Monday, July 12, 2010

Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller Take Less Money to Play in Miami

Udonis Haslem has turned down mid-level exception offers from Dallas and Denver to return to Miami. He's agreed to a 5-year deal worth around $20 million. Mike Miller has also signed with the Heat, though terms are unknown at the time of this writing.

The Breakdown
The Heat are finally starting to add some pieces around their Big 3, though these may be the only major pieces they're able to add since they have no room to sign other players for much more than the league minimum. This pretty much guarantees these 2 players will have major roles on the team.

It will be interesting to see where exactly Haslem fits in. Bosh will obviously be the starting PF, so Haslem will back him up. But with the lack of a center on the roster at this point, Haslem could possibly end up starting at that position like he did a couple of years ago. At the very least, I expect Haslem to get a good 25 minutes a game whether he's starting or coming off the bench. Udonis is a very steady, safe pick late in drafts. You know you're going to get about 10 points, 7 boards, and 50% FG from him every year. If you don't like to take a gamble on a sleeper with one of your later picks, go with Haslem if you want a sure thing. Be on the lookout as to whether he gets center eligibility in your league, as that will make him much more valuable.

Haslem, though, isn't the only Florida Gator on the Heat now that Mike Miller has also come to terms. Miller is a 3 point specialist who is still able to give you a great FG%. Also, he's a great free throw shooter and a good rebounder for his position. One major concern is that his scoring has come down the last couple of years. On this team, I definitely don't see his scoring going above 10 ppg. His role will be as the team's 6th man, so he should get a good 25+ minutes. I would expect Miami to go small late in games with Bosh moving up to the center spot and Erik Spoelstra inserting Miller alongside James and Wade. Miller should get a ton of open 3s in that line up. Miller is worth a look late in drafts if you're looking for a player who can give you 3s without hurting your FG%. Just don't expect much else from him when playing with such a stacked line up.

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