Lebron James and the NBA


Well it's almost official. Lebron, Wade and Bosh will all be Miami Heat players by this time tomorrow. Pat Riley managed to get the 3 top free agents in the NBA to play for the price of 2 players, but at what expense? Most people will say that with these 3 all you need is a bunch of willing bodies to fill the roster, but it will take a lot more than that. Though they are talented individuals we have yet to see how they will play together. What if they hit a rough patch? Will things go out the window and will they turn on each other? Will Pat Riley jump on the bench the way he did on 2003-2004 when he won the title? There are too many uncertainties, but a couple of things for sure.

  1. Miami will need a center.
Anthony is a lame body. He was somewhat ok when Jermaine O'Neal was in the bench, but his lack of offensive skills around the paint makes him a roster filler. Majority of the free agent centers are at the end of their careers. Jermaine just signed with Boston for $11 million for 2 years. The only quality center out there is Shaquille O'Neal. However, I don't know if he will get along with Pat Riley. After Riley traded him to Phoenix, O'Neal went on the offensive and said some nasty thing about the Heat and its front office. Though he considers Heat owner, Mickey Arison, a friend.

Brad Miller's game is very similar to Bosh's and he's not a strong post up player. He is more of a jump shooting center and he is a liability on the defensive side.

Would need to take less money:

Luis Scola is a hard-nosed and defensive minded center who can score from anywhere in the floor.

  1. Power Forward
With Chris Bosh starting at PF, the Heat can put a lot of miles on him. Bosh is 27 and not injury prone. The Heat could sign a PF/SF to come off the bench and get some quality minutes as Bosh and Lebron rest. However, I doubt Riley will go for that. Riley is an old fashioned person who believes in the old ways of a PF is a PF and a team must need a center.

I did not mention Michael Beasley because he was traded to Minnesota for a 2nd round draft pick next season. Yes, last year's number 2 pick in the draft was just traded for a 2nd rounder.

Joe Smith is a veteran player who has played with Lebron in Cleveland. He is a solid player with experience and does not make too many mistakes. He can shoot a 15 ft shoot as well as move around the paint. He is also available for the NBA minimum.

Udonis Haslem can resign with the Heat under the Larry Bird rule and it wouldn't affect the Heat's salary cap too much, but he will make less money and come off the bench again.

Drew Gooden & Kurt Thomas are good physical players, but have offensive disabilities.

  1. Small Forwards
This is Lebron's position and his bench replacement will probably play around 15 minutes per game. However, this is where most NBA teams have quality players so a good defender will be needed.

Grant Hill is a solid player. He has started for the Phoenix's Suns the last two years and has not been injury prone like earlier in his career. He currently makes $3.3 million and I'm sure as he gets older he would like to win a championship.

Richard Jefferson just opted out of his contract with the Spurs in search of a better team. The Heat could be it. However, he is owed $15 million.

Rasual Butler, who once played for the Heat, could come back off the bench. Though not a high IQ player, he is physical and athletic. However, his game is around the rim and doesn't have much of a jump shot.

4. Shooting Guard

Wade owns this. Asides from Kobe, Wade is the best shooting guard in the league. It will not be easy to replace him off the bench.

Raja Bell is a Miami native who could take less money to come back home. He is a strong defender who doesn't make too many mistakes and has a decent 18 ft. jumper.

Tony Allen proved he can make a difference in the offensive side as well as defensive. He guarded Lebron a lot of the time when he was playing for Boston and did a good job containing Lebron and Kobe. The bad thing about Allen is his lack of basket ball IQ and bad shot selection. However, he does possess one of the most talented athletic physical abilities out there.

Marquis Daniels didn't work out for Boston late in the season. He got injured and never found his way back into the rotation.

  1. Point Guard
This is where Miami will need a lot of help. Mario Chamers has been erratically inconsistent. He lost and gained his starting job multiple times during the 2009-2010 season. Miami will need a good solid veteran player in this position or at least a quick player who is not turn-over prone.

JJ Barea is a quick point guard with excellent range. He is a bit undersized, but could be a great fit for Miami due to his fast paced type of play. 

Derek Fisher is a free agent and will probably stay one more season with the Lakers, but I expect the Heat to get an interview. Jordan Farmar could just wait it out until that happens. The only thing about Farmar is his ability to get down on himself and play too emotional. 

Either way, Pat Riley is the man with the plan. Riley will also have the hardest off season. He is set to sign 3 NBA All-Stars in their prime, but still needs 9 more players to make a team. A team that will have very little cap room to sign other player.

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