Should the Miami Heat Sign One of Their Former Guards?
With the NBA season two months away, the Miami Heat still have a roster spot open. With ten of the fourteen spots being filled by front court players, you would expect the Heat to add depth to their back court with the final spot. There are three free agent guards who all played for the Heat and make sense in some capacity.
With only two point guards on the roster, Keyon Dooling could be a player depended on in case of injury. He was signed late in the season by the Memphis Grizzlies last year after he suddenly retired the previous offseason. He played in seven games and averaged 4.4 points in 11.7 minutes per game. The 13 year pro has a very inconsistent jump shot but brings a lot of energy off the bench and plays very aggressive defense. He would be a good addition if something happened to Norris Cole and was used to back up Mario Chalmers.
The other free agent point guard that would make sense is Mike James. An undrafted player out of college, James was brought into camp with the Miami Heat and they helped him develop into one of the better three point shooters in the NBA. He has a career average of 10 points and 3.5 assists in 584 games. His best season came in 2005-2006 with the Toronto Raptors where he averaged over 20 points and almost six assists in 79 games. He played last season with the Dallas Mavericks after being signed out of the D-League and was an instant contributor. He started 23 out of his 45 games and averaged over six points and three assists per game. He would make more sense than Keyon Dooling due to the fact that he has a better outside shot and could start or come off the bench. He could also be used at the shooting guard role in case of emergency and in garbage time.
The third free agent guard is the one with the most recent ties to the Miami Heat. When the Heat needed to clear salary to sign the “Big Three”, they shipped shooting guard Daequan Cook to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat would have loved to keep Cook because he would have been a great role player with the current team and still could be. He had his two best seasons with Miami and won the 2009 three-point shootout as a member of the Heat. The biggest issue with Cook is he seems to be a better shooter when he gets more playing time and hasn’t proven to be one of those guys that can sit for a week and then come in and knock down shots. On this team he would be behind Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and maybe even James Jones at the shooting guard position, so playing time could be scarce.
The Miami Heat are in a position of power where they don’t need to add a player right away and can wait until the season begins. I expect them to sign a young player to a non-guaranteed contract and then wait for a player to be cut by another team or for someone to get hurt on their roster. All three of these guys could still be available when the season starts so there is no rush to add any of them right now.