One point became clear in the Miami Heat’s brief post-season run: Miami has to decide on a single player to build the franchise around.
When Tim Duncan retired, the San Antonio Spurs fortunes declined to the point where they faced the same questions after their first-round elimination.
The Philadelphia 76ers began their hot streak once they gave Ben Simmons the keys to the team, even though he played all season without making a single 3-point basket. Philadelphia didn’t hire a coach to fix Simmons’ “broken” jump shot, but adapted to his unique basketball abilities for a winning combination.
Just like Dwight Howard and Kemba Walker, or Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, the Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside duo brought good, not great results.
Who should be the ONE individual Miami builds its future around: Whiteside, Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo, et al?
Golden State Warriors have a point guard who can’t defend in Stephen Curry, and the 76ers have a point guard without a jump shot in Simmons. Both teams accepted the limitations of their key players, and built a team around them, like the Spurs did for two decades with Duncan, who never did stretch the floor, but had a great bank shot.
The Heat won three championships built around a player in Dwyane Wade, who could dominate a game without an outside shot. The 76ers are doing the same with Simmons.
The trio of Miami’s highest paid players in Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Dragic can lead to confusion like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves on who is in charge, which leads to identity problems.
Waffling on the answer to this question can lead to average results. Going forward, who is the ONE player, weaknesses and all, to build the future of the Miami Heat around?