2020 Offseason Outlook - Miami Heat


Overview


At the conclusion of the 2019-2020 NBA season, the Miami Heat had a record of 44-29 which placed them at 5th in the Eastern Conference and 11th in the league. The Miami Heat have become one of the dark horses of the eastern conference. They have become known for their aggressiveness and determination on the court led by Jimmy Butler, who has taken on his leadership role with pride, and while he has at times crossed the line, he always steps up for his teammates which really galvanised this roster. The Heat have also had an impressive season from first-time all-star, Bam Adebayo, who has boosted Miami’s defence and earned himself some nods for most improved player. Additionally, Miami have had some breakout players in Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro who have all become key contributors to this surprisingly successful team over the course of the season. Currently, the Miami Heat are in the second round of the 2020 NBA playoffs and no matter what happens from here, they can look back on the season as a successful one with plenty to build on for next season. Like many other teams this offseason, the Heat will focus on being patient and looking towards future off seasons, but for Miami patience will be key as they are in the lead position to sign star free agents in the 2021 offseason with Jimmy Butler being the only player guaranteed a contract for the 2021-22 season.


Salary Cap


Currently, the Miami Heat have 6 players with guaranteed contracts for the 2020-2021 NBA offseason. Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson have non-guaranteed salary which projects to become fully guaranteed shortly. Kelly Olynyk has a $13.2 million player option which I expect him to opt into. Olynyk has been in Miami for several years now and seems to be enjoying providing quality minutes as an occasional starter at the power forward position. Additionally, while this free agency class is weaker than usual, Olynyk would still not expect to see an offer close to the amount of his option, so it makes complete sense for him to stay where he is on his current contract. Kyle Alexander and Gabe Vincent will be restricted free agents on two-way qualifying offers. Their unrestricted free agents are Goran Dragic, Solomon Hill, Meyers Leonard, Jay Crowder, Udonis Haslem and Derrick Jones Jr. Most of their free agents are key parts to the Heat’s roster and the team will have some tough decisions to make as the look ahead to the future. The Heat project to have a $9.2 million mid-level exception, a $3.6 million bi-annual exception and a $7.5 million trade exception available for them to use in the 2020 offseason.


Depth Chart –

Free Agency


The Miami Heat will enter free agency with approximately $20 million In cap space and with so many players entering free agency, they will have a number of key decisions to make. With the much anticipated 2021 offseason approaching, the Heat will look to keep themselves from locking down too many contracts past next season in order for them to go after star players to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Their top priority should be to retain key players such as Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr. These players have been crucial in Miami’s rotation and have contributed to them having one of the deepest teams in the NBA this season. With few teams having any available cap space this offseason, it should not be too difficult to retain these players on reasonable contracts. The only potential issue is the length that these players may be requesting and whether it lines up with Miami’s plans in 2021. Udonis Haslem is another free agent going into this offseason and is yet to make a decision on his potential retirement. If he decides to continue in the NBA, the heat should look to retain him on a veteran minimum contract as he contributes greatly to overall team morale and is a fan favourite in Miami. Free agents, Meyers Leonard and Solomon Hill, are lower priorities for Miami and can be retained if there is little interest from opposing teams and if they are willing to sign on reasonable one-year contracts. Ultimately, like many other teams this offseason, there will be little need or interest in going after free agents from other teams as Miami will focus on the 2021 offseason with Giannis Antetokounmpo projected to be available.


2020 Draft


The Miami Heat have the 20th projected pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The Heat will look to draft for this pick to add to their plethora of young pieces. while this is a weaker draft than usual, there is still potential to draft a solid role player in the first round. With the 20th projected pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Heat should look to take Cole Anthony, a 6’3” point guard out of North Carolina. Anthony is a solid defensive guard that can come off the bench and get you buckets. he struggles with his usage and field goal percentage but the skills he lacks can be taught quickly in the Miami system under coach Spo and he can fit in well with the several young guards that are at Miami currently.


Summary


The Miami Heat will enter the 2020 offseason with patience as their number one priority, like many other teams this year. They are one of the few teams with significant cap space and will most likely use this to bring back their key free agents as they look to continue their run of strong seasons, led by Jimmy Butler. In the draft, they will look to add to their young guards with Cole Anthony and will look to continue their overall player development as they set their sights to the much anticipated 2021 offseason. They should look to run this team back and become one of the top teams in the East for the next several seasons in their hunt for their next championship.


Projected Depth Chart 2020/21 Season –

Players IN: Cole Anthony

Players OUT: N/A