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Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Seven

Miami Heat Position Preview: Small Forward

Let’s take a look at the Heat’s small forward position entering training camp.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Here’s the next installment of our look at the Miami Heat roster in our position-by-position preview. We will take a look at each position and see what we can expect as the season gets closer.

Here, we are looking at the most vacated position on the roster, small forward.

The Starter: Jimmy Butler
Status: Confirmed

Jimmy Butler is the unrivaled and unquestioned leader of the Miami Heat. He may distribute a lot of responsibilities to his teammates, but he is the leader. And he proved that in the postseason. The Heat are at their best when Jimmy is at his best. Look no further than Boston Game 6.

ESPN ranked Butler the 17th best player in the NBA heading into this season. Butler is climbing the ranks in Heat history for most important pieces of the franchise.

When it comes to this roster, it appears that Miami is looking to move Caleb Martin to the power forward position with the departure of PJ Tucker — leaving Butler as the only true small forward on the roster (possibly). Others will fill in behind him, like Strus, Duncan, maybe even Highsmith, but we are listing them at other positions initially — silly I know, with Spo’s positionless way of playing.

Making upwards of $37 million at age 33 heading into the season, the Heat should be hoping to get their best Jimmy Butler yet.

The Reserves: None
There’s no one currently behind him in the depth chart, although the pieces will move around. Darius Days is there as a two-way option, but that’s not someone you need cracking the rotation. Is it possible the Heat go big and move Bam to the 4?

Strengths of The Position

Elite Talent. Jimmy is a great defender and a superior scoring talent. There aren’t many teams that have two-way players lining up across him as good.

Weaknesses of the position

Depth. Behind Jimmy are some good players, but none that are true small forwards that aren’t a liability on one end of the floor. We don’t want to see Butler overused because that will mean more likely he finds himself hurt.



What grade would you give the Heat SF position compared to the rest of the NBA?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (53 votes)
  • 36%
    (45 votes)
  • 17%
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
123 votes total Vote Now

I think the Heat are putting themselves in a tough spot because one injury to Butler is going to be very costly to their rotation and depth. The lack of front-court help is concerning, but we haven’t seen the rotation, yet.

Heat lose in embarrassing fashion to Nets 129-100, fall back to 7th seed

NBA GAMETHREAD: Brooklyn Nets (39-34) @ Miami Heat (40-34)


Entering the homestretch: A look at the Miami Heat’s final eight games