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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2. Jae Crowder 

Jae Crowder
Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

The peak of Miami Heat small-ball power forwards in the Jimmy Butler era took place with the addition of Jae Crowder back in 2020. Crowder is a natural “3-and-D” type of player who can play either of the forward positions. His stocky build and size allowed him to hold his own next to Bam Adebayo in the frontcourt. Without his sharpshooting, the Heat don’t advance past the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of that Bubble run.

There were a plethora of reports linking Crowder back to the Heat following his departure, but it never panned out. Ultimately Crowder chose the money over the fit, which history has shown to repeat itself in regards to valuable Heat role players. The Crowder/Heat reunion reports seemed to be mutual but, instead, he ironically joined the rival Bucks.

He is a player who bought into the team’s culture here in Miami in a short amount of time. The acquisitions of Crowder and Andre Iguodala proved to be underrated pickups by Pat Riley during Butler’s first year here. Instead of making a trade to become more top-heavy with big names, Riley chose cheaper options that fit well around the already established core.