The Heat have been in contact with Chicago Bulls free agent point guard John Lucas III, sources told ESPN.com.
The Heat will still have three open roster spots after signing Ray Allen this week and Lucas is under consideration for one of them.
Coming off a championship season, landing Lucas would simply enhance Miami's overall talent and experience in the backcourt. Ahead, let's check out how Lucas fits in and can help the Heat defend their 2011-12 NBA title.
Although John Lucas received just 14.8 minutes per game for the Chicago Bulls last season, he still managed to average 2.2 assists per game.
Last season, the Heat ranked No. 21 in assists, averaging just 20 per game, and the individual leader was LeBron James with only 6.2 per game. With all of their talent, it's no surprise the Heat didn't move the ball too often, but doing so in 2012-13 would only take their game to another level.
As for Lucas, he averaged more assists than both Norris Cole and starter Mario Chalmers, who dished out just 3.5 per game. When the rotation comes in, however, a guy like Lucas will be needed to negate any additional opportunities for the opponent.
His ability to keep the ball moving (albeit with limited time) and set up scoring opportunities for contributors like Mike Miller and Shane Battier will keep the Heat rolling while the stars catch a breather.
If there's one area where John Lucas III became an improved player last season, it was becoming a stronger scoring threat. Despite logging under 15 minutes per game, Lucas still averaged 7.5 points per appearance and even put up 24 versus Miami back in March.
As for the postseason, Lucas received more time after Derrick Rose went down and was quite productive. In Games 2 and 3, Lucas combined for 54 minutes, 27 points, seven assists, and shot 45.8 percent from the field.
On a team like Miami where anyone can score at any time, Lucas will face more favorable matchups and see more scoring chances. If anything, his overall numbers inflate, and Lucas emerges as one of the better backcourt rotational players in the game.
John Lucas is coming off his best and most productive season as a pro, and the Heat's interest alone is enough motivation for him to hit the next level during 2012-13.
Lucas would also be going to a better situation in Miami because, aside from having won the NBA title, the Heat present him with excellent talent and a brighter future. The Bulls are expected to be without Derrick Rose for quite a while and will have a tougher time making a deep postseason run.
In Miami though, Lucas has a much greater opportunity to develop as a player and win a championship. Turning age 30 in November, Lucas still has a good amount of time remaining, but the window of his prime is quickly closing.
Playing for the Heat will just elongate Lucas' prime form and raise his status as a player while giving Miami a more well-balanced backcourt and stronger rotation.
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