Was Heat’s off season spending worth it?

You know how as a kid you were always told “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.

This is just a flat out rough time for Miami sports fans.  The Heat are starting out slower than most expected and the Dolphins are trying to swim with one fin. The only thing Miami fans have to boast about is the Miami Hurricanes undefeated season, being the top in the ACC and will most certainly be participating in a Bowl Game.  Outside of that there’s not much.  Well not exactly, the Marlins did finish second in their division.

The Miami Heat spent this offseason’s budget on raising in-house talent. Whether that was the right or wrong decision, the Heat are in a state of fear amid their 2-4.

Allow me to enlighten you on Miami’s financial situation.

When Pat Riley and the Heat organization couldn’t reel in Gordon Hayward, they decided it was best to re-sign James Johnson (4-year/$60.002M), Dion Waiters (4-year/$47.3M), Kelly Olynyk (4-year/$45.611M), Udonis Haslem (veterans minimum) and sign Derrick Walton Jr. (1-year/$50K).  The Heat also exercised Winslow’s rookie scale option, signed Center Bam Adebayo to approximately $2 million rookie contract and signed Josh Richardson to 4-year $42 million contract.

  • Johnson – 14 ppg, 5.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 bpg (Leads the team in assists, steals and blocks)
  • Waiters – 13.2 ppg, 2.8 apg
  • Olynyk – 10.4 ppg, 7 rpg
  • Richardson – 13 ppg, 3.8 rpg
  • Haslem – Ugh..
  • Walton Jr. – Umm…

Goran Dragic is the only other player than Hassan Whiteside to score 20+ a game (20.2 ppg, 4 apg, 3.6 rpg).

The Heat spent their ENTIRE cap on in-house projects.  They are now operating over the cap.  Miami is carrying about $100 million in guaranteed team salary. There’s maybe $5 million left as an exception.  In blatant terms, Miami is going to be average for a while.  Don’t expect any big free agent signings or top draft picks either.

Injuries include Wayne Ellington, Hassan Whiteside, A.J. Hammons and Rodney McGruder.  It’s worth noting that Dion Waiter’s ankle is still bothering him more than the general public think.  Hence, why his second half production is a bit skewed.

As a competitor in the NBA you have to not only have a first and second go-to option, but you should also have a third and a reliable bench.  Miami has a relatively good bench but the difference is (past Whiteside and Dragic) that it’s hard to tell the starters from the bench.  The Heat are jam-packed with good-not-great (outside of Whiteside) type players.

Its been reported that Whiteside could return as early as Wednesday against the Bulls.

“I’m very encouraged by the progress he is making…He’ll do more conditioning right now, do treatment, hopefully do another workout this afternoon,” Coach Erik Spoelstra said.

However, this is no guarantee.

The Heat are sitting at a 2-4 record after losing an overtime thriller to the Minnesota Timberwolves. By no means is it necessary to hit the panic button at this time.  Miami has lost (except for the 17 point loss to San Antonio) to tier one caliber teams by a few digits. Don’t make that face, you point me in the direction of anyone who predicted the Magic being this good (4th in the Eastern Conference).  It is worth noting, for the fans sake, that the Heat had an “air-it-out” kind of meeting. Basically, the players broke down film and held each other accountable.

“Guys were honest today,” Winslow said, “just opening up and being vulnerable and letting it all out there, not holding anything in.”

This should sum up how that meeting went…

I know its early but, it just seems as if those summer expenses will not be paying dividends in the near future.





Joshua K. Saunders

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