Miami Heat Should Go After Eric Bledsoe Hard in Free Agency

By Jared Doyle
June 19, 2014; Jerome Miron: The Miami Heat should go hard after free agent Eric Bledsoe this summer.
Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

One of the Miami Heat‘s biggest weaknesses throughout the playoffs, and especially the NBA Finals, was the point guard position. Starting PG Mario Chalmers struggled mightily against the San Antonio Spurs offensively, and Norris Cole wasn’t able to defend the backcourt of the lethal Spurs’ offense. The Heat are set to make some major moves this summer, and one of the first could be the choice to not re-sign Chalmers.

The Heat will be looking for young and athletic players at the point that can create their own offense on or off the ball, plus fit into a tight knit defensive system. Although the 2014 NBA Draft offers plenty of young options at the point guard position, the Heat organization should also focus on a free agent market that is stock piled with prime talent.

One of the key restricted free agents set to hit the open market is Eric Bledsoe. Although the Phoenix Suns will likely match whatever offer any team puts on the table, the fact that Bledsoe could potentially play for a title-contending team might be too much for him to say no to. Bledsoe’s four-year, $7.4 million contract with the Suns sounds a lot more reasonable than what the Heat are currently paying Chalmers — three-years, $12 million.

Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting 48 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc this season. Those are fantastic numbers for a point guard. Chalmers, on the other hand, averaged just 9.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals while shooting 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. Those aren’t very aggressive numbers playing in an offensive and defensive system that typically demands aggression. Bledsoe would fit that mold to a tee. His ability to create his own offense off the dribble while being one of the top on-ball defenders in the league at his position are the exact imperatives the Heat are looking for.

The Heat will have plenty of options in the free agent market to choose from, as Miami is now a prime location for such players. Out of all of their free agent options, Bledsoe should top the list.

Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for Follow him on Twitter @outofboundsjay, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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