There’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding Dwyane Wade‘s status for the upcoming season. A report late last month indicated that Wade was ‘inclined to play’ another season and if he does, it will be with the franchise he’s played for most of his career.
Even if Wade doesn’t return, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will have a lot of tough decisions to make regarding his rotation during the upcoming season. Miami’s roster is filled with solid but unspectacular players and Spoelstra will have to sort out which are most deserving of steady minutes.
Thanks to team president Pat Riley basically standing pat with his roster this summer, there aren’t a lot of players with clearly defined roles.
Point guard Goran Dragic seems like the only sure thing in terms of the backcourt. Tyler Johnson is the listed backup but Dion Waiters could get some playing time there, as well as Wade if he re-signs.
The shooting guard spot has a major logjam whether or not Wade is added to the equation. Along with Waiters coming back from an ankle injury, the Heat have Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Wayne Ellington and Josh Richardson vying for minutes there.
Richardson could start at small forward but Justise Winslow will also be in the mix, along with summer league star Derrick Jones. Richardson led the team last season in minutes played per game but that was partly due to the injuries sustained by Waiters and McGruder, who started 65 games two seasons ago. Ellington led the team’s rotation players last season with his 39.2% shooting from beyond the arc.
Winslow will also play the ‘four’ in smaller lineups but Spoelstra also has to figure out a way to juggle Hassan Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo and James Johnson at the center and power forward positions. Whiteside brooded about his reduced playing time last season and he won’t be happy with the status quo. But Adebayo’s role should expand in his second season while James Johnson, Olynyk and Winslow all played between 23-27 minutes on average last season.
That’s an awful lot for Spoeltra to sort out.
That leads us to our topic of the day: If you were the Miami Heat coach, what would your starting lineup look like? Which players should get the most minutes off the bench and which should be out of the rotation?
Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to what you have to say.