Now that the Miami Heat have officially lost the second rendition of the LeBron James sweepstakes the team will be looking to truly retool their roster. Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would be an exceptional foundation in the 2014-2015 NBA season for the Heat. If the Heat can manage to reel Bosh back in, what free agents make the most sense to retool the Heat’s roster?
Lance will make em Dance
Five players come to mind. The first player is one whose signing will be in theme to Miami’s other free agent signings: players LeBron James doesn’t like. That of course is Lance Stephenson. Stephenson is a young talented shooting guard who, as Heat fans know, defends with tenacity and is not afraid of any moment or any pressure. Stephenson passed on a five year $44 million deal, so the Heat will have to pay him around $9.5 or $10 million a year.
The second player is another guard who has taken the league by storm, Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe is a fantastic athlete who can jump over the backboard. Bledsoe will need some polish on playing mindfully, as do most young players. If Bledsoe is available in the $10 million range he would be perfect for Miami’s short and long term goals.
The last three players are all forwards. Luol Deng has already been linked to Miami and now LeBron is gone the Heat will have the cap space to pay Deng fairly. Deng is a fantastic defender and an adequate scorer. Another forward who the Heat have been in conversation with is Trevor Ariza. Ariza is an NBA journeyman who has played effectively for six different teams over his career. Ariza is an effective rebounder and sufficient scorer.
The last player the Heat need to retool is power forward Greg Monroe. Monroe is a young extremely high potential player. In Monroe’s three years starting for the Detroit Pistons he averaged over nine and a half rebounds and fifteen and a half points a game. Monroe is discussing a five year $60 million contract with the Pistons. If the Heat can land Monroe for $14 or $15 million annually the organization should not flinch as Monroe can be a cornerstone for the team for many years.
If the Miami Heat could manage to pick up three or four of the mentioned players I’d favor the Heat to win the Eastern conference over LeBron James’ Cavaliers. If the Heat can manage to sign a few young up and coming players LeBron’s return to Ohio will be quickly forgotten.
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