With the disappointment of the 2014 NBA Finals fresh on their mind, the Miami Heat must now focus their attention on a busy offseason, which includes the possibility of the “Big Three” separating. To go even further, Norris Cole is the only player as of now who has a set contract for next year and Shane Battier is retiring. The rest of the Heat roster are free agents without contracts at the moment, which means there is a possibility they could end up playing for another NBA team next year.
There are many questions that need to be answered in South Beach. However, it is certain that regardless if all or some of the “Big Three” remain in Miami, the Heat lack a solid point guard, an additional scorer at shooting guard and a dominant big man in the interior.
Mario Chalmers simply did not get the job done in this year’s NBA Finals, averaging less than double digits in points in all five games. While many viewed him as a clutch performer from his Kansas days, Chalmers probably won’t return to Miami.
Since establishing the “Big Three”, Miami has struggled to find a true big man. Chris Andersen is more of a shot blocker and rebounder, while Chris Bosh is mainly used for his offensive production. He has the ability to crash the boards, but he often struggles at doing so consistently. Many thought Greg Oden would be the “answer” to this issue. However, so far, he has not been able to do so.
With the 26th pick in the first round and 55th pick in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft, Miami will miss out on the opportunity to draft the very best players. Nevertheless, there will still be quality players in the late first round who could bring talent and immediate help to a Miami Heat team desperately in need of it in some areas.
Having observed multiple draft boards, looking over patterns and focusing on the needs of the team, the Miami Heat will select Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier as the 26th overall pick in the draft. Proving himself as a winner with the Huskies, winning two national championships in his four year career, he has the ability to help the Heat right away.
Although undersized for a NBA point guard at 6-1, he is a stout defender, great scorer and rebounds the ball exceptionally well despite his size. Not to mention, he averaged nearly 19 points per game in the season and scored 21 points per game throughout the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Thus, Napier has proved that he can be a leader as well as a major asset for a NBA team such as the Miami Heat.
Sure enough, the Miami Heat could use another scorer on offense. However, with only one pick in the second round, drafting a big man is more important in my opinion. With the 55th pick in the second round, the Heat will select Khem Birch out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The 6-foot-9 power forward is undersized, but has a wingspan of 7-1 and the ability to rebound consistently and block shots.
With the possibility of Chris Andersen opting out of his contract and the uncertainty of Udonis Haslem, Birch could bring a fresh set of legs and active hands to the Heat on defense. On offense, he averaged nearly 12 points per game, not an eye-popping stat. However, he can continue to develop his offensive game in the league and become stronger and more effective on the defensive side of the ball for the Heat.
Make sure to watch the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 from Madison Square Garden in New York City.