With free agency starting Friday (6pm ET), the Miami Heat don’t have many tools to improve the team. Because they are over the cap, the Heat will be limited to signing players on veteran minimum contracts.
When deciding on which players to prioritize, Miami should look to help Bam Adebayo, whether its someone who can run on the break, space the floor or be a friend. Here are some players Miami should look at.
There could be a world where Miami can get Christian Wood at the minimum. The Mavericks don’t seem inclined to bring him back, and Wood may be looking for a one-year, prove-it deal on a contender.
Wood would work well next to Adebayo in the front court. He is a very good offensive player who can do various things to put the ball in the net. A career 38% 3-point shooter, Wood is a pick-and-pop threat who can space the floor next to Adebayo.
Together, Adebayo’s passing and Wood’s off-ball cutting could form an intriguing two-man game. As a lob threat, Wood would provide an outlet for Adebayo on the short roll. Wood can alos create shots for himself when Adebayo is off the court, and could function as sixth man.
The biggest question is Wood’s commitment to defense and doing the little things that help teams win — what coach Erik Spoelstra calls “winning plays.” If the Heat can coax more out of Wood, then they could get a potentially impactful player.
Rook 2! Now this one might not happen due to how the market plays out, but Richardson and Adebayo in developed a friendship in Miami that translated to chemistry on the court. Richardson could be a plug-in-play guard for the Heat and is already family with the system. Richardson has always been a streaky shooter (career 36% from 3) but could be an option if the market is colder than expected.
Darius Bazley would be worth a flyer at the minimum. Bazley is a long, athletic defender who can hold his own on the perimeter. Adebayo needs another wing/big who can run the floor with him and, while Bazley isn’t a floor spacer, he’s young enough (23) that Miami could see him as a Caleb Martin-like project.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Same draft class as Adebayo and a close friend, Dennis Smith Jr. had a bounce-back year this past season with the Charlotte Hornets. Smith is very athletic, and once he gets downhill can finish on anyone. The pick-and-roll with Smith and Adebayo wouldn’t be fun to defend at the rim, with both being able to dunk on anyone. Miami hasn’t had an athletic point guard in some years. Smith isn’t a knock-down shooter but could be a spark plug for Miami off the bench.
Remember the Kelly Olynyk-Adebayo minutes? When those two were on the court good things usually happened. Dario Saric has a similar skill set to Olynyk. Both are good passers who can stretch the floor (Saric is a career 36% 3-point shooter) and make good decisions with the ball. At 6-foot-10, he’d be a seamless option to slot in at power forward in the front court next to Adebayo.