3. A twist at power forward
G: Tyler Herro
G: Josh Richardson
F: Jimmy Butler
F: Haywood Highsmith
C: Bam Adebayo
If you’ve been following along, then maybe you picked up on the fact that Love’s inclusion in the starting lineup creates some issues for the backcourt. What if the decision is between starting Herro and Love? What if Spoelstra picks Herro?
That would leave three-ish options to start at power forward: Caleb Martin, who started 49 games last season; Nikola Jovic, going into his second season; and Haywood Highsmith.
We can eliminate Jovic right away. His skill set is tantalizing and projects as a long-term partner with Adebayo in the front court, but he’s not ready. Martin seems like the obvious choice but, like with Lowry, Spoelstra prefers to bring Martin off the bench as a utility player.
That leaves Highsmith. At 26, he’s going into his third year with the Heat. He played most of his minutes at power forward last season and routinely watches film of PJ Tucker. Like Tucker, Highsmith has a nearly 7-foot wingspan despite standing at 6-foot-6.
Coaches love his earnestness on defense but know he needs to improve his 3-point shot if he’s going to earn regular minutes. Over the last two seasons, Highsmith has made only 32.8% of his corner 3s. If Highsmith can show real development in that area in training camp, perhaps he can take the starting power forward job and be Miami’s “PJ Tucker 2.0.”