With only 15 spots available on the Miami Heat’s regular season roster, three players will be cut by the first game of the season on October 26th against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Below are the locks, the fighters, and the “come back next year’s” from the current 18-man roster:
Absolute Locks (8): Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Carlos Arroyo, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller
Safe Bets (5): Juwan Howard, James Jones, Dexter Pittman, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Eddie House
Sure Cuts (2): Kenny Hasbrouck, Shavlik Randolph
Kenny Hasbrouck, once thought to have a chance at the 14th or 15th spot, has played himself out of the equation with a miserable preseason. Through three games he has shot 8-for-34 (23.7%) from the field. For a guy whose calling is his offense, that doesn’t bode well.
Shavlik Randolph, a member of the Heat last season, is not going to make the team. There is already a log jam at the four and five spots and there is no room for him.
On The Fence (1): Jamaal Magloire
There are numerous reasons why Magloire is on the fence. First he’s a turtle. Second, any sort of offensive game he once had has evaporated from his broken down body. His only asset to this team is his beef (6’11″, 260) and physicality inside, but isn’t Pittman that and more?
It makes no sense to have him on the roster when there are two young guys with great potential hanging around. If Magloire is cut, they could always pick him back up later in the season if needed. I doubt he finds a home elsewhere.
Fighting For Their Lives (2): Da’Sean Butler, Patrick Beverley
Beverley has excellent ability on the defensive end, as he has shown in the preseason. His incredible lateral quickness allows him to keep his man in front of him at all times. He has very quick hands and anticipates where the ball is going.
Offensively, he is still very raw and doesn’t have a consistent perimeter jumper. He is also turnover prone. However, Miami doesn’t need offense out of the point position. He would already become the best defensive point guard on the team. He is a much smarter defender than Chalmers.
Butler is an intriguing case. He was a sure top twenty draft pick before tearing his ACL in the NCAA tournament last March. Although he is still recovering, it would be wise to take a flyer on Butler’s potential, especially considering the lack of youth on the team.
What should Miami do?
To me, the answer is simple. Cut Magloire in favor of Butler and Beverley. There are too many bigs on this team as is and both Butler and Beverley bring different skill sets to the table.
So what if Magloire is one of Wade’s boys? They can still hang out. It should come down to the best possible fifteen players and Magloire is not among them.