PG Goran Dragic
Ninth season (3rd with the Heat)
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Height, weight: 6-3, 190
Last season: 14.1 PPG, 5.8 APG, 3.8 RPG
Career: 12.5 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.8 RPG
Inside scoop: Coach Erik Spoelstra tried to quell Dragic for Rudy Gay trade rumors in the preseason, telling him the Heat wasn't shopping him. But that could change quickly if Miami gets off to a slow start. Through the preseason, though, Dragic looked right at home in the Heat’s fast, up-tempo attack and could be poised to put up big offensive numbers now that Miami is finally playing his style of basketball.
SG Dion Waiters
Fifth season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-4, 215
Last season: 9.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 27.6 MPG
Career: 12.8 PPG, 28.3 MPG, 33.4% 3PT
Inside scoop: Tabbed a selfish player and bad teammate in Cleveland and Oklahoma City, Waiters came to the Heat this summer on a bargain basement, two-year, $5.9 million deal (with a player option for 2017-18) to revamp his image. Through the preseason, Waiters was doing a good job of it, sharing the basketball and developing into a reliable, playmaking weapon whether starting or coming off the bench. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in the preseason and shot 44.4 percent from three. Will his positive approach continue once Josh Richardson returns and rotations and minutes are altered? We'll see.
SF Justise Winslow
Second season (all with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-7 225
Last season: 6.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 28.6 MPG
Inside scoop: Named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team and USA Men's Select team this summer, the Heat's 2015 first round pick will go from starting only 10 games last season to being counted on heavily this season for more than just his defense. Winslow spent all summer working on his shot and was definitely better from three-point range (35.7%) this preseason than he was last season (27.6%). At the very least, the Heat needs Winslow's jumper to be effective enough to keep defenders from leaving him wide open like they did last year.
PF Derrick Williams
Sixth season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-8, 245
Last season: 9.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 17.9 MPG
Career: 9.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 29.9% 3PT
Inside scoop: Once the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Williams has played for three different teams and many more coaches his first five years in the league and came to the Heat on a one-year, $4.5 million deal hoping stability and opportunity would lead to him finding himself as a player. A below average defender, Williams has been committed to that side of the ball with the Heat. He started five games at power forward this preseason (9.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 41.5 FG%) and will likely be the starter on most regular season nights with Miami's fast, small-ball approach. That’s of course if he continues to stay committed on defense.
C Hassan Whiteside
Fifth season (3rd with the Heat)
Height, weight: 7-0, 265
Last season: 14.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 3.68 BPG
Career: 11.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.91 BPG
Inside scoop: The league's leading shot blocker, fresh off signing a four-year, $98 million deal to stay in Miami is ready to elevate himself into an All-Star this season -- even if the rest of the league still isn’t completely sold on him. Though it wasn't encouraging to see Whiteside shoot only 54.8 percent from the free throw line this preseason (he shot 75 percent after the All-Star break last year), the offensive side of his game has continued to progress and he could flourish being as good a shape as he's in. With legitimate three-point shooting threats on the floor to create spacing, Whiteside says he played with more space this preseason than he's ever had.
G Tyler Johnson
Third season (all with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-4, 190
Last season: 8.7 PPG, 2.2 APG, 24.0 MPG
Career: 7.4 PPG, 1.8 APG, 37.8% 3PT
Inside scoop: The Heat were willing to part with point guards Briante Weber and Beno Udrih this preseason in part because of how much Johnson, who could develop into a Manu Ginobili-type weapon off the bench, has improved and impressed as a point guard (14 assists, 3 turnovers) since the off-season. After the Heat matched the four-year, $50 million offer sheet Brooklyn signed him to this summer, Johnson better continue to raise his game. His cap hits the final two years of his current deal are $18.8 and $19.6 million. He's got to start by staying healthy. Johnson missed 44 games after rotator cuff surgery last season.
G Josh Richardson
Second season (all with Heat)
Height, weight: 6-6, 200
Last season: 6.6 PPG, 21.3 MPG, 46.1% 3PT
Inside scoop: The 40th overall pick in last year's draft sprained the MCL in his right knee Sept. 9 during voluntary team workouts and missed the preseason. But he's expected to play a prominent role and could start once he's healthy. Richardson hardly played the first half of last season, but earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors in March and averaged 10.2 points while shooting 53.3 percent from three-point range after the All-Star break.
PF Luke Babbitt
Seventh season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-9, 225
Last season: 7.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 18.0 MPG
Career: 4.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 40.3% 3PT
Inside scoop: Babbitt, a free agent after this season, will rotate at power forward with Derrick Williams and James Johnson with his primary job to help spread the floor when he's out there. Acquired from New Orleans in July so the Pelicans could reaquire its 2018 second round pick from Miami, Babbitt has been a three-point weapon off the bench most of his career. He missed four games this preseason because of a tight groin, but in his career he's been relatively healthy, missing only seven games because of injury.
SG Wayne Ellington
Eighth season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-5, 208
Last season: 7.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 35.8% 3PT
Career: 7.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 37.6% 3PT
Inside scoop: Signed to a two-year, $12 million deal with a team option for next season, Ellington’s role is a lot like Babbitt’s -- he's here to help spread the floor with his three-point shooting touch. He shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc in the preseason and started four games. But once Josh Richardson returns from a sprained MCL, Ellington's role could be reduced.
F James Johnson
Eighth season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-8, 250
Last season: 5.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 16.2 MPG
Career: 6.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 18.3 MPG
Inside scoop: Signed to a one-year, $4 million deal, Johnson started only once in the preseason and figures to be a part of the power forward rotation off the bench. He has enough ball-handling and playmaking skills to occassionally swing over to small forward if needed. He could also swing over to center when Spoelstra goes with small lineups.
SG Rodney McGruder
Height, weight: 6-5, 200
Last season: 15.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG (NBDL)
Career: 13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 37.5% 3PT (NBDL)
Inside scoop: The starting shooting guard on the Heat's D-League championship team last year in Sioux Falls, McGruder earned his first spot on an NBA roster by outperforming Beno Udrih and Briante Weber in the preseason. Spoelstra said McGruder makes a lot of winning plays -- much like Justise Winslow -- and his teammates love his work ethic and humble attitude. Signed to a partially guaranteed, three-year deal he could become a bigger part of the Heat's future after this season, but will likely sit on the bench or be inactive most nights barring injuries to others.
C Willie Reed
Second season (1st with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-11, 245
Last season: 4.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 10.9 MPG
Inside scoop: After making an impression on the Heat in Summer League last season, the Brooklyn Nets pounced on Reed, but only used him for 39 games last season after he missed the first 15 games of the season with a torn ligament on his right thumb. Back with the Heat after signing a two-year, $2 million deal this summer, Reed's role will be to backup Hassan Whiteside. How much that happens depends on how much Spoelstra decides to go with a small lineup. Reed shined in the preseason, shooting 63.2 percent and averaging 8.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 20.4 minutes per game.
PF Josh McRoberts
10th season (third with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-10, 230
Last season: 3.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 14.2 MPG
Career: 5.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 19.3 MPG
Inside scoop: After missing 88 games his first two seasons with the Heat because of a right knee injury, McRoberts revealed he broke his left foot in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals back in May and then had a setback during team workouts in August. He missed the entire preseason and still has not begun participating in contact work. The Heat tried to trade him this summer to help free up more money to try and keep Dwyane Wade, but unless McRoberts gets healthy, plays and resembles the player he was before coming to Miami, the Heat will likely remain on the hook for the combined $11.8 million he’s owed over this season and next (McRoberts has a player option for next season).
PF/C Udonis Haslem
14th season (all with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-8, 235
Last season: 1.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 7.0 MPG
Career: 7.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 26.1 MPG
Inside scoop: The lone remaining player from the Heat's championship era is serving as the only team captain this season. But we may not see much of Haslem on the court at all. He was a healthy, DNP coach's decision 45 times last season and will only surface most nights in the event Hassan Whiteside is hurt or gets into early foul trouble. Still, Haslem, signed to a one-year, $4 million deal, is highly valued for his leadership and presence on the bench.
F/C Chris Bosh
14th season (7th with the Heat)
Height, weight: 6-11, 235
Last season: 19.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.4 APG
Career: 19.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 APG
Inside scoop: Pat Riley said back on Sept. 26 the Heat were no longer working toward the 11-time All-Star's return and its expected the Heat will release him after the one-year anniversary of his last game on Feb. 9 to be in position to recoup the $76 million in cap space still owed to Bosh over the next three seasons. If Bosh ends up playing 25 games for another team, his cap hit goes back to counting against the Heat. So, it's likely Miami will hold onto Bosh until March to make sure he's not eligible to play for another team in the playoffs, guaranteeing the team can use the $25.3 million he's due to make next summer on another free agent.