Former All-Star among Heat options to replace injured Dru Smith

Miami Heat guard Dru Smith is out for the season with an ACL sprain in his right knee. Here are five options to replace him.
Jan 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers guard John Wall (11) passes the
Jan 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard John Wall (11) passes the / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have officially ruled out Dru Smith for the rest of the season with a right knee sprain, further limiting their options at point guard behind starter Kyle Lowry.

Smith suffered a third degree ACL sprain in his right knee during Miami’s win at Cleveland on November 22. Smith had appeared in nine games this season and averaged 4.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists in 14.5 minutes. He was the only true point guard on the roster beyond Lowry.

Now the Heat will have to turn elsewhere for reserve ball-handling minutes. Of course, Tyler Herro (who will return soon from a sprained ankle), Josh Richardson, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are all capable of running the offense when Lowry is out, but the Heat could still seek outside help to bolster their depth. Here are a few options.

Goran Dragic: The 37-year-old hasn't played for the Heat since 2021 and is out of the league following brief stints in Toronto, Brooklyn, Chicago and Milwaukee. Dragic, an All-Star in Miami in 2018, has been open about a return to the Heat but so far the Heat have preferred younger, cheaper options. Dragic averaged 6.3 points on 42.1% shooting and 2.6 assists in 15 minutes per game for the Bulls and Bucks last season.

John Wall: Wall has played in just 74 total games since 2019, most recelty with the Clippers last season. His stint was short-lived, eventually giving way to the Clippers acquiring Russell Westbrook. At 33, his once-blazing speed has left him and he hasn't progressed as a shooter (career 32% from 3-point range). But he's a pass-first veteran who can be trusted to set up his teammates.

Austin Rivers: After openly lobbying to play for the Heat on a recent podcast, Rivers would surely jump at the chance to replace Smith. Rivers played 52 games in Minnesota last season and, at only 31, can still score in spurts and play credible perimeter defense.

George Hill: Over the course of his career, Hill has been a steady hand on offense capable of defending the point of attack and making open 3s. At 37, he can't do those things as consistently as he once did. In 46 games with the Bucks and Pacers last season, he averaged 5 points and 2.4 assists while shooting 47% overall and 35.8% from 3-point range in 18.1 minutes per game.

Jamaree Bouyea: Returned to the Heat's G League affiliate in Sioux Falls after being cut this week from a two-way contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. Could be called up on a two-way deal, which would require the Heat to either waive or promote one of their current two-way players.

Next. next. 3 Potential buyout options to fill Miami Heat void. dark