Miami Heat Rumors: Are Tony Wroten, Dorell Wright Free Agent Targets?

Nov 2, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (1) before action against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. The Cavaliers won 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (1) before action against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. The Cavaliers won 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Heat Rumors: With injuries ravaging their backcourt, could the Heat turn to free agency to try and address their problems?

On paper, the Miami Heat have one of the more talented rosters in the NBA. Unfortunately, the game is played on the court and not on paper as things have not gone as planned for the Heat thus far this season. They have a 23-21 record and are in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.

This has occurred because the Heat are in the midst of a 14 out of 16 game stretch away from American Airlines Arena. Couple that with a number of injuries to the roster, and the results have been disastrous for the Heat recently, as they have lost eight of their last 10 games and plummeted in the standings.

The Heat have been dealing with a shorthanded frontcourt all season, as Chris Andersen, Josh McRoberts, Amar’e Stoudemire and Udonis Haslem have all played in less than half of the Heat’s games. They have been able to overcome the shortcomings in the frontcourt with strong seasons from Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, but have crumbled recently as the injury bug has hit their backcourt and wing players.

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Starting point guard Goran Dragic has been dealing with a calf injury, as he was sent home from their first road trip last week and has missed the last six games as the Heat’s offense has been a mess.

Shortly after Dragic went down, his backup Beno Udrih also suffered an injury, putting immense pressure on Tyler Johnson to play big minutes as the starting point guard with very little relief despite being better for a combo guard spot off the bench.

Add to that the shoulder injury of Dwyane Wade, Gerald Green suffering from a knee ailment and Luol Deng suffering an eye injury against the Washington Wizards over the weekend, and the Heat are in dire straights because of injuries. Will this all mean they make a move in free agency to try and get some healthy bodies on the roster to take pressure off young players such as Johnson and Josh Richardson?

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat have begun doing exactly that. He reports that the Heat have checked in on guard Tony Wroten, who was released by the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 24. Normally players the 76ers do not even want can be ignored, but Wroten would add a scoring dimension to the Heat they are currently lacking.

He is not very efficient despite relentlessly attacking the basket; more than half his shots came at the rim last season. But, he has a scoring average of 11.1 points per game in his career, averaging 13.0 and 16.9 points per game the last two seasons.

The same report says that the Heat have been in contact with Dorell Wright as well. Wright, who was a first round pick of the Heat in 2004 out of Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, California, spent his first six NBA seasons with the Heat. There was some contact between the two parties this offseason, but the Heat decided to go in a different direction, and Wright ended up signing a deal in China.

This is probably a decision that the Heat regret, as Wright would bring the three-point shooting they are desperately lacking; only three players, Bosh, Green and Deng, are averaging over one make from three-point land a game. Wright led the NBA in three-pointers made and attempted in the 2010-11 season, and is currently averaging 21.2 points in 29.5 minutes per game. But, he will not be able to sign with an NBA team until mid-February at the earliest, when China’s basketball league season commences.

Both calls are being considered due-dilligence calls on the Heat’s part, according to Jackson, but both are players the Heat should seriously consider adding. The only problem is that the Heat are currently at the maximum amount of players allowed on their roster at 15, and would have to work some magic to clear the room for one or both of the players.

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The Heat could apply for a hardship waiver to add a 16th player, but there is a chance that would not get approved as some of their players are aiming to return this week according to Ira Winderman. Whatever the Heat decide to do, they have to make a decision soon as their season is quickly heading in the wrong direction.