With the league-mandated deadline for guaranteed contracts fast approaching, the Miami Heat have some decisions to make in terms of who ends up on the roster after tonight’s deadline passes. Currently the Heat have two players on the roster with non-guaranteed contracts in Roger Mason Jr. and Michael Beasley. Because the Heat have been so thin in terms of depth at the guard position (mostly due to injuries and suspensions), Mason Jr. has a great chance of being retained for the rest of the season — unless the Heat can find another replacement at guard for even cheaper than what they are paying Mason Jr. already, which is highly unlikely.
Beasley is conceivably the only player that could be released due to the Heat being slightly deeper in the frontcourt than they are in the backcourt. With that being said, the Heat would be crazy to release Beasley after the phenomenal season he has had thus far with the defending champs. Not only is Beasley shooting a career high 53 percent from the field, but also he is the only role player averaging double digits points per game (11.1).
What Beasley brings to the Heat’s second unit in terms of energy and offense cannot be overstated. Beasley has always been an offensive machine, but the most noticeable improvement this season has been Beasley’s increased level of defensive intensity. This can be seen in his increase in rebounds and steals per game from last season playing with the Phoenix Suns. He told ESPN:
“I still take it day by day, because a lot can happen between now and Tuesday [night]. I’m still working hard. I’m not going to work any less, come Tuesday. If I make it to Tuesday, I’ve got (a chance) to make it to the end of June [in the NBA Finals] with this team.”
Here is to hoping the Heat make the smart decision and retain Beasley for the rest of the season. If not, there aren’t a ton of players on the Heat roster that could fill the offensive void Beasley would leave behind with his departure. If the Heat are going to be successful throughout the NBA Playoffs, having a player of Beasley’s caliber come off the bench is an absolute must.