Mario Chalmers looked spry working out in this recent I'm Possible Training instagram post:
If he is as quick as he looks in the training session, Chalmers could have a big bounce-back season this year. The Heat may luck out by not trading him away for peanuts.
Born Almario Chalmers in Alaska, he's simply goes by Mario. The Heat first assigned him jersey number #6, but he ceded it to LeBron James and went to the #15 he wore at Kansas. He shares similarities with Shabazz Napier because both were NCAA Finals MOPs and acquired in draft day deals. Chalmers was originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who then traded him to the Heat for two future draft picks and cash (a favorite Pat Riley technique).
Throughout his collegiate career Chalmers was never a volume scorer at 12 PPG, but he excelled in the defensive end with school records in steals for a season. He also averaged four assists per game and continued that trend with the Heat, averaging a career 3.8 APG, including this one to James Ennis last season:
Chalmer's reputation for boneheaded decisions preceded his first season in Miami when he was excused along with Michael Beasley and Darrell Arthur from the NBA's rookie transition program after they were caught violating league rules. Perhaps not always doing the wise thing seems to be part of his DNA.
Despite being tried as a combo guard, Chalmers career NBA 8.9 PPG scoring average does not qualify him as a shooting guard. Part of his struggles last season was being miscast as one, because his real strengths lie in being a disruptive force on the defensive end and dishing out timely timely assists. His 2.5 AST/TO ratio shows he is careful with the ball most of the time. The biggest misconception about Chalmers is expecting him to be a Dwyane Wade clone, because Mario simply isn't a gifted mid-range scorer.
Chalmers is a career 36% 3-point shooter, with the biggest shot coming during his Jayhawks' days against Derrick Rose's Memphis team in the 2008 NCAA Championship Finals, when, shades of Ray Allen, Chalmers tied the game with this dramatic basket with only seconds left on the clock:
Chalmers is now entering the phase of his career where mastery and guile are his calling cards. The instagram post above shows he is determined to improve his game skills. Looking at his career stats, they reveal he is not a shooting guard, but a good ball handler who could regain his sweet 3 point-stroke (statistics show 28 is the peak age for 3-point shooters), while remaining a ball thief and handling pressure easily.
Now that the LeBron James withdrawal symptoms are over, Chalmers may find his bearings once again with his new teammates. Having an entire training camp together with Hassan Whiteside, post-powerhouse Amar'e Stoudemire, shooting guard Gerald Green, a healthy Josh McRoberts, and newcomers Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson could give Super Mario the support to do what he does best: make steals, dish out assists and hit clutch 3-pointers.