The Miami Heat shopped a Mario Chalmers trade this summer and the team could consider a deal this season following the impressive play of Josh Richardson in the preseason. Rookie Justise Winslow has also been impressive and this comes as Hassan Whiteside is hoping to make his preseason debut for the team, while James Ennis is trying to make the final roster.
Miami is coming into the season with high expectations after missing the playoffs last year and young players like Winslow and Richardson could be key to getting back to the postseason. Dwyane Wade is coming back healthy and Goran Dragic is prepared after having a full offseason and training camp with his new team. Chris Bosh has recovered from his blood clot issue that forced him to miss half the season last year and with Winslow coming in behind Luol Deng, Miami has some depth at a number of positions.
Hassan Whiteside is going to play a key role this season and he will be the starting center in the regular season, but so far he has been unable to get on the court in the preseason. According to the Sun Sentinel, Whiteside is dealing with a calf injury and he has not been able to practice with the team in full this preseason. Whiteside has been dealing with the injury since late September and while he is slated to be ready for the season opener, the team would like to get him some reps before starting the season.
Miami has been looking to trade Chalmers this summer to help lower their luxury tax bill, but the team did not find a suitable deal. The team may continue to look for a trade, as rookie Josh Richardson has played well this preseason and could help replace Chalmers as a backup for Dragic. Winslow is coming into the season with high expectations and he has also looked good in the preseason and that could get him more minutes behind Luol Deng this season.
James Ennis is on the roster bubble and he is a player to watch over the final preseason games to see if Miami keeps him on the roster. Miami has not had their projected starting lineup of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside on the court yet in the preseason and the team is hoping to at least get some work with all five players on the court at the same time. Whiteside sat out on Tuesday against the Magic and he could play this weekend, as Miami has two games and that means two chances to get on the court.
The team plays back to back games against the Rockets and Hawks on Saturday and Sunday and if Whiteside does play, he likely will only suit up for one of those games. Miami does not want to push Whiteside too much, as he is going to be integral for the team this season and this year is a major one for Whiteside's career. Whiteside is heading into free agency and he is coming off of a strong season after averaging a double-double and 2.6 blocks per game.