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Re-Grading Every Miami Heat Offseason Acquisition

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Re-Grading Every Miami Heat Offseason Acquisition
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With almost no financial flexibility, the Miami Heat were far from big spenders throughout the 2013 offseason.

All the Heat had to work with was the taxpayers' exception (around $3.2 million), which they didn't even use, and minimum contracts.

Still, the Heat managed to sign a couple of potential impact players over the summer: Chris Andersen (re-signed), Greg Oden, Roger Mason Jr. and Michael Beasley.

Now, 22 games into the 2013-14 season, it's time to reevaluate the moves and determine if the Heat made the right decisions. 

 

Michael Beasley

Beasley's performance throughout the first quarter of the season has been absolutely stunning. An inefficient, ball-stopping gunner released by the Phoenix Suns in September, the prospects of Beasley being a productive NBA player again looked very slim.

But the Heat took another chance on the player they took No. 2 in the 2008 draft, and they've seen immediate dividends. 

Beasley has been an offensive force; his shot has been stellar, and he's getting to the rim with ease and finishing. He's shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 50.0 percent on his three-pointers. 

Take a look at his shot chart for the season:

NBA.com

Beasley is averaging 11.4 points in the 17.6 minutes he plays per game, which makes him the Heat's best per-minute scorer other than LeBron James. 

Not all of his bad tendencies are gone. He still can be a ball-stopper at times. However, more often than not, he's played well within the Heat's system.

On top of the great work offensively, he's actual been productive in other areas of the game. Beasley's been Miami's second-best per-minute rebounder and has shown a surprising effort on the defensive end. 

And he's doing all of this work for a veteran's minimum contract, giving the Heat a tremendous value on their investment. There's no denying Beasley has been one of the biggest steals from the 2013 offseason.

Grade: A

 

Chris "Birdman" Andersen

Andersen was a crucial rotation player for the Heat during their championship run last season, so they decided to bring the 35-year-old center back on a minimum deal.

To this point, it's looking like a great move. Birdman is giving the Heat everything they could ask out of him: rebounding, shot-blocking and finishing well at the rim. 

Andersen's performance on the glass is a bit down from a year ago, but he's still been the Heat's best rebounder (8.8 boards per 36 minutes). He's also the Heat's top shot-blocker at 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes.

Birdman's ability on the offensive end flies under the radar at times, but it's crucial for the Heat to have a competent offensive center who cuts to the basket, can catch the ball and lays it in or slams it home. 

If the Heat didn't have Andersen, they'd likely be playing Joel Anthony as their backup center, whose offensive ineptitude makes it feel as if the Heat are playing 4-on-5 when he's in.

And there's also the contagious high energy he plays with. Birdman only plays 17.5 minutes per game, but he's always moving and jumping around and almost always doing something productive.

Grade: A

 

Roger Mason Jr.

Mason Jr. has been primarily relegated to playing in games only in which Dwyane Wade sits out, and he's been a fine fill in. He's converted 11-of-23 three-pointers and is shooting 45.7 percent from the field. He's also averaging 5.1 points, .9 assists and one rebound per game. 

He's played just 117 minutes this season; however, it's hard to fault him for that, given how difficult is to make the Heat's rotation (and Mason Jr. was never really expected to be a rotation player). 

Considering the Heat have Mason Jr. on a minimum contract and he was only brought in for his shooting prowess, it's fair to say this move has worked out pretty well. 

Grade: B- 

 

Greg Oden

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Oden has yet to suit up for the Heat this season, and there have been very few updates on his status. A recent report from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio pegs Oden's return as coming after the All-Star break, which isn't surprising.

The Heat signed Oden to essentially be a Roy Hibbert stopper in the postseason. So as long as Oden is ready to contribute for Miami in some capacity come playoff time, we'll view this move as a success, given he, too, is signed for the veteran's minimum.

Grade: N/A 

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