The Miami Heat, like most defending champions of the past, know that the key to repeating is not in making wholesale changes to the roster, but rather adding some nice pieces that complement the ones they already have. That meant there would be no dealing of Chris Bosh for Dwight Howard, or any other pipe dreams Heat fans may have entertained.
And what could make the task of roster-tinkering any easier than having a contending team?
Veterans in need of a first career championship (or second) could find refuge in the Heat's stacked roster and possibly add the ring(s) their resumes have been lacking.
This M.O. found operation in Rashard Lewis, who was amnestied by the Washington Wizards and set up the way for the Heat to sign the aged gunner to a veteran-minimum contract. They also added sharpshooter Ray Allen by using the mid-level exception.
For the mere price of $4.3 million total, the Heat added two players with 12 All-Star appearances between themes—and yes, I realize 10 of those 12 belong to Jesus Shuttlesworth. The duo also played a role in keeping the Seattle SuperSonics relevant in the years before the arrival of Kevin Durant and subsequent departure to Oklahoma City.
The Heat didn't do much in the draft, but that was more out of fiscal conservativeness than lack of draft potential in this year's loaded crop of rookies. By avoiding the addition of a first-round pick, the Heat retained roster flexibility and were not forced into tendering a guaranteed contract to a player who may not make any impact at all.
The result was that the guy they did draft at No. 27 overall, Arnett Moultrie, was dealt to the 76ers for a future first-rounder and the rights to second-rounder Justin Hamilton, a center out of LSU. It's the kind of move that caused Heat fans to roll their eyes on draft night, as it is one of the more exciting nights of the offseason, but those eye rolls and yawns will be replaced by Kool-Aid grins if the Heat repeat again this year.
So, the Heat made two major additions to the roster and picked up a second-rounder who may or may not even make the roster. The question, of course, is, how will coach Erik Spoelstra incorporate those additions to the roster?