Did Miami Heat Do Enough to Retool in Post-LeBron James Era?

Sam RichmondCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2014

MIAMI, FL - April 20:  Chris Bosh #1 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat celebrate against the Charlotte Bobcats during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2014 NBA playoffs at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on April 20, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2014 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

The Miami Heat appeared to be in serious trouble in the immediate aftermath of LeBron James' announcing his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a letter posted July 11 on SI.com.

Norris Cole represented the only player with a guaranteed contract on Miami's roster, and the only free agents the Heat had agreed to terms with were Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. More importantly, though, it appeared Chris Bosh would sign with the Houston RocketsESPN reported that the Rockets expected a commitment from Bosh "soon" after LeBron's announcement.

On the verge of having one of the NBA's worst offseasons in recent memory, Miami made one of the biggest moves of the summer by convincing Bosh to stay and signing him to a five-year, $118 million contract (first reported by Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski). 

Bosh and Dwight Howard nearly became teammates this summer.
Bosh and Dwight Howard nearly became teammates this summer.Bill Baptist/Getty Images

The Bosh signing was critical, as it signaled to everybody that the Heat were still going to be a good team, allowing them to remain an attractive free-agent destination. 

With Bosh in the fold, Miami agreed to terms with Luol Deng, James Ennis and Shabazz Napier, while also re-signing Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem. 

Given they had just lost the best player in the world, the Heat rebounded incredibly well.

But the question is: Are those pieces "enough"?

Enough to win an NBA championship next year?

No way.

Miami was manhandled by the San Antonio Spurs throughout the five-game 2014 NBA Finals with James playing at an MVP-level. Once LeBron left, the Heat's title window closed, regardless of what other moves they made.

But enough to remain a competitive team in the Eastern Conference and capable of making a deep playoff run? 


Although Bosh and Wade weren't at their best vs. the Spurs, the two still represent a formidable duo in this league.

When healthy, Wade is still a great player, as he averaged 19 points (54.5 percent shooting from the floor) 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game this past season.

As for Bosh, he might have averaged just 16.2 points per game in 2013-14; however, those numbers were accomplished by him as the third wheel. 

With James gone, Bosh is now the highest-paid player and go-to guy on this team. With the offense running through him, don't be surprised if Bosh averages north of 20 points this season.

Entering as the new third wheel will be Deng, who can help make this team one of the more difficult units to score on in the NBA while adding around 15 points per night on the offensive end.

This team will be deep, too—probably even deeper than last season's squad.

McRoberts is a solid all-around player; his passing on the offensive end will be especially helpful for the team's ball movement.

Napier and Ennis are up-and-comers who can contribute right away, while Heat staples such as Haslem, Andersen and Chalmers understand coach Erik Spoelstra's system and are dependable (yes, even Chalmers).

And although Granger has struggled recently, he's only a few years removed from an all-star appearance, and there remains at least a chance for a semi-revitalization in Miami.

Expect this roster to fight for a top-four seed this season and make some noise in the postseason. An Eastern Conference Finals berth is not out of the question.

Pat Riley and Co. also did "enough" to set up this Heat team up very nicely for the future.

By getting every signee we've discussed to sign contracts that last two years or less, Miami will have the financial flexibility to be a major player when the 2016 free-agency period rolls around.

The Heat will almost certainly target Durant in 2016.
The Heat will almost certainly target Durant in 2016.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Among those who will be unrestricted free agents two years from now are Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard.

The Heat may have lost James, unquestionably an enormous loss, but Miami did a nearly perfect job following his departure. 

The Heat have created a roster that will be fairly competitive, appeasing a fanbase that is now accustomed to winning, while also putting themselves in a position to where they can become title contenders again two years from now.

Yeah, that's doing enough.