Wade and Bosh to Miami: Where the Heat should go from here

Two-thirds of the top 3 free agents in the biggest free agency class in history have agreed to play in Miami. Bosh and Wade will be on South Beach with Lebron's future still in doubt, but with the growing sense that The King will resign with Cleveland. Lets take a look at what the Heat should do from here under a "With Lebron" scenario and a "Without Lebron" scenario. Since the actual salary cap won't be announced until later tonight, we'll just assume that the cap will be set at around $54.4 million. We'll also assume that Wade and Bosh are making the maximum although they've said they would take less money. This will let us examine the money scenario from the worst-case for Miami.

With Lebron: The Heat will have to do some tinkering to get Lebron to Miami, but there are a few teams who would probably be willing to take on Beasley. Those teams would most likely be the Timberwolves, Kings, or Clippers. They would also probably ask for one of Miami's future draft picks which would be a small price to pay for Lebron coming into town. So lets assume that Beasley is out of the picture and traded away. This leaves Lebron signing with the Heat at the max $16.5 million. So, we have Wade, Bosh, Lebron, and Chalmers under contract for the Heat. If the cap is around $54.4 million then the heat have about $485,000 left over to build the rest of the team. They have 3 2nd round picks in Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnardo, and Da'Sean Butler. They can sign all of these players for the rookie minimum which would be closer to $450,000 per player.
In addition, they would have to spend their veteran minimum on any veteran looking to contend for a title. A guy like Juwan Howard would make sense or, wait for it...Shaq. I know, the Shaq thing didn't work with King James last year, but bringing Shaq off the bench would be a good way to change the pace for Miami. Shaq is also a very capable defender in the sense that he is a body that makes it imposing for any player to drive the lane or for a bigger body like Dwight Howard. The Heat could also go after Randy Foye in a backup role at PG although he is a true SG. Foye only averaged 1.3 turnovers in the 24 minutes he averaged last season with the Wizards. What about Allen Iverson? Veteran minimum for a guy who can score and play a multitude of different roles. Shaq and Iverson, on top of Bosh and Wade, how many tickets would that sell? Wow. I also hear that Quentin Richardson will probably resign and the Heat will retain Joel Anthony as well. If that happens, they will have filled significant holes with a very respectable roster that will compete for many years to come.
So, lets recap who the Heat could have in the "With Lebron" scenario:
Starters: Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, and Brad Miller
Bench: Juwan Howard (or Shaq), Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da'Sean Butler, Randy Foye, Quentin Richardson, and Joel Anthony
This roster gives them an amazing core. With Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, the Heat will have solid role players who can give them decent minutes with some decent contribution. Lets be honest, at the end of the day, if you have Lebron, Wade, and Bosh there isnt much else you need. This is a championship contending team. No question.

Without Lebron: As the roster stands now, Bosh and Wade are the cornerstones with Beasley and Chalmers rounding out the last 2. This leaves the Heat with about $12 million left in cap room. The Heat could go after a true center with this money. The only player that really fits that mold right now is Brendan Haywood. He made $6 million last year, and he didn't have a great post season last year. I'd expect the Heat to give him close to that amount. Lets say the Heat get generous and they know that Haywood is a double-double threat who is a big body and is good for a couple blocks a game as well as being in his prime, and they give him $7 million. That leaves the Heat with $5 million to spend under the cap.

They could split this $5 million among a few other free agents to upgrade their backup point guard spot, shooting guard spot, or power forward. Roger Mason would be a good fit here at $2.5 million. He is a scorer who can give a spark off the bench. In San Antonio he even got to run the point guard spot for a bit of time. I think that Mason would be a refreshing player off the bench when it is time for Dwade to sit or if they wanted to move Wade to the 1 when Chalmers went out, Mason would fit right in at the 2. Another player that would be Will Bynum to compete with Chalmers for the point guard spot. He is a scoring point guard who has shown that he can distribute as well. He would be a nice piece for the Heat.

The Heat will sign the 3 rookies Varnardo, Pittman, and Butler. They will also pursue a couple veteran free agents who will play for the minimum (as explained above), and then hope to re-sign Quentin Richardson and Joel Anthony. It is also worth noting that the Heat don't need a big name point guard because I still think they believe in Chalmers. I think that with Bosh in the low post, Chalmers will be able to distribute the ball a lot more and get more open shots. He should flourish in this new team.

Here is how the team looks under the "Without Lebron" scenario: starters: Chalmers, Wade, Bosh, Beasley and Joel Anthony
Bench: Will Bynum, Roger Mason, Beasley, Varnardo, Pittman, Butler, Quentin Richardson, and Allen Iverson (just for fun) with another veteran minimum.

Neither scenario looks too bad. Both are significant upgrades.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

nothing would make happier than for them to get Shaq and AI. they are cancerous and the miami-thrice could effectively call their careers OVER (like any first round draft pick of the clippers).