Stat Projections for Each Miami Heat Offseason Addition
The Miami Heat had a busy offseason, to say the least.
The Heat saw LeBron James and other key contributors from last year's team (Shane Battier, James Jones, Rashard Lewis and presumably Ray Allen) walk out the door and added a number of solid players to occupy their old spots on the depth chart.
We're going to take an in-depth look at those newcomers and assign them statistical projections for the upcoming season.
The Heat might not have LeBron anymore, but if these summer acquisitions can play up to their potential, then Miami should still finish as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Note: We're giving predictions to the free-agent signings that are strong bets or locks to make the team. The Heat also signed Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones this summer, but it's very possible that Johnson ends up on Miami's D-League affiliate and Jones simply doesn't make the roster.
With Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole likely to be slotted above him on the depth chart, rookie Shabazz Napier isn't going to stuff the stat sheet in Year 1.
Perhaps an even bigger concern for Napier right now is proving to the Heat coaching staff in training camp that he's a much better player than he showed in summer league. In five games in Orlando, Napier shot 27.3 percent from the field, 15.4 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 4.8 turnovers per game.
While those numbers are concerning when projecting Napier's rookie season stats, it would be unwise to forget his decorated college career and that he averaged 18.0 points (42.9 FG%, 40.5 3P%), 5.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists during his senior season.
Although there might a bit of a learning curve, Napier absolutely has the potential to have a fairly productive season in a small role off the bench.
Projections (per game): 5.0 points (41.5 FG%, 37 3P%), 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 turnover
Reggie Williams isn't a very good player, but the Heat desperately needed depth behind Dwyane Wade at the 2, so they signed him earlier this summer and he should see playing time.
Williams is a career 37.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc and will likely be called upon to pop a couple threes per game. But the 27-year-old provides little value in the other facets of the game, which significantly hinders how often coach Erik Spoelstra can deploy him next season.
If a talented shooting guard becomes available via trade or free agency during the season, don't be surprised if Miami looks to upgrade from Williams.
Projections (per game): 4.0 points (43 FG%, 37 3P%), 1.25 rebounds and 0.5 assists
Deng's offensive numbers in 2013-14 leave something to be desired (16.0 PPG, 43.1 FG%, 30.2 3P%), but he should benefit from playing next to Wade and Bosh and be more efficient in 2014-15.
Deng's biggest value to the Heat is probably on the defensive end, but unfortunately for him, that won't really translate to a standard box score.
Still, the 29-year-old should help, albeit only slightly, ease the pain of losing James for the Heat and help them continue to win games at a high rate.
Projections (per game): 15.0 points (47 FG%, 32 3P%) 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists
Danny Granger was arguably a star four years ago. Now, he's someone the Heat took a flier on this summer and could either be one of the summer's biggest steals or biggest busts.
Granger might be the guy that looked done for much of last season with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers, or he could re-emerge as an offensive weapon, an obviously lesser-but-still-effective version of the guy that averaged 18.7 points per game in 2010-11.
We're not betting on a completely resurgent Danny Granger, but unless James Ennis proves to be a very valuable player from the get-go, the 31-year-old will get his minutes and a chance to put up some points.
Projections (per game): 6.5 points (41 FG%, 33 3P%) 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist
Ennis enters the 2014-15 season fresh off of dominant summer league showings in Orlando and Las Vegas. In six games, he averaged 15.5 points (51.7 percent shooting from the field and 48.1 percent shooting from outside), 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
The 22-year-old possesses a lot of the abilities and physical features (he's lengthy, athletic and can shoot) one would want in a young wing player.
But he is a rookie, and coach Spoelstra will likely prefer to rely on his veterans, as Miami's in a win-now mode, which puts a bit of a limit on just how productive Ennis can be this year.
Projections (per game): 5.0 points (47 FG%, 36 3P%), 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist
Josh McRoberts broke out last season with the Charlotte Bobcats, showing off his versatility by averaging 8.5 points (43.6 FG%, 36.1 3P%), 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Surrounded by even more talent in Miami, McRoberts has the potential for an even bigger season in 2014-15.
His biggest asset to the Heat is his passing ability. Miami's ball movement will take a hit without James, but McRoberts, one of the best big-man passers in the game, will soften that blow.
Additionally, in Spoelstra's small-ball system, McRoberts' range will surely be taken advantage of with the Heat.
Projections (per game): 9.5 points (45 FG%, 37 3P%), 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists
Shawne Williams might be listed as a small forward, but don't be surprised if Spoelstra deploys the 28-year-old primarily as a stretch 4.
The key for Williams in earning such a role and maintaining minutes will be proving to Spo that the threat of his shot can keep defenses honest. He shot just 32.6 percent from three last year and 24.1 percent from three in 2011-12, but knocked down 40.1 percent of his outside attempts in 2010-11, so anything is possible here.
Aside from his shot as a possible weapon, he's a solid rebounder and pulled down 4.6 boards in 20.9 minutes per game last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Considering Miami has ranked dead last in rebounds per game in each of the past two years, they'll appreciate Williams' talent on the glass.
Projections (per game): 4.0 points (39 FG%, 34 3P%), 3.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists