Dwayne Wade has had his last dance so now what do the Heat, Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley do to stay relevant and come back into playoff contention?
Goran Dragic has picked up his player option for next season and we are still waiting to see what Hassan Whiteside will do (likely sign his player option for $27 million if he had any brains).
But what does this mean for the Heat? Well for one, they go into free agency with the 2nd highest payroll, meaning most of their team is coming back (bar Dwayne Wade) and they start free agency already very heavily over the Cap (even if Whiteside doesn’t pick up his player option).
So with Ryan Anderson on $21 million, James Johnson on $15 million, Dion Waiters on $12 million, what can the Heat do in free agency: Realistically not too much.
Let’s pretend that the Heat have a little bit of money or use their mid-level exception for this free agency class, what do they need?
They need someone that can lead the team (a very low cost version of Dwayne Wade), someone that can score, put up clutch buckets in the fourth and more scoring consistency.
In an ideal world they have the cap space to go after the likes of a player who can space the floor, create their own shot and is an efficient scorer like Tobias Harris and Bojan Bogdanovic BUT both of which are much too expensive. So here are three free agents who could help Miami in the offseason and are players that Miami might be able to afford…
Hood had a great playoff run for the Blazers, especially in the Denver series. He is a solid perimeter shooter and can space the floor. He hasn’t been able to replicate his above average Utah days but may be able to finally hit that mark if given more minutes and a higher volume of shots on a team that struggles with consistent shooting.
Hood is a double digit scorer and could come off the bench for the Heat to provide a spark on offence.
If you want someone clutch down the stretch, who isn’t too much money and can spark offence, look no further than Jamal Crawford.
Crawford is way past his prime, and at 38 he likely retires before the season starts. But he could be a good bench scoring option for the Heat.
Remember just last season he had a 51 point game…
The former all-star has had a terrible run since he left Boston.
He went from 29 points per game and five assists to 15 points per game in limited minutes playing for the Lakers and Cleveland and then 8 points per game in the handful of games he played in Denver, before being pushed out of the rotation.
Since his injury (or rather injuries) he just hasn’t looked the same. Each team that signs him does so with the hope that he will return to his former glory and be a consistent and significant contributor for their team…but that is yet to happen.
Thomas was a high volume scorer and was deadly in the fourth. Miami can get him for very cheap and in reality he is the meaning of low risk, high reward.
I love this move for the Heat and Thomas. If anyone can unlock the Isaiah Thomas of old it would be Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley!