Miami Heat Buzz: The Five Most Missed Heat Players From the Last Two Years
As the entire universe already knows, the Miami Heat pulled off one of the most immaculate roster overhauls in league history with the free agent additions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. While the Heat resigned seven players from last year's roster, namely Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, they also saw seven players depart via either free agency or trade.
While some of those players won't be missed much (Jermaine O'Neal), there are still some valuable players that Miami will miss even though they acquired the best athlete in the NBA. This is not to say all five of these players would all be on this current roster together- it's just players that could have worked on the current team and that will be somewhat missed. To make it easier, here are the top five most missed players under the Erik Spoelstra regime (the last two seasons).
5. Jamario Moon
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Moon came over to Miami in the Shawn Marion-for-Jermaine O'Neal swap back in 2008. The athletic small forward only saw 28 games in a Heat uniform as Miami declined to match Cleveland's offer sheet in the offseason.
However, in a short period of time, Moon looked pretty good, showcasing his freak athletic skills and solid perimeter defense. You could also tell right from the start, Dwyane Wade and Jamario had an instant connection, as they often found each other for high flying alley oops.
With Mike Miller out to injury and the only legitimate small forward backup being James Jones, Moon would have no problem meshing with this team, especially since the fact he was teammates with LeBron James in Cleveland last season.
At the end of the day, Cleveland nabbed Moon from Miami, but Miami took LeBron from Cleveland. Oh well.
4. Daequan Cook
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Cook was highly criticized for his drop-off after he won the three-point shootout at the 2009 All-Star Game. Undoubtedly, the sharpshooter from Ohio State had a noticeable drop-off, as he struggled to hit wide open shots throughout the remainder of the year and completely fell out of the rotation last season.
However, Cook is still only a four-year veteran that has room and time to develop. He had a very solid rookie campaign and a decent sophomore season. He especially would have thrived with this roster, being that he would get open look after open look. In the end, the Heat had to do what they had to do in order to free cap space to make their amazing offseason happen. So, Cook was dealt to the Thunder, where he will look to resurrect his career.
3. Quentin Richardson
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It was surprising to see that Q-Rich didn't resign with Miami for the veteran's minimum for a chance to win a championship. That's not to say that he downgraded much, as he signed with the title-contending Orlando Magic, but he seemed to have a bond with the Heat through his great friendship with Dwyane Wade. Both are Chicago natives and are noted great pals.
In addition, he had a solid year with Miami last season, emerging as the starting small forward for the entire season, while posting nine points and five rebounds per game. He is another great reserve player that could have thrived with Miami's new team, as he would have a field day nailing wide open shots from beyond the arc.
2. Dorell Wright
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Although it's still too early to tell, it appears that Wright may have finally found his game that made him such a highly touted prospect out of high school back seven years ago.
D-Wright had a very rocky career in Miami, from a DUI to nude photos on the Internet, combined with his inconsistency. However, Wright was starting to find his groove at the end of the season last year, averaging 10.5 points off the bench during a streak where the Heat won 12 out of their final 14 games. His defense also looked greatly improved and he became a regular rotation player.
And this year, he is thriving with Golden State as a starter, posting 20.5 points and 5.5 boards per game so far. He is second on the Warriors in scoring, only behind Monta Ellis, who is having a monster start to the season. It finally seems that Wright is living up to his potential.
He might not have been able to match this same production this season in Miami with a star-studded roster, but he certainly could have still been an asset to this team with his defense and energy off the bench, as well as giving the Heat more depth at the forward position.
1. Michael Beasley
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Controversy and disappointment are the words that accurately describe Beasley's tenure in Miami. A suicide threat, possible drug abuse, not living up to his potential, and an abundance of criticism are all aspects of Beasley's career over the last two seasons.
So much energy was focused on the negatives of Beasley that no one took the time to point out the positives. The former Kansas State Wildcat averaged 14.4 points and six rebounds a game, while posting a 46.1 shooting percentage from the field during his two years in Miami. He was the team's second-leading scorer two years in a row, only behind Dwyane Wade.
A lot of people unfairly compared him to draft class mate Derrick Rose, who was the No. 1 overall pick and saw success right off the bat in Chicago.
However, Beasley's criticism is still warranted due to the fact that there are expectations that come with being the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and having a record-setting freshman year in college.
While it might seem odd that I have Beasley at the top of the list of players Miami will miss most, I chose him because of his potential. The fact that he is only in his third year and still had decent rookie and sophomore campaigns means he could still become the beast he was hyped to be.
This is still an unrealistic scenario because the Heat had to trade him to free the space from his $5 million contract in order to acquire the Big Three and other role players. But, people in Miami will still wonder what could have been with Super Cool Beas.