LeBron James mustered a lot of the responsibility for the Miami Heat last season, that's no secret. As Dwyane Wade missed 28 games, the team was just accustomed to playing without him as they were with him.
But as the departure of LeBron James goes, as well as him taking James Jones and possibly Ray Allen, there's a glaring need right in the middle of the Heat's rotation -- who's going to spot Wade some rest? It seems pretty likely that Ray Allen is either going to retire or join LeBron in Cleveland, and Miami is in need.
Here's a breakdown of the proposed Heat lineup:
Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Chris Bosh
Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen
Shabazz Napier, James Ennis, Justin Hamilton
A lot of people have questioned whether James Ennis has the ability to be a rotation player and can he back up Dwyane Wade. I think Ennis has a chance to get some minutes and play, but I think it would be at the expense of either Danny Granger or Udonis Haslem. See, if Granger doesn't perform, Ennis could get his minutes, and if Spoelstra wants to try to continue to play small, there are teams that floating Granger in the second unit as a power forward alongside Ennis could work.
James Ennis has a lot of great qualities. He's fast, has a good shot, and can jump with the best of them. But there's a reason he was a late second round pick and didn't make the roster last season -- he has a lot of work to do. He needs to work on the mental part of his game and his defense. He will be a valuable asset, I'm just not sold on his ability to play shooting guard in the NBA as a consistent role player. Maybe soon, but not when the season starts.
So as you can see, there is a need for a shooting guard, sans Ray Allen, to help Dwyane Wade rest in games, and even when he is out to injury or rest. So here's some options that are still on the market:
Miami could be a really good situation for him. He's been in some tough situations with the Nets, and then last year with the Lakers. With a small, limited role, he could be the young player that Riley values.
The fact that he got waived by the Knicks isn't promising for his career, but we know what he is -- a high flying dunker and defensive specialist. He can also spread the floor. He would be the type of athlete that is really exciting. He is an intriguing addition, but there has to be more to the story.
He would simply be a floor spacer. He doesn't offer much else to his game but his 3-pt shot. Is that what Miami needs? Or would they like to see some more versatility from the position?
Has clamored to play for Miami in the past, will he still do so without LeBron there? Jones has floated around a bit over his career, and again he would be a defensive specialist, but can dust off some other parts of his game. At 33, is he too old for Miami as it looks for a youth movement, and do we really want another former Indiana Pacer?
Most would pass just by reading his name. But think about how his game, in a limited role could benefit the Heat. Mid range shooter, able to get to the free throw line, pure scorer. He could offer something here.
6'4 combo guard, likely out of the Heat's price range. He's also a selfish player, so the fit doesn't seem likely. But, he can score.
He had a successful season in Philadelphia and then got waived. I'm not sure what's going on, but again he could be an intriguing add to the roster.
Young, athletic player who has had some time with the Celtics to show off his game. He doesn't do anything great, but does a lot of things well.
Training Camp Invites
Tyler Johnson, Tyler Honeycutt, Andre Dawkins, and James Nunnally all showed promise in the Summer League gams. Like I've said before here on HHH, I would be surprised if Miami didn't invite the two Tylers to training camp. Both of them are shooting guards who have skill sets that can help the Heat. It doesn't mean they will work out against bigger time pro's in the NBA, but they deserve a chance.
The other factor you have to consider here is the contracts. When Pat Riley gets to the end of his roster, he likes to have some non-guaranteed contracts to give him some flexibility moving forward, and to make those players have a drive to earn their spot on the team. Even Michael Beasley and Greg Oden were on non-guaranteed deals for the first part of the season. So will the players above take non-guaranteed deals or not?
Does Riley have plans to make a trade before the season? Many of the players can't be traded until 30 days after their contract is signed. So it seems as though there is still time to decide. NBA Free Agency seems to be on a bit of a hold, but you never know when something might happen.
Who do you want to see the Heat add to the roster to be the secondary shooting guard behind Dwyane Wade? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.