What Will The New Heat Look Like
by Larry Turner


Writing about sports is tough enough as it is, but in the case of the Heat’s 2024-2025 season, the NBA draft will occur after this article is printed, so we need to rely heavily on our crystal ball to even try to sound credible.

There would seem to be two paths for the team to choose from, one being to stand pat with the present roster and the other to totally restructure the roster for next season.

It is highly unlikely that management will decide to retain the present roster with only those changes brought about by the June 26-27 draft and whatever might result from free agency when it begins July 6. Management was openly unhappy with the number of injuries to top players and other absences for “personal” reasons. We all have personal reasons to want to skip work once in a while, but an athlete is expected to play and participate fully despite personal issues that would be nice to address were it not for an athlete’s obligation to play. They are not paid millions of dollars to remain at home, regardless of there being a pressing need to do so.

The bottom line, therefore, is that we should expect change, and possibly change that will impact key players. It is no secret that Jimmy Butler is an excellent player in all aspects of the game when he plays. Too often last season he was not available for whatever reason and that spelled disaster for his teammates. In the end, he started 60 games and management has to weigh that heavily in deciding on the composition of the next roster. The same for Tyler Herro who started just 42 of the 82 scheduled games because of crippling injuries. By way of contrast, Bam started 71 games, Jaquez 75 and Jovic 46.

My best guess is that Butler returns only if he can convince management that he will start an agreed number of games and maintain personal absences at a minimum. Herro, on the other hand, is a tremendous player when healthy, but may well be worth more to the team in a trade than in person. So I would expect to see him as part of a significant trade. Robinson may well be part of that transaction because, even though he is a consistent 30-point shooter and an improved defender, he has endured nagging injuries resulting in inconsistent performances when they can least be afforded.

Following that logic to the end, the starting roster would look something like Butler, Bam, Terry Rozier, who fit in well with his new teammates, Jaquez and players to be acquired in trades or free agency, plus Nikola Jovic who has improved every season and penetrated the starting lineup on many occasions.

Judging our crystal ball roster predictions starts June 26-27 with the draft and then later in early July when free agency opens up.

Hold your arrows until then please!

Photography Courtesy Of The Miami Heat