• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Power Rankings: 25. Miami Heat


*Photo via Guardian TV

Miami Heat: To say the Heat had a chaotic offseason would be an understatement. To start with the positives, the Heat retained two young and promising players in Hassan Whiteside (4-years, $98 Million) and Tyler Johnson (4-years, $50 Million). Whiteside, Johnson, Josh Richardson, and Justise Winslow give Miami a promising young core to build around, but adding to this core in the draft will be difficult in future seasons. The Heat did not have a 1st round pick this season and owe the Phoenix Suns a top-7 protected 2018 1st round pick and an unprotected 2021 1st round pick from the Goran Dragic trade. Dragic is a very good player, but he came at a very steep price that will hurt Miami in coming seasons. The biggest mystery in Miami is the status of Chris Bosh. Bosh’s health scare is hard to analyze since it is not basketball related. It is hard to know if and when Bosh will return and how good he will be. What is clear is that the Heat got significantly worse this offseason. The Heat lost the face of their franchise in Dwyane Wade along with valuable contributors in Joe Johnson in Luol Deng. To replace these players the Heat added a collection of inferior players: Derrick Williams, Luke Babbitt, James Johnson, and Wayne Ellington. Riley did rebound with a great signing towards the latter portion of free agency by signing Dion Waiters to a 1-year $2.9 Million deal. Waiters has had an enigmatic pro career, but the tools are there for him to be a very good player. He should be very motivated to prove that he deserves a big contract next offseason. Last season I truly believed the Heat could have defeated the Cavs in the East had they been at full strength with a healthy Chris Bosh. Now, unless they have a healthy Bosh, I don’t think the Heat will even reach the postseason. With the lure of south beach and the mastermind Pat Riley running the show, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Miami land some big time free agents in future seasons and climb back into contention. But for now the facts are clear: Miami lost its best player in the franchise's history, has a current All-Star who may never step on the floor again, and has limited draft capital. No matter how you spin it Miami is clearly one of the losers of the 2016 offseason, for both the present and the future.

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