The Miami Heat‘s roster is vastly different from what it looked like when the season started and with a month left of the regular season, they are still looking to fill their 15th and final open spot.
It already felt like Miami was scraping at the bottom of the barrel of what’s left in the buyout market before signing Dewayne Dedman to fill their 14th roster spot, but since then a slew of more players have become available. The multi-million dollar question remains, however, who will be the best fit?
While the Heat were required to add a 14th player, per league rules, Miami doesn’t have to fill their final open roster spot. However, since Victor Oladipo reinjured his right knee, it makes sense to add some insurance to the bench.
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Recently released players that available to join the Heat include the following players: Isaiah Thomas, Jabari Parker, Justin Patton, Austin Rivers, Patrick McCaw, Greg Whittington, Gary Clark, Jaylen Adams, Darius Miller, Ignas Brazdeikis, Jerome Robinson, Justin Jackson, Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, Marquese Chriss, and Jalen Lecque.
As long as the new player is signed by May 16, he will be eligible able to play during the postseason.
The Heat Could Sign Another Player Who Hasn’t Played Yet This Season
There are only three requirements needed in order for the Heat to add another player: he either was waived by April 9, hasn’t played at all this season (like Dedmon, who was signed to a veteran’s minimum contract), or was signed to a 10-day contract before the deadline.
South Florida Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman created a list of players that have yet to play an official NBA game this season:
Jeremy Lin, Thon Maker, Ian Mahinmi, Greg Monroe, Skal Labissiere, Jarrett Jack, Brandon Knight, Frank Mason, Cam Reynolds, Amir Johnson, Glenn Robinson III, JR Smith, Lance Stephenson, Jodie Meeks, Joe Johnson, Troy Daniels, Allonzo Trier, Courtney Lee, Wilson Chandler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Allen Crabbe, Gerald Green, Kyle Korver, Jordan Crawford, Shabazz Napier and, yes, Dion Waiters, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.
Miami May Choose to Sign a Developmental Player
If Miami feels confident in their core group, like they did with Kendrick Nunn at the end of the 2018-2019 season, the Heat can take their final open roster spot to secure a young, up-and-coming player.
The Heat could also sign one of their two-way players, Max Strus or Gabe Vincent, to a standard contract to complete the roster, but with the newly implemented COVID-19 rules, both players are available to play in the playoffs without new contracts.