With nearly two months to go before the kickoff of the NBA regular season, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and president Pat Riley remain hard at work, finalizing the roster and acquiring quality veteran free agents to put the team in a good position to compete going into next season. Among his list of quality players includes free agent LeAndro Barbosa.
Although he is 31 years old and coming off a season filled with injuries, Barbosa still has the skills to change and impact games in a matter of minutes. Known for his quickness and his ability to get to the basket, Barbosa’s skills would fit greatly with the Miami Heat, a team that has been very lackluster at the point guard position over the last four years.
As of now, the Heat have five point guards on the roster. They include Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Johnson and Reggie Williams. However, let’s face it, Miami has not had an outstanding floor general, despite winning two NBA Championships in the last four years. With Lebron James in the starting lineup, the point guard position was really overlooked as he often played the role of the floor general while Chalmers and Cole were overlooked.
Nevertheless, the dynamic of the team has changed now. It will be important for this team to have a solid point guard to help assist Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the other players like Luol Deng in terms of offensive production and on-the-floor leadership.
Resigning Mario Chalmers was a good decision made by Spoelstra and Riley as he is the most familiar with Miami’s offensive system and how it is ran. However, he is inconsistent in terms of scoring at times and his ability to make good decisions on the floor is sometimes questionable. Thus, turning to Norris Cole, who has gained some quality experience with the team but it is more of an off-the-bench guard. In regard to Napier, he is a rookie who has a lot of potential to be a good NBA point guard but he is still adjusting to the NBA level and finding his personal niche on the team. With Tyler Johnson and Reggie Williams as new additions to the team, look for them to bring extra added depth at the position. Through 11 Summer League games, Johnson averaged 12 points per game, an average of 55 percent shooting from the field and 47 percent from beyond the arc. Thus, Johnson has potential on the team. As for Williams, I do not think he will stand out as much between the other four point guards in terms of contributing to the team.
If the Heat are able to acquire Barbosa, it would really help the team tremendously. Not only can he contribute on offense, he would be a huge asset in terms of veteran leadership. He has the ability to get his teammates involved in the game as well as make plays for himself. His penetration and attacking the basket opens up many opportunities for Wade, Deng, Bosh and other players on the floor. If Riley and Spoelstra can get Barbosa, look for him to add a different dimension to the Miami Heat that has never been seen before, at least not within the “Big Three” era.