1. What is your favorite Chalmers memory?
David Ramil: His performance in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals. This was definitely the high point of his time here and was a great moment on the national stage.
Azam Masood: 25 points in game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals. The easy pick, but I won't lie to myself and pick something else for the sake of being different. The fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder publicly announced that they would have Kevin Durant guard Chalmers, rather than his usual assignment LeBron James, and Chalmers proceeded to do THAT to them remains the highlight of his solid career. Honorable mention to his Game 5 performance as well: 10 points, 7 assists. Nothing fancy, but a part of my all-time favorite Heat box score ever. Everyone in the rotation played awesome that night.
Surya Fernandez: Without a doubt his 2012 NBA Finals performance in Game 4 , showing again how he would step up and raise his game when it mattered the most.
Brandon Di Perno: Alaska's Sexiest Man as voted by People, had an amazing game against the Thunder in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals where he scored 25 points and looked unstoppable. I remember sitting with my friends at the sports bar in awe of how well he was playing, for me that will always be my favorite Chalmers moment, and thanks to the web you can still see how well he played.
Matt Pineda: The night he actually was the best player on the court. Chalmers scored 34 points on 10 made three-pointers. And his teammates loved it!
Binoj Jacob: I don't have a favorite memory but I have a favorite trait of Mario and that's how he carried himself with confidence on the court regardless of the mistakes he made. This dude got yelled at by Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James constantly.
Think about it, he got yelled at so much, the President of the United States even joked about it. Yet 'Rio never folded under the pressure of being criticized. He constantly carried himself with confidence in his abilities.
Diego Quezada: My favorite Chalmers memory was his clutch layup in the final minute of Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals. Many people will think of LeBron James returning to the game after suffering from cramps and sinking a 3 first, but Chalmers' shot was just as important. It put the Heat up 101-96 with 44 seconds remaining, helping seal a victory that gave Miami a 3-1 series lead.
2. How will he be remembered in Miami?
Azam: The minute he was traded, all the negativity seemed to vanish. We'll remember a point guard who was demoted a few games into his sophomore season, but eventually worked his way back into becoming a starter on two title teams. He ended up being a perfect fit for the core Miami established with his spot-up shooting.
Diego: Chalmers will be remembered as a player who — although at times frustrating to Heat players and fans — managed to come up big in the clutch. Heat fans will remember the many times a member of the Big Three yelled at Chlamers for blowing a defensive assignment. But think about all the players the Heat brought in to seemingly replace the former second-round pick all throughout his career — Carlos Arroyo, Mike Bibby, Rafer Alston, Norris Cole. Chalmers managed to stick with the Heat longer than all of them.
Matt: I think he will be remembered as the point guard that Wade, James and Bosh yelled at. Sadly, that's the most memorable thing about him in the spotlight. But from the inside, the organization and true fans, he will be remembered as "Good Chalmers, Bad Chalmers." A knucklehead, but our knucklehead.
David: Negatively, I'm sorry to say. Fans have come to associate him as a bad player but he was far from that - he was a very good player that made really bad mistakes.
Surya: I think he will get a warm welcome when he returns to play at the AmericanAirlines Arena with the Grizzlies. Fans might not like him as much after the games because he will definitely play with a chip on his shoulder here and he can be dangerous in that mindset. Yes, he would frustrate at times but overall he was a solid teammate/locker room guy and that also counts.
Binoj: As a serviceable starting point guard on two NBA championship teams, and as a double edge sword for Heat fans. One play he makes a clutch three, followed up by some dumb foul that had Heat fans shaking their head. Love Hate relationship would be the word.
Brandon: Chalmers was a solid point guard, a punchline and meme at times, and from what I've seen (from how players remember him, and how he stayed behind to look over Gerald Green) an amazing teammate. I predict he will always be remembered as Heat Lifer, and an integral part of two championships.
3. Seven years, two championships...does his jersey get retired some day?
David: No. A long tenure shouldn't automatically mean getting his jersey retired and the numbers don't support him.
Brandon: It's tough to say, Chalmers was a great part of the Miami Heat, but the way his role was shifted (Norris Cole becoming the starter) once LeBron left kind of left the impression that he was expendable. Obviously he has the strong respect of his teammates, but he has not left the legacy of a Tim Hardaway, an Alonzo Mourning, or even a Shaquille O'Neal. With that I do not think his jersey is retired.
Azam: Leaning no on this one. As much praise as he rightfully deserves, you either have to be a star who spent a good portion of your career here, or a Udonis-level hero with on and off-the-court intangibles. Not a knock on Mario in the least, but Haslem will probably be the only exception to the "star" rule.
Binoj: No, those two championships happened not because of Rio. He just happened to be a cheap fit alongside the expensive parts of the Big 3. Sure he had his moments in the Finals against the Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, but the body of work overall isn't enough to hang up with there with Heat greats.
Diego: No, Chalmers won't get his jersey retired. His inconsistency and role player status don't merit him getting that award. Plus he doesn't have the ties to Miami that Udonis Haslem has that would override those other considerations.
Surya: No. There have been so many fan favorites and great players that have worn the Heat jersey and look at who has had their jersey retired so far. Miami will surely retire Wade, Haslem and Bosh's numbers and that might be it for this era of the franchise.
Matt: That's hard to say, especially since he wore two jerseys (#6 and #15). But I do not think it does. With the impending numbers of Wade and Haslem, and probably Chris Bosh, I don't think Rio meets the criteria.
4. Ultimately, was Mario's tenure viewed as a success or a failure?
Brandon: While of course Mario had his quirks, at the end of the day he was a serviceable point guard that strongly contributed to two championships, it's hard to think of that as anything, but a success.
Binoj: Success because in the moments he was needed, he came through and delivered in both Finals, and had big shots throughout the years.
Surya: It's not like he was primarily a bench player that sometimes had his moments with the team like he did after Goran Dragic arrived, he had a big role to play during the Big 3 era as a starter.
Azam: Oh an unequivocal success. He was a 2nd round pick Miami traded for on draft day. It was great value at the time and his future deals were at fair market value. He provided spot-up shooting, would frequently be in the upper echelon of steals per game, and had his moments as an attacker off the dribble as well. Up until Hassan Whiteside and Tyler, I'd argue Miami hadn't found a better value contributor than ‘Rio.
Diego: Rio's tenure was a success. Any player who was a second-round pick and manages to stick around the NBA this long should be proud of all the other people who can't say that. Chalmers isn't a star, but neither are a lot of NBA players. He is an inconsistent role player, but definitely an NBA-level talent who has made many timely contributions to NBA championship teams.
Matt: I think it was a success. He was a second round pick, who Miami was able to keep on a medium salary and became a starting point guard on multiple championships. What did you expect? All-Star appearances? His time was a success here in Miami.
David: I think it was a complete success. A 2nd-round pick wound up being an on-and-off starter for over seven years - that's incredible value for a draft pick. He was also an essential part of some star-laden teams and did the things he was supposed very well.
5. What was the main reason for the Heat to make this trade?
Diego: This trade was mostly about money. Yes, the Heat committed to Goran Dragic over the summer — the early results on that contract are not looking great, but it's no time to panic — and Tyler Johnson has proven to stand as a respectable player. But this trade saves the Heat $5.9 million in luxury tax payments.
Surya: I think Pat Riley was pretty clear in his remarks after the trade that it was about the financial side of it as well as the confidence in giving a larger role to the younger players who have a bright future (and play with more affordable contracts).
Azam: I think it's that Tyler Johnson looks ready. He has talked a lot about working on improving his decision-making and seeing the floor better, which is another way of saying he was preparing to play more point guard. I think Tyler might still be more of a two guard, but the team has so many ball-handlers and creators it's kind of irrelevant. To a much lesser extent, Miami wanting to keep Beno Udrih is refreshing as well. Beyond being a fellow Slovenian who has a relationship with Dragic, Udrih has quietly been a Dirk-level midrange shooter for most of his career. I don't know how much he'll play, but he can contribute in a pinch. He had a 20-7-7 game for Memphis a few months ago in the postseason.
David: Only money. There was no other reason for it, in my opinion.
Matt: They won't say it, but it was the money. Yes, Tyler Johnson made him expendable, and the reason they traded him was to save money. Because...they simply could have benched him and played Johnson. But they decided to trade him for smaller salary Beno Udrih which shows, it was a money saving move.
Brandon: This trade will be viewed as one made to avoid paying the luxury tax once again. Nothing more.
Binoj: He had a place before the Dragic deal. Once he came, the writing was on the wall that 'Rio would be expendable. Then add Tyler Johnson's burst onto the scene last season, along with his affordable contract, and it was just a matter of time before Miami and Rio would part ways.
6. Did Chalmers have a place on this team or did you think he had to move on?
Matt: I think he had a place on the team, but we can all see the emergence of Tyler Johnson was making him expendable.
Azam: I still think he had a place on the team, especially defensively. I actually was a bit surprised how well his defensive metrics have rated this season. He has long had a reputation for getting steals, but being a poor man defender which might prove to be inaccurate. However, his long range shooting, which we hoped was a fluke last season, looked more and more like it might be the new norm. It's a small sample, but the past season and change, his percentages have been substandard to put it mildly.
Tyler quietly might be one of the best spot-up three point shooters on the roster, which still amazes me because he's known primarily as a slashing athlete and was initially cut for Andre Dawkins, a sharpshooter. So "had to move on?" No. I think those two could've continued to coexist in some fashion, but it is what it is. I look forward to seeing how ‘Rio looks in Memphis. Going small with Mike Conley, Chalmers, and Tony Allen can be absolute havoc if Memphis finds itself energized after the trade.
Brandon: Chalmers definitely had a place on this team, after a forgettable 2014-1015 campaign he seemed to be comfortable in the new system and was playing well. I guess the only silver lining I can find with this trade is that Tyler Johnson will now find more minutes to develop, and for the Miami Heat it's important that they begin to focus on their future talent.
Surya: As a combo guard with extensive postseason experience and for added depth (you never know after what happened last season), I think he had a place on this team. However, if Udrih (who comes cheaper) can come in and do some spot duty while Johnson and Josh Richardson continue to improve with a larger role than the team might be better off.
Diego: Chalmers could've had a place on this team as a combo backup guard. But the emergence of Johnson made Chalmers expendable. Johnson isn't a veteran who would require the paycheck of someone like Chalmers, who has amassed several years of NBA experience and would demand a higher paycheck. He could've had a role, but it wouldn't have been a big one.
David: There's always a place on a team for a guy who knows the team's culture, was willing to do the work, could provide occasional scoring and knew how to run the offense.