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NBA Market Watch: Miami Heat
by: Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations
May 14, 2007
One of the most surprising developments of this NBA season has been the regression of the Miami Heat. Hampered by injuries, the team has struggled to find continuity in its personnel. With both Dwyane Wade and Shaquille Oíneal missing significant time, it shouldnít come as a surprise that the team hasnít looked like the reigning NBA Champions. While things havenít been easy for the Heat, the franchise still has reason to be optimistic. Jason Kapono emerged as one of the leagueís premier shooters, and Wade took his game to a new level in the absence of Shaq. Miami will be able to take a step back this offseason and regroup, but General Manager Randy Pfund will have some tough personnel decisions to make while his stars get healthy.

Record/ Overview:

39-34, 2nd place Southeast Division, 6th seed Eastern Conference


(Salary Cap projections were created taking the average increase over the past 5 seasons)


Injuries are a tough reality to face for any franchise, especially when they are expected to contend for an NBA Championship. Shaquille OíNeal missed 39 games, while Wade missed 6 weeks starting in late March until nearly the beginning of the playoffs. With both players missing so many games, Randy Pfund and Pat Riley have gotten the opportunity to evaluate the rest of their roster and probably have already decided how they are going to attack the offseason. The team will be looking to fill quite a few roster spots, so it should be an extremely active offseason for the franchise. Miami is definitely a Championship caliber team, but they will have to wait till next season to put everything together.

Current Assets:

Miami does not have a ton of young talent, but they do have a few players that they could deal to balance their roster. It would not be a big surprise to see Miami return most of their roster next season, but the team will need an influx of youth sometime in the near future to make up for the decline in Shaqís ability

Expiring Contracts:

The Heat will have a lot of salary coming off the books this offseason, but it wonít be enough to get them under the cap. Contracts from the likes of Daniel Horton, Robert Hite, Vincent Grier, Derek Anderson and Mike Gansey will all expire, ridding Miami of a lot of the deals they tenured to players for the sole purpose of filling their roster.

Miami will have seven players with contracts expiring at the end of the season, and they may have a hard time retaining the players that will be hitting the market. James Posey has been one of the Heatís better players since he arrived two years ago, but he may be inclined to go elsewhere after the drama that followed him regarding his weight and off the court escapade. Miami doesnít have his Bird rights, so they wonít be able to offer him much given the salaries they will be paying next season. Similarly, Gary Payton and Eddie Jones will likely choose between returning for the veteranís minimum and retirement because Miami doesnít have either of their full Bird rights.

Jason Kapono has emerged as a capable scorer and possibly the best pure shooter in the entire league, but he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Unfortunately for the Heat, he may have played his way out of their price range. They will probably offer him the largest deal amongst their free agents, but his return is far from a sure thing. Earl Barron and Chris Quinn may be retained for the sake of keeping some of the roster in tact. Neither player is expensive enough to deter the Heat from giving them another shot.

Total Cost: $13,406,573

Rotation Players:

Miami does not have a very deep rotation when you take their free agents into account. This will be a critical offseason for Randy Pfund, Chet Cameron, Adam Simon and Pat Riley, as they will be charged with rebuilding Miamiís rotation. Shaquille OíNealís contract limits his teamís cap flexibility, but his ability to recruit players has more than compensated for that in the past. OíNealís contract runs through 2010, expiring when he will be 38 years old. While his production has slowly declined, he is still one of the best centers in the NBA. There is no reason to think he will stop playing until he feels that his team doesnít have a shot at winning a Championship. Dwyane Wadeís contract also expires in 2010, with a player option for another season in 2011. He will break the bank with his next contract, and the fact that OíNealís deal expires at the same time is no coincidence. When his extension kicks in next season, he should continue to mark his presence as a perennial MVP candidate.

Antoine Walker will also be in a Heat jersey for the foreseeable future, and could become a major bargaining piece when his contract expires. His cap number could be an enticing asset for teams looking to get better through free agency. Udonis Haslemís contract is a bit too big for this seasonís production, but he is consistent, plays good defense, and does the little things Pat Riley asks for. He will likely receive a slightly smaller deal from the Heat when he expires, unless he regains some of the form he showed in the NBA Finals a year ago for example.

Both Jason Williams and Alonzo Mourning come off the books at the end of next season, leaving the Heat with the cap space to make a final run at the NBA Finals before Shaq retires. Mourning may be contemplating retirement at that point, but would return if he felt he could win another title. Williams will likely be around through the end of his deal, but could be expendable if the Heat can acquire another quality point guard.

Total Cost: $47,889,942

Prospects:

The Heat donít have much in the way of young talent, but they do have a few promising players. Wayne Simien and Dorell Wright have both shown the ability to be contributors in spurts, but neither has been very consistent. Both players will see their minutes grow next season with the departure of a portion of their rotation. Simien has suffered from recurring bouts of Salmonella disease and therefore wasnít able t do anything this year. HE will need to get healthy and show some promise if he wants to see his option picked up. He is fundamentally sound, but he hasnít been able to transition his game to the NBA level, while the recent setback obviously hasnít helped. Wright, on the other hand, has finally started to come around after making the jump to the NBA out of high school. It would be surprising to see the Wright not retained when he becomes a restricted free agent. He doesnít have the savvy or defensive skills that Pat Riley requires in a wing player, but is long and extremely athletic and has shown some very promising skills when given the opportunity to play extended minutes this season.

Total Cost: $2,037,060

Free Agency:

Miami will be over the cap for the next few seasons, and will likely use their Mid-Level Exception to resign players on their own roster. The Heat will probably look to sign a handful of undrafted free agents to fill out their roster, as they typically like to do in order to further evaluate prospects in training camp and find the player they like best. If Jason Kapono is not retained, the team could target someone like Matt Carrol in free agency to fill the roll of shooting specialist. Dermarr Johnson will also be available, and could come at a bargain price for what he is capable of bringing to the table. P.J. Brown and Austin Croshere could also be good role players in the Miami system. Regardless of who the Heat decide to resign, they will be tendering a number of minimum contracts to veterans and rookies alike.

Draft:

The Miami Heat will have only one selection in this yearís draft, their first rounder. The Heat could look to add another young swingman to potentially replace James Posey, or a center to groom behind Shaquille OíNeal. If the Heat choose to take a swingman, Brandon Rush, Nick Young, or Rudy Fernandez could make good selections for varying reasons, mainly perimeter shooting and athleticism. If the team decides to go big, Josh McRoberts or Jason Smith could both be worth taking a chance on as a compliment for Shaq in the high post. Miami will probably look to acquire an additional pick to help in filling out their roster. Either way, they will probably look to invite a lot of players for private workouts to gauge who they will be able to acquire as a free agent after the draft. It will be intriguing to see how Miami attacks this offseason considering their needs have more to do with numbers than it does to do with position or talent level.
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to matt.kamalsky@draftexpress.com .

 

Dwyane Wade
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 212 lbs.
Birthday: 01/17/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Richards
Previous Team: Marquette , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 2003 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
19.0 Pts, 4.5 Rebs, 4.7 Asts


Jason Kapono
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 02/02/1981
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Artesia
Previous Team: UCLA , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 2003 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: SF,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
7.8 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 2.1 Asts


Pat Riley
Full Profile
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthday: 03/20/1945
69 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Linton
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 1967 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G


Daniel Horton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 198 lbs.
Birthday: 04/21/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cedar Hill
Previous Team: Michigan , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
3.4 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Robert Hite
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 01/02/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Winton Woods
Previous Team: Miami FL , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
7.2 Pts, 3.2 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Vincent Grier
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 207 lbs.
Birthday: 03/16/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bonner Academy
Previous Team: Minnesota , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
16.4 Pts, 8.1 Rebs, 6.8 Asts


Derek Anderson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 188 lbs.
Birthday: 07/18/1974
40 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Doss
Previous Team: Kentucky , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #13 in 1997 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
5.0 Pts, 1.9 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


Mike Gansey
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthday: 12/21/1982
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Olmsted Falls
Previous Team: West Virginia , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
6.1 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


James Posey
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Birthday: 01/13/1977
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: R.B. Chamberlain
Previous Team: Xavier , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #18 in 1999 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Gary Payton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 07/23/1968
45 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Skyline
Previous Team: Oregon State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1990 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
5.3 Pts, 1.9 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Eddie Jones
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 10/20/1971
42 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Ely
Previous Team: Temple , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #10 in 1994 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
3.7 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Earl Barron
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 08/14/1981
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Clarksdale
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Chris Quinn
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 09/27/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Dublin Coffman
Previous Team: Valencia , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
1.5 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Antoine Walker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 08/12/1976
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mount Carmel
Previous Team: Kentucky , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #6 in 1996 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
9.5 Pts, 4.9 Rebs, 2.3 Asts


Udonis Haslem
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Birthday: 06/09/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Miami Senior
Previous Team: Florida , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: PF,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
3.8 Pts, 3.8 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Jason Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 11/18/1975
38 Years Old
Teams:
High School: DuPont
Previous Team: Marshall , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 1998 Draft
by the Kings
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 1.4 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Alonzo Mourning
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 249 lbs.
Birthday: 02/08/1970
44 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Indian River
Previous Team: Georgetown , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1992 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 3.7 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Wayne Simien
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 256 lbs.
Birthday: 03/11/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Leavenworth
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #29 in 2005 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
16.8 Pts, 8.2 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Dorell Wright
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 12/02/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: South Kent
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #19 in 2004 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
7.3 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Dermarr Johnson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 201 lbs.
Birthday: 05/05/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Maine Central Institute
Previous Team: Cincinnati , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #6 in 2000 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
7.8 Pts, 3.1 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Austin Croshere
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 05/01/1975
39 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Crossroads
Previous Team: Providence , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 1997 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
3.3 Pts, 2.2 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Brandon Rush
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 211 lbs.
Birthday: 07/08/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mount Zion
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #13 in 2008 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 1.2 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Nick Young
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 206 lbs.
Birthday: 06/03/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cleveland
Previous Team: USC , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 2007 Draft
by the Wizards
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
17.9 Pts, 2.6 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Josh McRoberts
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 03/01/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Carmel
Previous Team: Duke , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #7 in 2007 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
8.5 Pts, 4.8 Rebs, 4.3 Asts


Jason Smith
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 233 lbs.
Birthday: 03/04/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Platte Valley
Previous Team: Colorado State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #20 in 2007 Draft
by the Heat
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
9.7 Pts, 5.8 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


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