Not to alarm you, but the NBA preseason is less than a month away. The Miami Heat are plenty aware of this as they begin to sew up loose ends and bring in players that could possibly fill out the rest of their roster.
Over the past week, the Heat have signed summer league standout Eric Griffin, former draft pick Justin Hamilton and another draft pick, this one being more notable, in Michael Beasley. Miami is also planning on bringing in the likes of Larry Drew II, Vander Blue and Yakhouba Diawara for workouts, as well.
The Heat are allowed to bring as many as 20 players into training camp, before they have to cut the final roster down to 15. They are allowed to have a minimum of 13 players, and that seemed to be the case until the Beasley signing threw that off. It now appears the Heat would like to add his versatility, although he only signed a non-guaranteed deal that will become guaranteed if the team chooses to bring him on board.
Miami is bringing back essentially the same roster from last year with two exceptions. For one, there's no more Mike Miller following the utilization of the amnesty provision. Secondly, former No. 1 pick Greg Oden is now on the squad after signing for the veteran's minimum.
Juwan Howard is also a free agent, but it wouldn't come as a surprise if he ends up signing with the Heat mid-season to hang out on the bench with the coaches.
More importantly, the Heat still have their three-man core of All-Stars, a Hall of Famer as a sixth man and a slew of role players who have contributed in big spots time and time again. They are the same team that won two consecutive titles and a team that is favored to win it all for a third consecutive time, despite acquisitions by rivals in Indiana and Brooklyn that could pose serious threats.
In time we will see if those acquisitions will knock the Heat off their throne. For now, we take a look at the current Heat roster—with the exception of 2013 draft pick James Ennis, who is playing overseas—and rank each player.