Here's How Every Miami Heat Player Graded for the 2016 Season
Spoiler alert: The Miami Heat season is over. Sorry if you were binge-watching and this ruined everything for you, but the rest of us can't sit around and wait for you.
Lots of good came from the 2015-16 Heat season, but then again, lots of bad came from it as well. It was one of the weirdest yet most satisfying seasons in a while. Some players surprised, while some frustrated. Now that the season is over, it's time to assess each player's performance and see if they're worth keeping around.
#0 Josh Richardson — A
Outside of completely grabbing a starting job during training camp and winning the dunk contest, Josh Richardson was the best-case scenario in terms of what you can expect from a second-round pick. If you just looked at Richardson's rookie season stats (6.6 points, two rebounds, one assist a game), you would never know the sort of impact he had on a Heat team that desperately needed him after the loss of Beno Udrih. Richardson ended up being a rotation mainstay and a 30-minute-a-night type of player — an absolute home-run pick for the Heat.
#1 Chris Bosh — Incomplete
Obviously, this judgment has nothing to do with Chris Bosh the player — it has everything to do with Chris Bosh the medically troubled human. While Bosh averaged 19 points and seven rebounds during 53 games with the Heat this season, the problem is that "53 games" part. For the second straight season, Bosh wasn't available past the All-Star break due to blood clots. It's a tough situation for the Heat to deal with this offseason. Regardless of how the team feels about Bosh, its just can't continue to play Russian roulette with a $20-million-a-year player.
#2 Joe Johnson — C
Snatching up Johnson after the Nets bought him out was a major coup for the Heat at the time, and without his signing, the Heat wouldn't have captured the third seed and the team's playoff run would have been very different. Now that the good part is out of the way, let's talk about the bad — the playoffs. Johnson was putrid in the playoffs, at one point in the Raptors series shooting 1-for-18 from three-point range.
Johnson had a few spurts that annoyed Heat fans further because they came too little, too late. Overall, Johnson was a mixed bag in a Heat uniform and isn't sure to ever wear one again.
#3 Dwyane Wade — A
Coming off so many years of knee troubles, Wade entered 2015-16 with a challenge from Pat Riley: Make people forget about his tendency to miss games. He did just that. Wade not only played in 74 regular-season games but also dominated in most of them. He averaged 19 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game this season, more than holding his own as the team leader.
Wade looked so slim and so amazing in 2015-16 there is no longer talk of him retiring. Instead, there is talk of just how much he will cost the Heat this offseason.
#4 Josh McRoberts — F
Injury issues and an eventual contribution of three points a game is not why the Heat signed McRoberts to a four-year deal worth an estimated $23 million — the full midlevel exception — in 2014. He's been a major disappointment in a multitude of fashions. The Heat would be better off paying a second-round pick to rid itself of owning McRoberts any longer. His salary is far too high for the player he is at this point in his career.
#5 Amar'e Stoudemire — C
In the end, the Heat pretty much got what was expected from Stoudemire at this point in his career: dependable leadership, able big-man offense, and at times, so much sadness. Stoudemire came in handy many times this year but was upset when the season ended at the amount of playing time he received in Miami. Chances are he won't have to worry about that next year.
#7 Goran Dragic — B
If we had done midseason report cards, Dragic would have received a terrible grade, but he rebounded nicely when asked to do more of the things that made him a force with the Phoenix Suns. A faster pace fit Dragic once the team transitioned to that style of play post-Bosh, and it's apparent that will be the way the Heat will try to play in the future.
Dragic was paid handsomely before this season to be a major part of the Heat's success, and toward the end of this season, we finally saw why the Heat traded two first-round picks for him.
#8 Tyler Johnson — B
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Although injuries forced Tyler Johnson to miss a huge chunk of this season, it was clear when he did play that he is a player the Heat should work hard to keep this offseason. Johnson is a slasher with skills that remind you of a poor man's Goran Dragic, and his outside shot, when he's healthy, is butter.
#9 Luol Deng — B
Much like Dragic's grade, Luol Deng's would have looked worse 40 games into the season. Deng, like Dragic, benefited greatly from the change in style Coach Spoelstra put in place once Bosh was lost. Deng was a mainstay, even when banged up at certain points in the season, and undoubtedly is a terrific influence on rookie Justise Winslow.
Deng, like most Heat players, is a free agent this offseason. The Heat would do well to get him back in Miami on a reasonable contract that makes both sides happy.
#11 Dorell Wright — F
Terrible energy in his bench celebrations. He was out-hustled in the sideline dance department on a nightly basis by fellow bench players. Hardly a factor. We hope he comes back next season — we like him.
#12 Briante Weber — A
Solid bench celebrations. Good teamwork and creativity. Alert when called upon to participate in a Dwyane Wade dunk celebration-skit. Solid prospect whom we hope to see play on the Heat's Summer League team. Hair needs some work.
#14 Gerald Green — C
What can be said about Gerald Green that hasn't already been said on Twitter? Literally nothing. Twitter has said it all. Good, bad, and, well, really bad, Green is a firecracker off the bench — sometimes he blows up; sometimes he's a rain-drenched dud. If the Heat can persuade him to take minimum money again, you could do worse at the end of a bench. When Green gets hot, he gets Ricky Davis hot.
#20 Justise Winslow — B
The Heat has a star in the making in Justise Winslow. It's just a matter of having the patience to let that cake cook long enough to be delicious. Winslow is
Winslow should use this entire summer to figure out his jump shot. If he is able to improve even 15 percent on offense, the Heat will have a player every team in the league would love to start.
#21 Hassan Whiteside — A+++
Let's be real: Hassan Whiteside did everything the Heat could have hoped and more this season. He has earned his payday. When he messed up, you rarely saw the same mistake twice. He got his temper in order for the most part and toward the end of the season was looking more and more like an All-Star center for whom teams would stand in a Black Friday type of line to pay him maximum money.
The Heat need to keep Whiteside, but it'll be costly. How much it costs the team will be up to how convinced Whiteside is that the Heat had a part in his past success and will in his future success.
#40 Udonis Haslem — A
Would you give UD a bad grade? We're not. Udonis Haslem proved this season he is still capable of those eight-minute stints the Heat so desperately needs when games get into clutch time. Players like Wade trust UD will always be in the right place at the right time, and he's invaluable to the team as far as locker-room presence and overall Miami Heat culture.
It would be surprising to see him retire, and he's said he feels good enough to continue. UD might play until he's 40, and that's music to our ears.
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