When superstar forward LeBron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, many NBA fans began to doubt the future of the Miami Heat organization. However, since the departure of King James, the organization has begun to “heat up” despite what many thought would be a lost franchise in the years to come.
Acquiring notable free agents to rebuild around superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Miami Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra have put together a quality combination of players for the Heat to compete in the competitive Southeast division.
As of now, the Heat have three spots on the roster to fill with free agents. With a minimum salary cap left to fill these spots, Riley and Spoelstra must target notable veteran players who are still capable of providing consistent production on the court but taking minimum salaries.
Free agents who could help the Miami Heat include Shawn Marion, Francisco Garcia, MarShon Brooks, Greg Oden and Andray Blatche.
Shawn Marion, by far, would be the best option. Although he’s 36, Marion can still provide quality, consistent minutes and offensive production on the court throughout the season. Not to mention, he is long and defends well, which could cause problems for opposing players on offense. Despite only averaging 10 points and nearly seven rebounds a game for the Dallas Mavericks last year, he would be a perfect fit for the Heat. His ability to score, defend and crash the boards would essentially make him a great X-factor for the Heat in tough game situations.
Acquiring Josh McRoberts was a great move made by Riley and Spoelstra. However, if they can obtain Andray Blatche, it would bring a stronger presence in the post, something the Heat have lacked the last four years. With McRoberts, Andersen, Haslem and Bosh, bringing in Blatche would be an excellent option. Averaging 11 points and five rebounds per game for the Brooklyn Nets, Blatche is a great scorer inside the paint and within the mid range area. Thus, if the Heat can snag him from free agency, there would a good mix in terms of offensive production in the post and a presence on defense.
Francisco Garcia would not be a bad option, but his minimal production of nearly six points a game for the Houston Rockets last season is not great. The team needs consistent players who can add to the team. Thus, Garcia would definitely fit with the team. However, I am not sure he would bring much to the organization.
On the other hand, MarShon Brooks does not have eye-popping stats but he is truly athletic. Drafted in the 2010 draft, Brooks has not lived up to the hype, bouncing around to three different teams since joining the NBA. However, he does have potential, shooting nearly 58 percent from three point range with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. With Ray Allen leaning towards joining James in Cleveland, Brooks could be an asset for three point shooting off the bench for the Heat.
Let’s face it, Greg Oden will never be the same from his days with the Portland Trailblazers. However, he has not shown a drastic improvement since joining the Heat, at least not in regular season games. With Miami’s latest additions in the post area, not having Oden will not hurt them in the upcoming season. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if Riley and Spoelstra resign him, offering him another chance to prove himself in the NBA.
All in all, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have done an excellent job of keeping the Miami Heat a playoff contender in the Eastern division. If they can bring anyone of these players to the team, along with the other additions, this will only further help the Heat.