Best remaining free agents to fill out the Miami Heat’s roster

Dec 19, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) is defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 19, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) is defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

Beyond the Damian Lillard trade saga, the Miami Heat still have some unfinished business. Namely, filling out the roster. Such a thing can be difficult when the front office is anticipating a post-Lillard makeover but, with just 13 players under standard contracts, the Heat still need to consider who is available.

The Heat have until training camp begins in late September to sign up to 21 players, and will have to trim the roster to 15 standard contracts and three two-way contracts by the start of the regular season.

Here’s a look at some of the top free agents that could make a difference:

Christian Wood: This is the most surprising name left when considering his stats (averaging 18.1 points on 50.9% shooting, 38.1% on 3s, 8.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 blocks over the past three seasons) but he’s also played for seven teams in seven NBA seasons because of questions about his commitment to team basketball and defense. At 27, Wood is still a tantalizing talent, but a team like the Heat would be betting on getting him to provide more than empty stats.

Kelly Oubre Jr.: Despite coming off a career season in which he averaged 20.3 points, Oubre appears at a crossroads. The 27-year-old has played for four teams in four teams in eight seasons, most recently the Charlotte Hornets (who replaced him with No. 2 pick Brandon Miller) and has yet to sign with a fifth. At 6-foot-7 with a long wingspan and scoring juice, Oubre looks the part of a prototypical 3-and-D wing but inconsistency and questions about his fit within a team’s offensive scheme have dragged down his value. Like Wood, there’s still a lot of talent to bet on.

Jaylen Nowell: A flashy scoring guard who isn’t afraid to drive into the paint, Nowell averaged 10.8 points per game for the Timberwolves last season. But his inability to shoot from the outside (29% from 3-point range last season) and defend at a high level limits his impact.

JaMychal Green: A 33-year-old journeyman who spent his career playing for overlooked teams, Green’s game was on display more than ever as part of the Warriors last season. While he did provide his usual floor spacing (37.8% on 3s) he was exposed as a defender, rebounder and limited playmaker.

T.J. Warren: It might be took much to ask Warren to reclaim his status as a near-20-point per game scorer after a foot injury derailed his last three seasons, but he could be worth a flier for a team in need of size and bench scoring.

Hamidou Diallo: The 24-year-old super athlete couldn’t latch on in Oklahoma City or Detroit, and now stands as a free agent. Signing him would be reminiscent of Miami’s bet on Derrick Jones Jr. half a decade ago — a bet on his athleticism, nose for rebounding and defensive upside despite subpar shooting numbers.

Kendrick Nunn: A knee injury limited Nunn to just 70 games over the past two seasons and the once-explosive guard is still in need of a job. He’s a limited playmaker and defender, and a streaky outside shooter, but he could latch on somewhere as an emergency-glass backup.

Will Barton: Barton is quietly 32 years old and has seen his 3-point shooting numbers and defensive impact slip over the last couple of years. He’s more of a 3-and-D shooting guard by reputation at this point. Any team signing him is hoping he could have a Wes Matthews-like, late-career renaissance.

Goran Dragic: Our old friend, Goran! He recently dropped a hint that his future could be decided on soon. If the Heat end up with an extra roster spot that they want to use on a great locker room presence, they could decide to bring Dragic back. Could do a lot worse to try to replace Udonis Haslem.

Terence Davis: If you’re giving away Terence Davis stock, then I’m buying. Yes, he’s a zero playmaker and limited defender, but he plays hard and can stroke the net. Davis has made 36.6% of his 3s on 901 attempts in his career — that’s real volume! Plus, he’s got some dog in him. Kings coach Mike Brown trusted him to play meaningful minutes in their first-round series against the Warriors. I’m probably too high on him but, if the Heat are in need of some bench scoring if and when a Lillard trade goes down, Davis could be an intriguing pick-up.

Next. Complete timeline of the Lillard trade saga. dark