Sport 3 Miami Heat players who won't be back next season
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With the Miami Heat getting swept out of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, here are three players that won't be back next season.
Thewent from a trip to the NBA Finals in 2020 to getting stomped out by the in four games in the first round in 2021. With nine impending free agents and Jimmy Butler seeking a maximum contract extension, there are facing the Heat this offseason.
Here are three players who may not be back in South Beach next year.
3. Trevor Ariza
is an accomplished NBA veteran with 17 seasons under his belt. The forward was a late-season addition to the Heat roster after being bounced around from team to team like a hot potato in the offseason. Ariza suited up for 30 regular-season games and all four playoff games, and he was in the starting lineup most of that time.
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Ariza turns 36 later this month and is an unrestricted free agent this summer. With more games behind him than ahead of him, he'll be looking for a role on a title contender. He's the type of veteran presence many teams are seeking. However, Miami is in need of additional scoring threats and outside shooters who can draw defenses out. That's not really Ariza's strength, so it just doesn't seem like he'll be in a Heat jersey moving forward.
2. Nemanja Bjelica
Acquired at the trade deadline,featured in just 11 regular-season games for the Heat.
The 33-year-old is somewhat of a lame bloomer. Drafted in 2010 by the Washington Wizards, Bjelica played five seasons in Europe before eventually making his way back to the NBA at the age of 27. After a few seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he hit his stride in 2019-20 with the Sacramento Kings, averaging 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 72 appearances.
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Unfortunately, Bjelica couldn't quite find himself a steady spot in the Heat's rotation this year. His minutes plummeted, and he only saw 30 total minutes of action in the playoffs. He's now headed for unrestricted free agency. Our guess is Pat Riley will have his eyes on a guy who can fill a much bigger role than Bjelica can.
1. Andre Iguodala
is another big name who may have played his last days in a Miami Heat jersey. The Heat have a team option on his contract for 2021-22, so he's not guaranteed to be packing. However, we're not convinced the former NBA Finals MVP is still worth $15 million per year. Iguodala is 37 years old and his best basketball seems long behind him.
This past season, Iguodala featured in 63 games, averaging 21.3 minutes per contest. He brings countless defensive intangibles that don't show up on a boxscore, but we can't hide the fact that he shot a career-worst 38.3 percent from the floor. He's simply not as effective offensively as he was earlier in his career, particularly during his years with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heat need outside scorers around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and Iguodala isn't exactly a sharpshooter.
Plus, the Heat are reportedlyas a free agent target this summer. They'll need to save some money elsewhere in order to get him, and cutting Iguodala's contract is a pretty easy place to start.
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