9 Players the Miami Heat gave up on way too early

Miami Heat Justise Winslow (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat Justise Winslow (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Miami Heat, Justise Winslow
Miami Heat Justise Winslow (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

8. Justise Winslow, traded in 2020

I don’t think any Miami Heat fans would argue or push back much with the idea that Justise Winslow has been one of the most polarizing players in team history in the last 10 years. When he was drafted No. 10 overall in 2015, many thought this franchise had just landed another hall-of-fame talent. However, that’s not exactly how his tenure with the Heat panned out.

While he did have his moments in Miami, he was, overall, somewhat of a disappointment. He fell short of expectations with the team. Whether that blame falls on Winslow or Miami, one thing is clear – with how great this franchise has been with player development over the last decade or so, I can’t help but wonder if the approach with Winslow is a bit different.

Instead of being thrown into the fire, which he was during his rookie season, how much different would’ve his tenure been with the team if he spent more time in the team’s developmental system (or a bit more in the background, at least initially)?

That’s neither here nor there, but a thought. Even when the Heat decided to trade him, when he was healthy he was productive. The fact that the Heat traded him at 24 still seems pretty premature to me. There were probably other factors at play here that went into that decision but, in a vacuum, there’s no question that the Heat may have given up on Winslow a little too soon. Especially with how many times the Heat has excelled with reclamation projects.