Miami seems pretty set at the point guard spot on paper — but in their effort to get under the luxury tax that could change. Goran Dragic will start, Mario Chalmers is still on the bench — although he’s the guy that comes up in seemingly constant trade rumors — then behind them is Tyler Johnson and just-signed rookie Josh Richardson.
But the Heat want options, so they are bringing John Lucas III to camp. From Marc Stein of ESPN:
This was confirmed by Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. As he notes, Lucas is part of Heat lore, but because of something that happened when Lucas played for the Bulls.
It’s unlikely Lucas makes the final 15. This is more precautionary in case they do move Chalmers during camp.
Dragic is obviously going to be on the final roster, and Richardson got a guaranteed deal. In the event Chalmers was traded (and that’s not likely, he’s been on the trade block since Trump’s hair looked real and there have been no takers), it would come down to the partially-guaranteed Johnson and Lucas.
To his advantage, Lucas is an experienced NBA veteran who played with the Heat before. That said he is a bubble NBA talent. Is Lucas is better than Johnson? Not really. Johnson’s true shooting percentage and PER from his one NBA season were higher than Lucas’ career averages, plus at 23 Johnson is a decade younger than Lucas and is still improving. It makes more sense to keep him on the roster.
Lucas will get his kick at the can, and if he doesn’t stick in Miami he could impress another team looking for a third point guard.