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How a geek would build the Miami Heat roster

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The Win Share approach to win 54 games next season.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat have about $100 million to build a 50-win team next season, or $2 million per win. Basketball Reference’s Win Share(WS) measure gives a totally mechanical formula how much each player should be paid, per their contribution towards wins.

Hassan Whiteside 9.5 WS $19M

Goran Dragic 7.5 WS $15M

Tyler Johnson 5.8 WS $12M

James Johnson 5.1 WS $10M

Willie Reed 3.6 WS $7M

Wayne Ellington 3.3 WS $7M

Rodney McGruder 2.9 WS $6M

Josh Richardson 2.2 WS $5M

Luke Babbitt 1.8 WS $4M

Dion Waiters 1.6 WS $3M

Okaro White 0.6 WS $1M

Josh McRoberts 0.3 WS $1M

Udonis Haslem 0.2 WS $1M

Justise Winslow 0.0 WS $0M

TOTAL 45 wins $91M

The WS numbers above point to last season’s starters as Whiteside, Dragic, T. Johnson, J. Johnson, Ellington, i.e. Hassan surrounded by 4 marksman and tough defense by Whiteside and the brothers Johnson. In real life, that unconventional lineup would not fly, but stirs the pot for a lively debate in the Heat community.

The WS total from last year should have produced 45 wins, which isn’t far away from the actual 41 wins in 2015-16. To reach a 50 win target, an additional 5 win shares need to be added, either by increased productivity from the current players, or getting outside help via draft, free-agency or trade.

Billy Beane’s moneyball team never won a pennant by using his analytical approach. Neither will 50 win shares on paper guarantee post-season success. Otherwise Cleveland would have bought a championship last season, just based on the money they spent.

Rounding up to an optimistic average of 3.6 WS per player gives the Miami Heat 54 wins. Over the next few weeks, Heat management will reveal to Heat fans what changes are in store for the upcoming season. Adding superior WS players to close the gap with the top dogs is the geek’s option.

Few people agree on the best moves to reach the NBA Finals: that’s what makes the following the NBA season fascinating.


Bookies place Miami in the playoffs next season, but not winning 50 games with the current lineup. Lowly Philadelphia 76ers jumped ahead of Miami after the draft.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers 4/1
  2. Boston Celtics 12/1
  3. Washington Wizards 60/1
  4. Milwaukee Bucks 75/1
  5. Philadelphia 76ers 75/1
  6. Miami Heat 125/1
  7. Toronto Raptors 125/1
  8. Indiana Pacers 200/1