from UConn, much to the approval of LeBron James and Ray Allen. Norris Cole is still under contract, so does this mean the end for Chalmers?
Rio is a free agent, and can do what he pleases. After making $4 million last year, Chalmers may be able to demand a higher salary from another team. And why not? He's been an asset to a championship team, and he knows his role. Chalmers could possibly demand $6 million/year from a team that needs his services, and he may deserve it.
Miami doesn't necessarily have the cap space to give Chalmers that type of money, especially now with Napier in tow, and they will need any extra money to bring in additional reinforcements for the hopeful return of LeBron, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
But when you look at the starting point guards in the NBA, it's unlikely that many teams would be willing to give Chalmers the keys to the team: Jeff Teague (ATL), Rajon Rondo (BOS), Deron Williams (BKN), Kemba Walker (CHA), Derrick Rose (CHI), Kyrie Irving (CLE), Raymond Felton (DAL), Ty Lawson (DEN), Brandon Jennings (DET), Steph Curry (GSW), Jeremy Linn (HOU), George Hill (IND), Chris Paul (LAC), Steve Nash (LAL), Mike Conley (MEM), Brandon Knight (MIL), Ricky Rubio (MIN), Austin Rivers (NOP), Jose Calderon (NYK), Russell Westbrook (OKC), Jameer Nelson (ORL), Michael Carter-Williams (PHI), Goran Dragic (PHX), Damian Lillard (POR), Isaiah Thomas (SAC), Tony Parker (SAS), Kyle Lowry (TOR), Trey Burke (UTA), John Wall (WAS).
You see some locations in there were Chalmers could be utilized, but not many as an upgrade. So maybe it is possible that Chalmers comes back to Miami, for a more reasonable contract, but I find it unlikely. It's not like the break up was ugly, but Chalmers disappearance in the Finals was not pretty (although he wasn't the only one).
Norris Cole shouldn't get too comfortable either. It could very likely be that the Heat are still looking for a starting point guard, and Napier is the backup in this plan. Cole didn't have a stellar NBA Finals, but he did play very well in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
Chalmers has been a good fit in Miami. He spent his first three years trading the starting spot with Carlos Arroyo, and Mike Bibby. But the last three seasons he has been the mainstay at the point. Chalmers has had big games, fit in well, and taken verbal abuse from the Big 3. But, sadly, it does seem likely his time in Miami has come to an end.
Either way, it looks like there will be plenty of changes in Miami, and Mario Chalmers may just be the first one to go.