Friday, May 23, 2008

NBA Offseason Preview - Miami Heat

Miami Heat
2008-2009 Payroll (Source: $53.4M

Draft Picks: #2, #52

In what could only be described as a profound disappointment, the Heat begin the Erik Spoelstra regime with a shred of optimism, knowing that it’s likely Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion may be playing meaningful basketball games next season. What’s better? If you said “anything compared to the 2007-2008 campaign”, then few will disagree with you. Though the Heat were considered to be aging and beyond their best, no one tagged them for a 15-win basketball team.

That said, the Heat shed two hefty salaries in the form of Jason Williams ($8.9M) and Ricky “9th rebound off of my own glass” Davis ($6.8M). At the same time, the Heat require a long-term replacement for Alonzo Mourning.

Burning Questions: Set at the 2 and 3 positions, both Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley would be amazing additions to the team. In the end, it comes down to what the Bulls do. Also, what will the Heat do with their bevy of guards (Marcus Banks, Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook) not named DWade who are also under contract?

One last burning question. If Spoelstra is successful, when will Pat Riley hijack the team? Cheap shot.

Perceived Needs: PG, PF, C, Toughness

If I Were GM … It’s a no-lose situation with drafting second. Though drafting second, the Heat are likely to get their man in Rose. Also, with a combination of Wade, Marion and whomever is selected, it’s a situation that can lure a veteran guard for less than market value. With the #52 pick overall, the Heat are best served to trade out of that spot or select a project big who can provide depth in 2-3 years. Depending on the draft board, I would also consider trading into the early portion of the second round by sending multiple 2009 second-round picks (Miami currently owns three) to select either a power forward or a center (e.g. Kosta Koufos, Nathan Jawai, Nikola Pekovic, Joey Dorsey, DJ White, DeVon Hardin).

Additionally, I would do my best to cleanse the squad of superfluous guards and add to a very thin (in both talent and depth) frontcourt.

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