The Miami Heat are going to be one of the most entertaining and better teams in the East. They will start three potential All-Stars (Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh), and they are putting a nice bench behind them.
That now includes Amar’e Stoudemire, who officially signed with the team on Friday. It is a one-year, veteran minimum deal at $1.5 million.
“We are very fortunate that a proven All-Star like Amar’e has chosen the Miami Heat,” Miami President Pat Riley said in a statement. “He is going to bring gravitas, leadership and a hardworking mentality to our team as we look to win another Championship in Miami.”
Stoudemire, 32, is no longer a franchise cornerstone kind of player, but he does have a role.
Last season — split between New York and Dallas — he averaged 11.5 points a game and shot 55.7 percent, with an impressive PER of 20.3. His minutes need to be monitored, he’s going to miss games because of his knees, but when he plays he’s going to provide value on the court.
Miami likely starts Bosh at the four and Hassan Whiteside at the five. Their bigs off the bench as of right now are Josh McRoberts and Chris Andersen (although the Birdman could be moved in a deal). Stoudemire will get run in that mix and provide them some quality minutes.
Don’t sleep on the Heat this season.
He’s not the force of nature he once was, but Amar’e Stoudemire at age 32 still has a role in the NBA. Last season — split between New York and Dallas — he averaged 11.5 points a game (in the 59 games he played in) and shot 55.7 percent. His PER was a very good 20.3. In a limited role (and with his minutes monitored) he can provide some value.
Pat Riley recognizes this and he’s going after the veteran forward — and Riley wins most of his recruiting battles for Miami.
From Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:
Stoudemire will have other suitors (if DeAndre Jordan decides to return to the Clippers, Zwerling says the Mavs will make a play to retain Stoudemire).
That said, Stoudemire seems a good fit in Miami. The Heat will start Chris Bosh at the four and Hassan Whiteside at center, and then bring Josh McRoberts and Chris Andersen in behind them. You can see Stoudemire getting run in that mix — and doing well.
Miami is going to be a good team next season if they can stay healthy, maybe the top four in the East. Stoudemire would help that along. Plus living in Miami in the winter doesn’t suck. They probably have an entire spa dedicated to red wine baths down there.
UPDATE: Pat Riley and the Miami Heat got their foot in the door — Riley will have a dinner meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge Thursday to try and convince him to come to Miami, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
This is still a crazy longshot — they already have an arguably better version of Aldridge in Bosh — but the Heat are at least going to get to take their swings.
The Spurs are still the team to beat. The Lakers are getting a second chance to make a first impression. The Suns knocked it out of the park in their meeting and moved into contention. The Knicks never even got up to the plate.
And now the Miami Heat want to take a swing.
The Heat are trying to get a meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Adriam Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
It seems a real longshot for a couple of reasons. First off, in Chris Bosh the Miami Heat already have a player with a similar skill set and style of play to Aldridge (and Bosh is the better defender).
Second, the Heat do not have nor can they easily create cap space. The only way to make this work is a sign-and-trade. They could sign-and-trade Bosh for Aldridge, but that is basically and even swap. In theory they could sign-and-trade Wade but they would never do that (and Portland doesn’t want him). Or, they could sign-and-trade for Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and other players. Not sure Portland does that either.
But the Heat at least want to get up to the plate. That would put them ahead of the Knicks.