The Miami Heat have been relatively quite thus far, three weeks removed from the NBA Trade Deadline. The lone move Miami has made (which could end up being one of the most important due to financial reasons) is trading Joel Anthony and several draft picks to the Boston Celtics in return for Toney Douglas (via the Golden State Warriors in three team trade), and about $6.4 million in salary. This also freed the Heat from another $3.8 million owed to Anthony next season, which ultimately saved the team more than $15 million in the long run. This is a major plus considering the teams heading into an uncertain free agency period during the summer with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James all becoming unrestricted free agents.
The trade brought the team a young, athletic guard in Toney Douglas. This is something Heat management has been clamoring for since the start of the season, more depth at the guard position; Wade’s constant knee issues have warranted this. Even though the Heat brought Douglas on board, the defending champs should continue to look elsewhere in terms of depth at the guard position, as Douglas is not the answer.
The two main attributes the Heat are looking for in a guard are the ability to be a hard-nose defender, and the ability to shoot the rock well when open (which could potentially be often due to the offensive scheme the Heat run). Douglas lacks both these abilities; his defense is adequate at best, mostly due to his small stature. Douglas also averages at least one turnover a game, even in a reduced role of 17 minutes per stint. His shooting abilities aren’t exactly ideal either. This season, Douglas has averaged 37 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc. The only player on the Heat’s roster whose averages are that low is Roger Mason Jr., who rarely sees playing time as is.
If the Heat is serious about bolstering their guard position, Douglas is not the answer. Miami needs a role player with more offensive talent, especially as a guard. Miami is looking for a player who can create their own offense within seconds, very similar to what Michael Beasley is able to do off the dribble. With the trade deadline fast approaching, don’t be surprised to see Douglas in another uniform by season’s end.