Friday, July 30, 2010

One More Valuable Piece on its Way?

Eddie House's signing with the Miami Heat bring the comparisons to the Boston Celtics full circle. It was when the Celtics traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett that the formula had been substantiated for the summer of 2010 makeover. James Posey, PJ Brown and Eddie House were three former Heat players that jumped at the opportunity to fill in the gaps for what would turn out to be a special team - albeit one that presumably did not have more than a 5 year window.

This is now the second time that Mr. House has chosen winning over dollars. He is exactly the type of guy that the second unit needs to keep the intensity going. Now 32 years in age, House was replaced in his Boston role by the younger, smaller, more explosive Nate Robinson. House is a streaky 3 point shooter with a 39% career mark from downtown. What that means is that when he gets hot, he is lethal. When you combine his firepower along with Mike Miller's and James Jones's long range, you have assembled one of the league's best 3 point shooting teams.

The really exciting thing about this signing, however, is the knowledge that it brings the team to 14 guaranteed contracts, which opens the discussion for who the final piece should be. Even though Kenny Hasbrouck and Shavlik Randolph received unguaranteed deals, I am of the belief that Riley would like to bring in one more piece.

In my opinion, the final piece should be a guard, but even then many options remain. There are two developmental options in Patrick Beverley and Da'Sean Butler. I like Beverley as a defensive stopper, but he could very well use extra seasoning overseas. Butler may very well be kept because he is a first round talent and the team would be risking losing their rights to him if he were to sit out the year rehabbing. That option could be interesting for him, because he could command a lot of attention for a bigger contract if his recovery goes according to plan. However, with a lockout looming it is hard to believe he would take the risk.

In the current free agent market, Miami seems to be down to options like Jerry Stackhouse, Tracy McGrady and Roger Mason. Assuming Miami was down to those three, Mason would be the ideal choice as he could play at either guard position and has the most reliable three point shot of the three.

One other option that remains is a trade for Rudy Fernandez, who seemingly cannot be acquired before December 15th due to his salary not matching with Chalmers, the only player currently eligible to be traded. Not sure how his situation will shake out, but if he is able to force his way down to Miami, he could be a very special player for the Heat.

Eddie House's signing re-enforced the idea that being the 14th or 15th player to sign does not mean you will be the 14th or 15th in the rotation. Will Miami seek one more rotation player?

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