Miami has 13 players - barring a trade that should totally happen - under guaranteed contract entering training camp later this month. Those players are:
- Joel Anthony
- Marcus Banks
- Michael Beasley
- Mark Blount
- Mario Chalmers
- Daequan Cook
- Yakhouba Diawara
- Udonis Haslem
- James Jones
- Jamaal Magloire
- Shawn Marion
- Dwyane Wade
- Dorell Wright
That leaves two spots available for the collection of players hanging around the outskirts of the Heat roster. Let's have a look at the fringes:
The D-League rookie of the year (interview here) is likely to get a training-camp invite from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Miami is apparently not interested despite his solid 12-game cameo last year. PREDICTION: Makes the team in Minny.
Doesn't need an introduction. He says he wants to return, and I'm not the one to assert that he can't. PREDICTION: Joins the Heat in January, knocking Lasme down to the D-League.
Undrafted out of Louisville, this 6-11 center played for the Heat's summer league team and has a chance to make the 15-man roster. He's 3 inches taller and 2 years younger than Lasme, which could make a difference, but suffered a serious knee injury under a year ago. PREDICTION: A training-camp cut.
This 27-year-old 6-7 forward is a little old to be labeled a prospect, but has shown flashes of an NBA-level game and is the reigning D-League MVP. He averaged 7.6 points and 4 rebounds in 27 minutes per game in an 11-game audition at the end of last year, but shot just 37 percent from the field and made at least half of his field-goal attempts just three times. Has a non-guaranteed qualifying offer. PREDICTION: Not going to do much better for a 15th man. He's in.
This restricted free agent has proven to be a legitimate NBA point guard over the last two years, averaging 5.9 points, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and collecting 243 assists against 76 turnovers in 102 career games with the Heat. Still, Miami has debated signing a veteran point guard like Shaun Livingston to pair with Banks and Chalmers, the latter of whom is considered the team's point guard of the future (and possibly its present). A veteran signing would eliminate Quinn from the conversation, as the team can't afford a fourth point guard and Quinn has progressed beyond a D-League assignment. PREDICTION: Quinn returns for the qualifying offer.
A secondary star of Davidson's NCAA Tournament run this March, the 6-2 point guard is a training-camp flyer who will need an awful lot of things to fall his way to make the roster. If Quinn scores a lucrative offer elsewhere, Miami fails to find a veteran replacement and Richards has an exceptional training camp, the undrafted rookie could be the team's third point guard. But that's a lot of ifs. PREDICTION: A training-camp casualty.
Quinn is apparently holding out for something better, but it might make sense for him to go ahead and take the Miami offer and prevent the Heat from looking elsewhere. He's played well here, knows the system and has a chance to take minutes from an underwhelming veteran and an unproven rookie. His return would give the Heat three players at each position and keep me from writing posts like this one again. Powell, meanwhile, deserves a chance to stick as a high-energy reserve.