With or without knowing what the Big three are going to do, the Miami Heat have plans of becoming better and retooling for another title run, although everything has to do with the decision the trio makes. One course of action is trading for Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder and finally having a true center to defend the rim, and another is drafting Shabazz Napier from Connecticut, although that is another action in an attempt to please LeBron James.
After the Huskies won the 2014 national title with Napier having a fantastic tournament, James praised the senior and made it quite clear that he would love to play alongside him, even through Napier isn’t exactly highly rated by the mock drafts or the scouts. Napier averaged 18 points per game through his senior season and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
Napier is a point guard, and it looks like the Heat are going to need at least one. Mario Chalmers might be on his way out after a terrible finals series and Norris Cole suddenly doesn’t look like the kind of trustworthy guy he was in the two previous visits to the finals coming off the bench. The Heat would love to sign Kyle Lowry but right now he’s closer to re-signing with the Toronto Raptors, not to mention the Heat will have the cap space only if the Big Three opt out (James already has) and take a reworked, lessened deal. If they all leave obviously they’ll have cap space, but not a whole lot of power to attract the top players.
The Kendrick Perkins trade is also an interesting one. He’s entering the final year of his deal, worth $9.6 million. Despite the Thunder showing no sign of desiring to offload a player who brings them nothing offensively and might be replaceable on defense, the right kind of offer can always change the mind of a general manager, especially with the Thunder trying to find out what’s been keeping them from winning an NBA title.
Perkins isn’t exactly a huge fan of the Heat or James, being from the Celtics who were motivated by hatred for others and also losing to Miami while playing for the Thunder in the 2012 NBA finals, but everything changes once you become teammates. Adding Perkins will be a departure from the Heat’s offensive philosophy of small ball, but will give them a rim protector they haven’t had as a starter for a very long time.
Pat Riley has to make moves or at least hint at them to show James that he’s willing to correct the mistakes of the previous offseason. Everything hinges on LeBron James staying with the team for less money, while Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh do the same. It also gives them the opportunity to try and sign Carmelo Anthony, although right now that’s one of the last things on the to-do list.