Players Miami Heat Should Let Go Of This Offseason

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Players Miami Heat Should Let Go Of This Offseason
STEVE YEATER/Associated Press

Not since the summer of 2010 that landed them LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have the Miami Heat faced a more important offseason than the one coming in a little more than a month.

And that's not solely because each of those three stars has an opt-out clause and can again become a free agent.

Just about every player on the 2013-14 team that's fighting for a third straight NBA title right now could be off next year's books.

Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Shane Battier (likely to retire), Toney Douglas, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Greg Oden and Michael Beasley all have expiring contracts, according to HoopsHype. Additionally, Justin Hamilton has a team option, while Udonis Haslem has a player option.

That leaves just Norris Cole and Chris Andersen as locks (barring trade or release) to be on the 2014-15 Heat. In turn, that leaves the Heat with a lot of decisions to make.

Here, we're going to take a look at the players the Heat should definitely not bring back.

 

Rashard Lewis

To this point, Rashard Lewis' two seasons in Miami have been mostly forgettable.

He was a complete non-factor in 2012-13. While he's received more playing time this year, he's had little success.

Lewis, whose primary responsibility is to knock down three-pointers, shot a decent-but-not-great 34.3 percent from outside this season.

As expected, he also didn't do much to alleviate the Heat's rebounding problems, grabbing 4.1 boards per 36 minutes despite being 6'10". While he held his own in Miami's team defensive scheme this year, he also allowed opponents to shoot 40.2 from the field (ranks 250th in the league). 

Coach Erik Spoelstra has continued to trust Lewis in the postseason (11.0 MPG), but Lewis has rarely rewarded Spo's faith. He's shooting just 27.3 percent from the floor and 15.4 percent from beyond the arc. 

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
Lewis has not made the most of his postseason opportunities.

Lewis is the type of player who fits well in Miami's system (a floor-spacer), but Miami could certainly find someone with more ability to fill his role.

Factor in that Lewis will be 35 by the time next season rolls around, and it's not hard to see why the Heat would be best served going in a different direction in 2014-15.

 

Michael Beasley

Miami took a low-risk flier on Beasley last offseason after he found himself in a bit of legal trouble and was unceremoniously released by the Phoenix Suns

At the season's onset, the decision appeared to be a great one. Beasley was scoring at a per-minute rate that ranked among the team's best and committing defensively for the first time in his professional year. 

But Beasley began reverting to his old habits (ball-stopping, lack of defensive instincts) and eventually lost Spo's trust—not some, all of it.

He was strictly a garbage-time player at the end of the regular season (excluding the final two games in which the Heat sat some key players).

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Beasley has spent the majority of the past few months on the bench.

The former No. 2 pick of the 2008 NBA draft has seen just three minutes in eight playoff games this month.

Beasley showed flashes this season, but Spo's unwillingness to play him lately indicates that the Kansas State product's second stint in Miami is all but done. 

 

Toney Douglas

The Heat never had big plans for Douglas. They acquired the point guard in a three-team midseason move in which Miami's primary motivation was to rid itself of Joel Anthony's contract. 

Douglas received a decent amount of playing time in April (22.3 MPG) with Dwyane Wade nursing a hamstring injury and performed decently. He played tough defense but could never really find a rhythm within the Heat's offense.

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Douglas has simply been unable to get comfortable in Miami's offense.

Like Beasley, he's found himself completely out of the Heat's postseason rotation, playing just five minutes in eight games.

While Douglas isn't a declining player at 28, he's also likely done growing. Who Toney Douglas is now is who he will be for the next couple of years.

Instead of re-signing and spending time getting Douglas further acclimated in their system to where he could contribute over the next couple of years, the Heat could take the same approach with a younger guard or sign a veteran who could help them win next year. 

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