Replacing LeBron James’ productivity in the starting lineup next season will be no small feat for head coach Erik Spoelstra. The Miami Heat organization has done a stellar job of signing quality talent this summer to supplement that loss, while also avoiding a disastrous rebuild and still being able to contend in the Eastern Conference. The signings of Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger will help keep the Heat in the thick of the race for the Eastern Conference title, but the roster is still coming short in one major way — it’s missing a prolific scorer.
The Heat could have used this exact player profile while they were getting clobbered in the 2014 NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs. Depth was a major factor throughout the entire season, but really reared its ugly head throughout the tail end of the playoffs. The Heat organization has yet to acquire a quality, reliable scorer who can come off the bench and supplement the starting minutes of either the shooting guard or the small forward.
Looking at the available free agents left this summer, there aren’t a lot of big names to choose from, but one player who would fit this prolific scoring profile is Jordan Crawford. The 26-year-old swingman has played for several different franchises, but has always had a sizable impact off the bench. His career averages of 12.2 points, 3.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds would be a huge asset coming off the bench for the Heat. Crawford probably wouldn’t agree to sign for the veteran’s minimum, as that’s all the Heat can offer, but Miami could sign Crawford by clearing up cap space in the form of trading Norris Cole and Justin Hamilton.
Signing a prolific scorer has to now be a top priority for the Heat organization, especially since they have all but locked up their starting five. Losing a player of Cole’s ability through trade would be upsetting, but the upside is, you receive a player who can carry an offense off the bench, which is something the Heat never got from any role player last season.