5 Former Heat players who would’ve turned Miami into true title contenders this season

Amid another rocky regular season, there are several former Miami Heat players who would have fit well on the current roster and helped bolster the rotation.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Six
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Six / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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This year’s Miami Heat roster is arguably the deepest it’s ever been (when healthy). Although health has derailed opportunities to see the best version of this Heat squad on a consistent basis, the team got some positive updates in that category recently.

The biggest update has been the ramp-up from scoring guard, Tyler Herro. He has missed the last 17 games with a foot injury but received a PRP injection two weeks ago to help speed up his recovery process. This week he returned to practice and got some workouts in, with an inevitable and anticipated return on the horizon. His offensive talent is everything this Heat team has been missing as of late.

Miami has had an up-and-down regular season and are desperately trying to escape the play-in tournament. The season struggles are almost identical to last year in terms of wins, losses and seeding. Heat Nation is more than familiar with this team peaking in the postseason when it matters most, but there are a lot of players out there who could have helped put the Heat in a much better position in terms of being a real contender. Some are even former Heat players who have been made available recently via trade or free agency.

Let’s dive into a list of former Heat players that could have positively impacted this year’s roster.

5. Kelly Olynyk 

Kelly Olynyk
New York Knicks v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

At this year’s NBA trade deadline, the Utah Jazz made Kelly Olynyk available and ended up trading him to the Toronto Raptors. Olynyk is a more polished player than he was during his time in South Beach. He was a valuable rotation piece on that 2020 Miami Heat Finals roster. Imagine what it would have been like to have his talents back this season but with improvements to his game.

His size and shooting ability are his biggest strengths; two facets that Miami desperately needs. Bam Adebayo is an undersized center and is backed up by an even smaller center in Kevin Love. Both have gotten the job done in the Miami frontcourt rotation over the years, but someone like Olynyk could’ve beefed up that part of coach Erik Spoelstra’s lineups. 

Having the luxury of another true big man can free up both Adebayo and Love on both ends of the floor. Olynyk is shooting 54% from the field and 39% from 3-point range this season. Not only could the size have helped the Heat, but his shooting efficiency could have been huge as well, along with the already established chemistry he has with some core guys on the team.

There were reports linking Olynyk to a Heat reunion prior to the deadline, but he wound up being traded to his hometown Toronto Raptors a few months ago.