With 13 players already locked up for the potential three-peat 2013-14 season on guaranteed contracts, the Miami Heat must now shift their focus to filling in the remaining two spots on the roster.
Problem is, there are seven candidates to choose from but I have cut it down to three players who have a realistic chance of making it into the squad and they all bring a little something to the table:
Eric Griffin – Freakish athleticism and potential
Weighing in at less than 200 pounds, Griffin will no doubt get overpowered pretty much wherever he plays, whether it be at the 3 or 4 in Miami’s small ball lineup. But, with that said, there may yet be a role for him.
With go-go gadget arms and supreme athleticism to with it, Griffin has the tools to be a shot blocking menace in the NBA. After all, he has been everywhere else, recording 2.2 blocks per game while at Campbell, then 1.3 bpg while playing in Italy’s second tier.
Moreover, the 6’8” Campbell product–who made the transition from college center to European power forward and now NBA small forward–has done nothing but impress coach Erik Spoelstra with his defensive prowess and athleticism. However, perhaps his shooting ability may be his golden ticket to the big leagues.
While at Campbell, Eric Griffin consistently hit 3-point shots as he averaged 35 percent from beyond the arc. That figure dipped to 27.5 percent while in Italy, but his skill set is something Coach Spo can definitely work with.
Michael Beasley – Versatility
B-Easy falls into the category of a “Tweener” as he can bully most small forwards or leave the bigger power forwards clutching at air thanks to his quickness and dribbling ability, as well as his shooting range.
If Miami choose to go small right from the get-go, he could easily slot right in and have some sort of impact, although he would struggle defensively as he has his entire career.
Nevertheless, that’s not the main issue. That comes from his attitude.
Michael Beasley has built himself a reputation as bit of bad boy and has had numerous clashes with the law and consequently, his employers. His latest blunder was being busted for possession of marijuana and that led to the Phoenix Suns releasing from his contract that still had two years remaining.
However, recently he has been receiving positive feedback as the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman reported that: “Michael Beasley has been pushing himself, trying to make the best impression, practically affixing himself to Dwyane Wade‘s side for mentorship. He wants to make this work, and he’s trying, really trying. This won’t fail for lack of effort, and apparently not for anything off the court, either.”
Roger Mason Jr. – 3-point shooting
For Roger Mason Jr., the primary attributes he brings to the table are experience and shooting. Lots and lots of 3-point shooting.
At 41.5 percent, the 33-year-old shot the long ball with great efficiency while at New Orleans last year as he ranked within the top 20 overall among the best shooters in the category. That will be a huge boost for him as it will give him the opportunity to fill in the void left by Mike Miller.
However, the Heat do already have players in-house that are ready to fill the role with the 2011 NBA 3-Point Shootout champion, James Jones, chomping at the bit alongside Rashard Lewis, who is starting to look more like his old lethal self.
Then again, can you really have too many shooters?
The Other Guys: Larry Drew II PG; Charlie Westbrook G; Jarvis Varnado F-C; Justin Hamilton C.