In the beginning of the season, I predicted the Miami Heat to be a competitor in the Eastern Conference. I even said they have a decent shot at becoming Eastern Conference Champions. With Beno Udrih’s foot sidelining him for the rest of the season and Chris Bosh’s blood clot, there is a growing concern.
Udrih was brought in as complimentary to starter Goran Dragic. Third stringer Tyler Johnson is also out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Last year Chris Bosh was sidelined with blood clots discovered in his lungs. Bosh also missed time this season with a strained calf. It looks like he’ll be sidelined longer with another blood clot issue.
It is unfortunate and sad to see this happen to any player in the league, especially twice with an All-Star in Bosh
So the question now remains. Who steps up for the Heat?
Let’s start with Udrih and Johnson’s replacements. Goran Dragic is the only point guard on the roster and he can’t play all 48 minutes over 20 remaining games and playoffs. From the looks of it, Dwyane Wade could also play point guard to give Dragic some rest. But having a 34-year-old shooting guard with recent injury history is not ideal for a backup. They also have rookie Josh Richardson, who had a couple stints in the D-League.
For a replacement for Bosh, I’m looking at veterans Amar’e Stoudemire, Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem. Stoudemire isn’t the same as his days in Phoenix and somewhat during his Knick days (sigh), but he can still provide decent minutes as a post up player.
McRoberts missed most of December and January with injury, but has recently started playing again but is looking to take the next step in his game. Dwyane Wade recently mentioned guys like McRoberts needs to do more. From Michael Wallace of ESPN.
“We’re going to need him to score the basketball some,” Wade said. “He’s an unbelievable playmaker, but we also need him to be aggressive.”
Haslem, 35, has played sparingly this season (only 27 games, no starts). He might not be the first option for this team but the 12-year veteran is a leader might looking at some extended playing time for the rest of the year.
Can Miami bring someone in via Free Agency?
After trading away Chris Andersen, Jarnell Stokes and Brian Roberts at the trade deadline, the Heat currently have 13 players on their roster, the new league minimum. With two open roster spots they can play around with a few 10-day contracts to see who can help out their team in the playoffs. Here are a few ideas I have that can work. Reminder, these are my personal opinions so nothing has been reported on the following players.
1. Tony Wroten
The former first-round pick was one of the few bright spots in Philadelphia for the past couple of seasons before being waived in the Ish Smith trade. Wroten played eight games in the beginning of the season (starting 3) and averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists. In the previous season, he averaged 16.9 points and 13.0 prior to that.
Tony Wroten can score the ball and that is what Miami lacks in their second unit.
2. Michael Beasley
We all remember Beasley, right? He was the former #2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft behind Derrick Rose. He has had three, yes three, different stints down in Miami and #4 could possibly happen.
Beasley’s career in the NBA has not been what most people expected out of the former Kansas State star. He has played for three different teams in the NBA and has multiple off the court issues.
But their is one positive for Beasley. For the past two seasons, he has been a beast in China. In two separate seasons he has averaged 28.6 points and 31.9 respectively and has been named the CBA All-Star in both seasons and winning MVP honors both times.
This wouldn’t be a bad scenario for the Heat. They can sign him to a veterans minimum for the remainder of the year once his CBA contract has expired.
3. Quinn Cook
The former NCAA Champion went undrafted in the 2015 draft. He latched on to Cleveland in the preseason before getting cut the day before the regular reason began. He currently is playing for the Canton Charge in the NBA D-League averaging 19.1 points a game.
He is a good offensive player with championship experience. Plus he played with current teammate Justise Winslow so they have good team chemistry
Other potential players:
4. Tu Holloway, PG Texas Legends (D-League). Averages 20.1 points and 6.0 assists.
5. Nate Robinson, PG, last played for the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this season.
6. Cory Jefferson, F/C Bakersfield Jam (D-League). Averages 19.4 points 12.4 rebounds. Last played for the Phoenix Suns.
7. Pierre Jackson, PG. He was waived earlier this season by the 76ers.
8. Toure’ Murray, PG/SG Texas Legends (D-League). Currently averages 12.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. He also has two years experience in the NBA.
9. Tyrus Thomas, PF. Has bounced around from the NBA, D-League and now overseas.
10. Tim Frazier, PG. He was recently waived by Portland in the Brian Roberts deal. He was NBA D-League Rookie of the Year and D-League MVP.
These guys might not be ideal, but if Miami wants to have depth come playoff time, they should consider the guys. Either way, they have 13 players on the roster so they can add two.
It will be interesting to see where Miami goes. I wouldn’t be worried about the regular season but come playoff time, without Bosh or any PG depth, I would be concerned.