Miami Heat Roundtable: The staff takes it back to the start

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Dwayne Wade
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Dwayne Wade /
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MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 22: Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 22, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 22: Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 22, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

So if you had to pick, who is your favorite current player and why?

Tachauer: So obviously, Wade will always be my number one. But I think that’s a given. So should be my next answer: Goran Dragic. The speed with which he runs the offense is incredible, and I love how well he’s been able to develop his playmaking abilities over the last few years too. Plus the way he finishes at the rim? Ooh wee.

Johnson: I’d probably have to pick Dion Waiters. I was hooked when he took the stage (read: court) with Meek Mill at Syracuse’s Midnight Madness in 2011. Otherwise, a close second would be a tie between Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk. Whiteside for his blocks/lobs and Olynyk for how much I thought I’d hate seeing him on the Heat. Now I’m hoping he wins Most Improved or Sixth Man of the Year during his career.

Rahming: If you had asked me this question a year ago, I would’ve told you hands down Whiteside. Living in Philadelphia has taught me what a franchise big man is supposed to be. Sure, no one gets to play all the minutes they want in the playoffs (unless you’re James), but when you do get on the court you’ve gotta get out there and strut your stuff; show the fans what they came to see. This summer, I’d like to move my favorite player marker to Waiters. This guy is a true winner. He wants to come in, fight hard on both ends of the court, take and make the last shot. He is The Culture. A few years ago, Waiters was on my ”NBA Players I hate the most” list along with James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but now he’s one of my favorite players in the league. Would you look at that…

Keaton: Probably a toss up between Josh and Justise. I like versatile players more than anything, and those guys fit the bill pretty well. If I had to choose between the two, I’d love to see Josh make “the leap.”

Eyrich: While Wade is my favorite player, it’s time for the younger players to get theirs. Josh has to be my favorite player to watch develop right now. He just plays the game the way it should be. With so much talent on the offensive end, you’ll never see him sleep on the defensive side of the ball. There’s so much upside to his game and he is already a great learner/leader. He could be the future of the franchise.

Nurse: If we cannot count Wade because of free agency, I would have to go with Richardson. His offensive game has continued to grow after an injury setback and he has the grit to go out and compete on the defensive end, regardless of who he is guarding. James Johnson would be a close second.

Ebrahim: Bam. 100%. I used to want it to be Tyler Johnson, because of how much he hustles and fits the exact Heat culture, but ever since that cap number is next to his name, there’s much bigger expectations on him that he hasn’t lived up to. With Bam, just watching him training with Rasheed Wallace and then seeing a bit of the role he took on at Summer League… I’m just so excited to see him expand his game. Whether that be in the midrange or with more ball-handling, he’s a guy I can see myself buying a jersey of in the future.

Ramos: I don’t really have a definitive favorite player but if I had to pick I’d go with Dragic. He’s just fun to watch when he’s in the zone. I think he’s everything you look for in a starting point guard. He can score in a variety of ways, set up teammates, and is a great leader on an off the floor.

Shofner: I see something special in Adebayo. I’ve been a fan of his since he was drafted No. 14 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft and see a lot of potential in him. I think once the Heat end the rollercoaster ride that is the Whiteside debacle, we will be able to witness how truly special this young man’s talent can be. My only hope is that he doesn’t need to become a casualty in a deal that he must be included in for the Miami to rid themselves of Whiteside.

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