Major Changes Coming to Miami Heat Roster?

by June 15, 2011
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The Big 3 will likely remain untouched this summer, but there’s no telling what the rest of the Heat roster will look like next season. From the Sun-Sentinel: “In many ways, the mandate to [Pat] Riley and his front-office staff is the same as it was over these past 11 months: Find something that works at point guard and center. Because when it came to those areas of need, 2010-11 turned into a revolving door that continued spinning through Sunday’s season end. Zydrunas Ilgauskas started the playoffs as the Heat’s starting center; Joel Anthony finished in that role. Mike Bibby began the postseason as the starting point guard; Mario Chalmers closed in that role. As Sunday’s 105-95 season-ending loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals showed, the answers weren’t good enough. ‘It’s like a puzzle,’ [Dwyane] Wade said, ‘and their pieces came together a little bit better than ours.’ The Heat’s voids extend beyond mere positional designations. There is a need for a perimeter defender off the bench, someone who can take care of the heavy lifting on that end of the court so James and Wade don’t have to wear themselves down with such efforts, efforts that may have contributed to what appeared to be season-ending fatigue. And there is a need for a speed guard, someone who can match what J.J. Barea, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday threw at the Heat through the four rounds of this season’s playoffs. For all that Chalmers can be, fleet of foot is not one of them. There certainly will be ample roster spots available, with the contracts of Chalmers, Mike Bibby, Erik Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire expiring on June 30, with option-year decisions in the hands of Eddie House, James Jones and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who appears to be leaning toward retirement. In fact, the Heat could return as few as seven players from the current roster, when counting [LeBron] James, Wade, [Chris] Bosh, Anthony, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Jones.”