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Players on the Miami Heat's Roster Bubble

Peter OwenCorrespondent IIDecember 21, 2016

Players on the Miami Heat's Roster Bubble

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    The Miami Heat will be the team everyone wants to beat once the new season begins.

    Winning the NBA Championship automatically paints a target on a team's back, leading every opposing team to raise their game in an effort to score a memorable victory over the defending champions.

    The Heat need to bring in a few fresh faces for backup this season and we'll be introduced to those during training camp and the preseason as the Heat figure out who to add to the final roster.

    There will be players picked up from training camp, and some will be playing to avoid being cut or sent to the NBA D-League for further development.

No. 6: Garrett Temple

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    Garrett Temple has played for five NBA teams in the last two seasons and will work out with the Heat through training camp in an effort to make their final roster.

    Don't bank on it.

    Temple's limited NBA experience has been no more than garbage time at the end of blowout wins and losses, or as extreme relief for teams with multiple injuries.

    That's not to say he is not a capable player—he is simply not what the Heat are looking to use a roster spot on this season, meaning he'll be looking for a new team once the season rolls around.

No. 5: Mickell Gladness

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    Mickell Gladness secured a non-guaranteed contract in early September as the Heat try to increase the depth on their roster.

    Gladness was not drafted and was eventually signed by the Golden State Warriors where he appeared 22 times, averaging 2.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

    It's possible that the Heat sign him up as a reserve, but unlikely as they have better options with more upside than Gladness.

No. 4: Dexter Pittman

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    Dexter Pittman did not have a good 2012 season.

    He barely featured outside of a few minutes in blowout wins or losses,

    Yet when he finally got his big chance in the playoffs, he blew it by getting suspended after a cheap hit on Indiana Pacers' player Lance Stephenson.

    The big man was billed as part of the Heat's attempt to solve their issues at center by having lots of average centers play center by committee.

    That idea began to fail when Chris Bosh excelled after appearing at center a handful of times. With that trend set to continue, the Heat need fewer true centers and players like Pittman will be on their way to pastures new.

No. 3: Justin Hamilton

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    Justin Hamilton (picture - right, defending No. 1 pick Anthony Davis), the Heat's second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, will be stashed away in Europe this season.

    Hamilton, who played his college ball at LSU, was signed as another big man by the Heat but will first play in Europe as the Heat let him polish his game.

    Hamilton appeared twice in the summer league for the Heat before signing a contract with Croatian team Cibona Zagreb of the Adriatic League.

    The move is somewhat surprising as it means the only recognized centers on the Miami roster are Dexter Pittman and Joel Anthony.

No. 2: Terrel Harris

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    Terrel Harris was the standout player for the Miami Heat during the 2012 Summer League.

    Explosive on offense and a tenacious defender, Harris exceeded all expectations and made his case to make the roster for the 2012-13 season.

    Harris' 15 points per game on 45 percent shooting was the stat line he came home with, but it was his work on the other side of the ball that drew special praise.

    Faced with San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph, Harris put on a masterclass in defense, not giving the Spurs guard a second to breath while he had the ball.

    Joseph was forced into 10 turnovers that night. Harris led the game in scoring on 25 points as he shot 8-for-10 from the field and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe in a performance that could see him picked up for the coming season.

No. 1: Jarvis Varnado

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    Jarvis Varnado is the most intriguing prospect for the Miami Heat in this season's training camp.

    Varnado has spent two years plying his trade in the Italian and Israeli leagues since being taken with the 41st pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

    In Italy he played with Carmatic Pistoia where he averaged 15.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and a staggering 3.1 blocks per game.

    Varnado has been invited to training camp and possesses an interesting physique. A 7'4" wingspan makes him a real shot-blocking threat, evidenced by his four blocks per game average over four seasons at Mississippi State.

    The Heat need some height and to go with it; Varnado has terrific quickness and could develop into a great defensive player in the NBA.

    He is one of just two players in college to compile more than 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks. The other is San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson.

    With just two centers on the roster and very little out there in terms of established centers, Varnado could be one of the steals of the draft.

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