Hassan Whiteside has been one of the more talented bigs over the last few seasons, but has also had issues in Miami. Whiteside has been pulled in games for being disinterested, or not focused on plays that Miami is running. Whiteside has had an odd career, being drafted by Sacramento in 2010, but taking a few years off to return to Miami. If Whiteside can stay on Spoelstra’s good side, you are looking at a strong center option for four quarters, if not, Whiteside could be back in the 25 minutes per game like he was last season. He was at 33 minutes per game the year before.
Bam Adebayo averaged seven points and five rebounds per game last season, playing in limited minutes or spot starts for Whiteside. Adebayo is a seven foot big who is an above average defender. He is 21 years old, and was drafted 14th overall out of Kentucky in 2017. Adebayo played just 19 minutes per game, as guys like Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson were well ahead of him as bench plays. With Miami in more of a need for offense than defense off the bench, you will have to think Olynyk gets the nod over him most nights over Adebayo.
The Heat ended up as the sixth seed last season, but just a few games separated the sixth seed and the tenth seed. While LeBron James being out of the conference makes things easier for everyone, Miami will have teams like Milwaukee, Washington, and Detroit all looking to jump ahead of them. There is a clean cut top tier in the East, with the Raptors, Celtics, and 76ers being the likely conference winners. The Heat will have a tough time against these teams, and overall they will need to take care of business against the league’s bottom teams, otherwise they will likely be on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Dwayne Wade is 36 years old, and will be turning 37 in January. Wade is saying this is his last year in the league, and we look at what he did last year. He still averaged ten attempts per game in 23 minutes per game, with 11 points per game. Wade doesn’t offer up peripheral stats these days, but can give you some scoring being a low minute volume shooter. It is hard to imagine that Miami would just kick him to the curb and give minutes to the other guards over him. If they did, then we are looking at a sad way to go for Wade’s career.