Grading the Miami Heat’s eventful 2023 NBA off-season (so far)

May 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo, Los Angeles Lakers: Thomas Bryant
Dec 28, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking at the Miami Heat’s additions

In the early going of NBA Free Agency, the Heat have added a pair of nice rotational veterans in Josh Richardson and Thomas Bryant.

Heat fans are well-familiarized with Richardson, who was a second round pick of Miami back in 2015 and played the first four years of his career with the team. He’s now back with the club, and they need him more than ever after losing two key cogs in Strus and Vincent. Richardson can soak up some of those minutes, giving the Heat a strong wing who can play tough defense and hit his shots from the perimeter. On a two-year deal worth $5.4 million, this is low-risk by the Heat and fills a major roster hole.

Bryant will also give the Heat an upgrade at the backup center position. The 25-year-old can give Miami a reliable backup who can protect the rim and haul in rebounds. Over the last four seasons, Bryant has expanded his range offensively, having shot 39.4 percent from behind the arc as well, which will help him fit in with the Heat alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Bryant signed a deal similar to Richardson’s, as he’s on the books for $5.4 million over the next two seasons.

The Heat added Jaime Jaquez Jr. with the 18th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and he’s shown legitimate potential in the early going of the Summer League. The 6-foot-7 Jaquez could be a very nice complementary piece to Miami’s star players if he can keep this up. It’s still early, but Miami may very well have a good player on their hands here as their scouting department continues to find hidden gems.

After a solid showing last season, the Heat also decided to retain Kevin Love on a new two-year deal worth $7.9 million. That’s a fine deal for Love, who instantly meshed with Miami’s stars and fit perfectly alongside them. It’s no secret that the Heat have been seeking a power forward for a long time, and Love can be that for them. If he starts, he’ll be a fine perimeter threat to help space the floor for Butler and Adebayo.

Dru Smith and Jamaree Bouyea will also join Miami next season via two-way deals. They’ll be other young pieces the Heat can develop with hopes of becoming rotational players. The same goes for Orlando Robinson, who inked a two-year deal worth $3.9 million to stick around.