Miami Heat Rumors: Justise Winslow Starter Over Luol Deng as Mario Chalmers Trade to Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, NY Knicks Over Ty Lawson, Eric Bledsoe?

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Jul 16, 2015 11:42 AM EDT
Justise Winslow
Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow speaks to the media following the NBA Draft in 2015."

As the NBA Summer League continues on, teams are getting a look at which prospects they can bring up immediately and which will be headed to the D-League come the fall. The Miami Heat earned a lottery pick this year and have appeared to score big with Justise Winslow, a player out of Duke that was projected as being as good as any of the top-five picks. With Winslow already excelling in summer league play, could he eventually move up as a starter?

According to the Miami Herald, the Heat look like one of the big winners from draft night with Winslow who was not expected to be at the No.10 spot when the franchise drafted. The question is whether or not Winslow would be a starter or reserve star. Right now, the Heat have Luol Deng who opted into the player option for 2015. That was a surprise to some, but it ends up helping Winslow for the future.

Bleacher Report writes that Deng will be the starter as Winslow comes off the bench, but the rookie could be groomed as a future star in the process. ESPN's Marc Stein reported earlier in the offseason that Miami originally expected Deng to opt out and head elsewhere. He will return, but might not be a long-term player for Miami. The Heat are eyeing big names like Kevin Durant for 2016 which would mean Deng is not returning. That makes the development of Winslow so much more critical.

With Deng and Winslow taking care of the forward position, there are questions about the point guard spot. The Heat achieved their goal of re-signing Goran Dragic to a max contract, but there is doubt as to who will back him up. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat are desperate to trade either Mario Chalmers of Shabazz Napier. The team appears to be eyeing the best deal so either player is available. Chalmers fell out of favor with the Heat after tension with LeBron James while Napier has yet to develop into much after one season of play.

There could be growing interest in either player depending on what the Heat are asking for in return. The Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers are all looking for depth at the position and either Chalmers or Napier could be quality additions. While the potential of success for Chalmers might be limited, Napier has just one year in the league and could end up developing into something good with the right team. 

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