What to Expect from Every Miami Heat Player in 2014-15

Sam RichmondCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2014

What to Expect from Every Miami Heat Player in 2014-15

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    Although the Miami Heat lost four-time MVP LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, the 2014-15 Heat are poised to remain one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

    Miami brought back franchise cornerstones such as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, while also signing nine newcomers this offseason, such as Luol Deng.

    But when evaluating how skilled this roster is, it's important to look at every part of it—from Wade, Bosh and Deng to rookies Shabazz Napier and James Ennisso we're going to do just that. 

    We'll be taking a look at and making statistical predictions for every player in our projected 15-man final roster

Third-Stringers/End-of-the-Bench Players

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    Shabazz Napier, PG

    Napier will likely fall in behind Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole on the point guard depth chart, which puts a ceiling on the rookie's potential in 2014-15.

    Still, as long as he can bounce back from his poor summer league showings, Napier will find his way on the court for decent minutes.

    While out there, he should knock down outside shots, impress with his handles and develop as a distributor. 

    Projections (per game): 5.0 points (41.5 FG%, 37 3P%), 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 turnover

     

    James Ennis, SF

    Ennis dazzled throughout summer league play. He averaged 15.5 points (51.7 percent shooting from the field and 48.1 percent shooting from three), 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in six games.

    With his length and athleticism, the 2013 second-round draft pick certainly has the potential to carve out a great NBA career.

    But his breakout likely won't come in his first year, considering the Heat generally don't like to rely on young players.

    Still, Ennis should set the stage for a successful future with an efficient rookie campaign. 

    Projections (per game): 5.0 points (47 FG%, 36 3P%), 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist

     

    Shawne Williams, SF/PF

    The key for Williams this season is how well he can shoot the ball.

    The 6'9" forward could fill in as a serviceable stretch 4 for Miami, but he'd have to be much better from three-point range than he was this past season with the Los Angeles Lakers (32.6 3PT%). 

    He shot 40.1 percent from outside in 2010-11 with New York, so it's certainly possible.

    Still, Miami shouldn't enter the season expecting a big year from the 28-year-old.

    Projections (per game): 4.0 points (39 FG%, 34 3P%), 3.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists

     

    Justin Hamilton, C

    Hamilton should make the roster due to his size (7'0"), age (24) and familiarity with the Heat (was on the team last year); however, it's unlikely he'll be much more than a benchwarmer.

    Hamilton averaged 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in five summer league games in Orlando, but he also shot 28.6 percent from outside, which doesn't suggest he's truly ready to make an impact on this team.

    Projections (per game): 2.0 points (46 FG%, 33 3P%), 1.0 rebound 

     

    Tyler Johnson, SG

    Assuming he makes the team, which is far from a lock, Johnson is another guy who will see barely any playing time in 2014-15.

    Johnson's young (22) and doesn't have the pedigree that others fighting for wing minutes have. 

    Still, he impressed during summer league play and makes sense for Miami as a young developmental project. Johnson averaged 12.2 points (54.8 percent shooting from the field and 46.7 percent shooting from three) 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 11 games in Orlando and Las Vegas. 

    Projections (per game): 2.0 points (45 FG%, 38 3P%), .5 rebounds

Backups

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    Norris Cole, PG

    Cole really wore down as the 2013-14 season progressed, which doesn't exactly bode well for his prospects this year. He finished the season with averages of 6.4 points (41.4 percent shooting from the field and 34.5 percent shooting from three), 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds.

    He'll still see valuable time because of his strong on-ball defense and his familiarity with Miami's system. Also, he's just 25 and a breakout year remains at least a possibility.

    Cole will likely show some growth in 2014-15 but perhaps not as much as Heat fans would desire.

    Projections (per game): 7.5 points (43 FG%, 34 3P%), 3.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds

     

    Reggie Williams, SG

    With the Heat so thin at shooting guard, Williams is the favorite for the No. 2 job behind Wade.

    Williams is not a solid all-around player, but he can hit threes, and that's basically all Miami will want from him. He will almost exclusively be utilized as a floor-spacer.

    Williams is a career 37.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

    Projections (per game): 4.0 points (43 FG%, 37 3P%), 1.25 rebounds and 0.5 assists

     

    Danny Granger, SF

    Granger comes to Miami with the opportunity to pull off one heck of a comeback story. The 31-year-old used to be one of the better small forwards in the league, but injuries have derailed his career to the point where he averaged just 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this past season.

    Unfortunately for Granger, it's much more liklely he comes through with a repeat of last season than he returns to his 2010-11 level (18.7 points per game). His body simply isn't the same as it once was, and there's nothing he can do about it.

    Projections (per game): 7.5 points (43 FG%, 33 3P%), 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists

     

    Udonis Haslem, PF

    Unfortunately for Miami fans, Haslem is another player who is clearly on the decline.

    Once a key player for the Heat, the 34-year-old averaged just 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds last season. His defense and mid-range game have also taken a significant step back.

    Still, Haslem's tough and physical style should earn him a regular role on this team.

    Projections (per game): 4.5 points (47 FG%) and 4.0 rebounds

     

    Chris Andersen, C

    Andersen didn't have a strong showing in the 2014 NBA Finals, but he proved throughout the 2013-14 regular season that he's still an enormous asset despite his age (he's now 36). He averaged 6.6 points (64.4 percent shooting from the floor), 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

    Andersen remains the perfect backup center behind Bosh due to his high-energy style and ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. We might start to see some drop-off in production from him, because Father Time waits for no one, but nothing substantial.

    Projections (per game): 6.0 points (62 FG%), 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 block 

Starting PG: Mario Chalmers

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    Mario Chalmers is in store for a big 2014-15 season.

    Yes, the 27-year-old was terrible for Miami versus the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, but he had a solid regular season and has developed into a pretty good player. He averaged 9.8 points (45.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from three), 4.9 assists and 1.9 steals in 73 games. 

    With LeBron James gone, Chalmers will be relied on to create more for others and for himself, which should lead to more assists and points in 2014-15. He won't be as efficient without James creating easy looks for him (nobody on Miami will), but he'll still finish at the rim and convert jumpers at a more-than-acceptable rate.

    Projections (per game): 11.5 points (44 FG%, 37 3P%), 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds 

Starting SG; Dwyane Wade

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    Similar to Chalmers, Dwyane Wade struggled mightily versus the Spurs, which seemingly resulted in many forgetting just how well the three-time champion played during the regular season.

    Playing second fiddle to James, Wade still averaged 19.0 points (a career-high 54.5 percent shooting from the field), 4.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds this past season.

    Wade is going to be much more of a focal point on the offense in 2014-15 and stuff the stat sheet more than he has in the past few years.

    While there's concerns about his health, Wade has lost significant weight this summer, according to Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, in an effort to prepare his body for the season's grind. 

    Wade has a chance to prove many doubters wrong in 2014-15, and I expect him to take full advantage.

    Projections (per game): 21.0 points (51 FG%), 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds

Starting SF: Luol Deng

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    The Heat can no longer pencil in 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists per night from their starting small forward, but James' replacement, Luol Deng, should give them enough to finish as a top team in the East.

    As one of the best wing defenders in basketball, Deng will help the Heat establish a defensive presence from the get-go.

    Offensively, Deng can be counted on for mid-teens scoring, though, unfortunately for Miami, he's not a strong shooter (30.2 3PT% in 2013-14).

    He'll also rebound the ball enough (5.7 RPG last season) to make up for LeBron's absence in that catagory.

    Projections (per game): 15.0 points (47 FG%, 32 3P%) 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists

Starting PF: Josh McRoberts

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    While the Heat's offseason signing of Josh McRoberts was met with jokes from plenty of NBA fans, Miami will get the last laugh here.

    In the Heat's small-ball system, McRoberts fits perfectly as a stretch 4. He can shoot the basketball well from outside (36.1 3P% in 2013-14) and will space the floor. He's also an outstanding passer (4.3 APG) and will be a big help for ball-spacing.

    Although Miami would probably prefer more rebounds from its power forward than what McRoberts is capable of (4.8 RPG), the pros of him far outweigh the cons. 

    Projections (per game): 9.5 points (45 FG%, 37 3P%), 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists 

Starting C: Chris Bosh

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    Chris Bosh averaged just 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season. But don't expect to see similar numbers from the Heat center in 2014-15. 

    Bosh becomes the top option in Miami with James in Cleveland, meaning 20 points per game and seven rebounds is probably his floor.

    It's important to note that Bosh is a much more skilled offensive player today than he was the last time he was a No. 1 option four years ago as a Toronto Raptor (his mid-range and outside game is improved), so there's little doubt Bosh will excel in this role. 

    He's no LeBron, but Bosh leaves the Heat in good hands.

    Projections (per game): 22.0 points (50 FG%, 35 3P%), 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 block