Should the Miami Heat bring back Mario Chalmers?

Nov 3, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers (15) dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers (15) dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Mario Chalmers is still sitting available on the free agent market, should the Miami Heat contemplate a reunion?

Pat Riley, Micky Arison and the Miami Heat could solve some issues with one move. That move is bringing back fan favorite Mario Chalmers.

Although he was not to anyone a star player or a player to build a team around, Miami fans found it hard to fathom how life would be without the man who wore no. 6 before LeBron James came to Miami.

After months of rumors or the franchise looking to avoid paying luxury taxes, the Heat were finally able to unload Chalmers, mostly because Tyler Johnson had emerged as a capable replacement at a much cheaper cost. (Boy how the tables have turned now on that.)

Chalmers was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies, along with forward James Ennis, for the services of guard Beno Udrih and forward Jarnell Stokes. The Heat saved roughly $6 million in tax payments with the move.

The move symbolized the moving away from the “HeatLifer” and “Heat Family” trend the Heat had tried to push after James left Miami to return to Cleveland. The move was actually the second biggest roster move to save money, behind the Mike Miller amnesty after the 2012-2013 NBA season.

This movement away from those trends really hit the fan this off-season, as anyone not living under a rock knows that Dwyane Wade has moved on from Miami and looks to start a new chapter in Chicago.

With Wade gone and the Heat searching for a veteran to help fill out the roster, Chalmers again makes sense for the Heat to bring back and help the Heat move into the next era of their history, this one being the post Wade era.

Chalmers was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2008 draft before being traded to the Heat for two second round picks. He quickly cemented himself into the hearts of Heat fans with his play and amusing confidence.

Chalmers, instead of second overall pick Michael Beasley, was the rookie that made the biggest impact for the Heat in the 2008-2009 NBA season. He started all 82 games for the Heat, averaging 10 points and 4.9 assists per game.

Over the next couple of seasons, Chalmers lost his starting job, but not his confidence. This was despite him being turned into the Heat punching bag during the Big 3 era in Miami.

By far the most memorable game in the Mario Chalmers era in Miami had to be when he stepped up to play the role only he knew he was capable of.

On June 20th, 2012, LeBron James missed the final minutes of Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to leg cramps. Instead of the other two of the big three stepping up, it was rather Chalmers that saved the day for the Heat that day.

On 9-of-14 shooting, Chalmers scored 25 points, including 13 in the crucial fourth quarter to help the Heat squeak by the Thunder, win the game and take a three to one lead in the NBA Finals. If not for this game, the series would have been evened at two a piece, with the Thunder in position to re-steal homecourt advantage before heading home for the last two games of the Finals.

That finals performance cemented Chalmers as a fan favorite in Miami and that’s why his return to Miami in an off-season where the fans saw Dwyane Wade bolt could prove crucial.

Though Chalmers ruptured Achilles could keep him out to begin the season, he could prove to be a capable addition to the roster as the season wears on.

Chalmers would be a good backup point guard for Goran Dragic and would serve as a good mentor to Josh Richardson, who shares similarities to an early-day Chalmers as a combo guard that defends well.

While Wayne Ellington is a good shooter, he is a one-dimensional player, the type coach Erik Spoelstra tires of when they cannot contribute anything outside of shooting threes. That’s where Chalmers’ ability to create offense and even get to the hoop could come in handy.

Kevin Pelton of ESPN ranked the top 10 remaining free agents left this off-season, with Mario Chalmers checking in at eighth. This is what he said about the former Heat point guard:

"A healthy Chalmers probably would have been one of the top free agents at point guard after averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 assists per 36 minutes last season, both career highs. Alas, Chalmers’ campaign ended prematurely when he ruptured his Achilles in early March, and recovery will likely keep him out for the start of 2016-17.Market: Chalmers might be better off waiting to see which teams need point guards at midseason. I do like the idea of the Heat bringing him back to Miami on a deal with a non-guaranteed second season. The Heat still have their $2.9 million room exception to use."

Bringing Chalmers back on a two-year deal with a non-guaranteed second season seems like an excellent idea. If Chalmers can prove himself to be a healthy and productive player, he could easily score a decent contract next off-season.

more: On Dwyane Wade's increasing inefficiency

The Heat would once again continue their theme of not adding salary on their burden for next year, when they would be able to pursue another promising free agent class that could get them back on track ASAP.

A Mario Chalmers-to-Miami Heat reunion makes a ton of sense and is something the Heat should really consider with the point guard still sitting on the open market.