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Exploring the Miami Heat’s options at greatest position of need

by Lewis hawkins
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At one point or another last season, the Heat had 10 NBA quality players on its roster who could have played center or power forward alongside Bam Adebayo.

But not a single one of the 10 is a realistic or appealing option to start alongside Adebayo next season, leaving a major void on Miami’s roster.

Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard were traded, and neither was viewed by Miami as a long-term answer, anyway.

Maurice Harkless never earned Erik Spoelstra’s trust, was traded, and then tweeted “LOL” when the Heat was swept in the playoffs.

Precious Achiuwa — who had double-doubles in all four of his NBA starts as a rookie — lacks the type of range to make him a fit alongside Adebayo, unless Spoelstra changes his approach or one of them develops a reliable three-point shot.

KZ Okpala is a skilled wing defender but a poor rebounder (1.2 per game last season) and a career 23.5 percent three-point shooter.

Free agent Trevor Ariza, who started 31 of the Heat’s final 32 games at power forward, is a 35-year-old converted small forward who remains an undersized and well-past-his-prime stopgap, a player capable of good stretches but also capable of going scoreless in Games 2 and 3 against the Bucks in the playoffs and rebound-less in Game 4. The Heat would like to re-sign him.

Nemanja Bjelica is a free agent and fell out of the rotation when Dwayne Dedmon signed. Dedmon likely needs to shoot threes at a much higher clip than his 33.1 career average to warrant major minutes alongside Adebayo.

Andre Iguodala — with a $15 million team option — is at the tail end of his career and likely headed elsewhere. And Udonis Haslem, at 40, plays about once a year.

That group of 10 doesn’t count developmental center Omer Yurtseven, who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game.

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