The Miami Heat may not have had the most active offseason, but the NBA champs approached the summer cool and calculated. Now it’s our turn to grade those moves.
The team moved up in the NBA draft to acquire the rights to James Ennis, the wing player out of Long Beach State, kept two key contributors Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers as well as two reserves James Jones and Rashard Lewis, used its amnesty provision on Mike Miller and then added Greg Oden.
The core of the roster remains in tact while the bench will look slightly different, but for a team looking to win a third-straight title, every move counts.
Drafting James Ennis
Without a pick in this year’s draft, the Heat traded a future second-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks to take acquire the rights to Ennis, an athletic, 6-7 guard/forward that competed well during summer league.
Ennis will likely play overseas next season, which means he would not take up a roster spot and will be able to develop. Ennis is an investment, as other wing players on the Heat — including Shane Battier and Ray Allen — are set to become free agents after the season.
The Heat risk little by acquiring Ennis and could get a solid contributor in return.
Holding onto Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Rashard Lewis and James Jones
The only thing better than holding onto Allen and Chalmers for its three-peat campaign would be holding onto LeBron and Wade for a four-peat campaign.
Allen and Chalmers are key contributors. Without either of them, the Heat’s chances of repeating takes a significant shot.
As for Lewis and Jones, they remain discounts that make for a deep bench. Both will have bigger roles on a team that does not include Mike Miller…
Using the amnesty on Mike Miller
This was a tough pill to swallow for Heat fans. But given the circumstances of the NBA luxury tax, it was considered necessary. Miller’s locker room persona and postseason heroics will be missed but, hopefully for the Heat, not too much.
I give the move a ‘C’ because no one would have been disappointed if the Heat bit the bullet in favor of its three-peat campaign. But I don’t give it an ‘F’ because of the realities of the league.
Signing Greg Oden
This could be an A+ in the future. Or, if he ends up like Eddy Curry, a significantly lower grade. But the truth is, this was a lower-risk, high-reward move. Oden has battled back from injury to return to the NBA, and all reports of his recovery seem positive.
He won’t likely make a huge impact during the regular season but will contribute a few minutes. His value comes in the playoffs against Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah. It’s no secret the Heat needed a body to battle those two. Hopefully this body does the trick.
One more move
The Heat have another open roster spot and will make one more move to add a veteran player before the season begins. It will likely be someone who can shoot and help space the floor. Who that is determines the grade.
The Heat missed out on Mo Williams but have been interested in Sebastian Telfair. That could be a good move.