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
Miami Heat Bruce Bowen (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images) /

2. Bruce Bowen, not re-signed in 2001

During the 1996-97 season, the Miami Heat took a flier on Bruce Bowen in the way of a 10-day contract. He played one minute with the team before they didn’t sign him. But Bowen did eventually make his return to Miami during the 1999-00 season. And the Heat didn’t make the same mistake and retained him the following season.

During the 2000-01 season, Bown played 82 games for the Heat (starting 72 of them) and finished by averaging eight points and three rebounds per game. However, the Heat didn’t re-sign Bowen and that led to the start of something special for him in San Antonio.

With the Spurs, Bowen would play a special eight years in which he won three NBA Championships, was named to the All-NBA First Team Defense five times, and had his No. 12 jersey retired by the franchise.

Bowen was never a “star” player by any means but he was certainly a key part of the Spurs’ dominance during the 2000s. He was the glue guy and the epitome of the perfect role-player. And the Heat certainly just missed on that.