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Miami Heat Fantasy Analysis

Miami Heat Fantasy Analysis
September 2, 2007

Over the offseason the Miami Heat lost a number of players via free agency. James Posey signed with the Celtics, Jason Kapono signed with the Raptors, and Eddie Jones signed with the Mavs. Each of these players at times played key roles for the Heat, particularly at the small forward position.  This brings up the question of who will be starting for the Heat next season at small forward.   

The only proven offensive players returning are Dwayne Wade and Shaquille OíNeal and each of them have issues coming into next season.  For Wade it is recovery from injury and OíNeal it is the risk of injury and advancing age.  I expect Wade to fully recover but at this stage of OíNealís career it will be a challenge for him to exceed 15 ppg.  The player who starts at SF will be needed to produce for the Heat to be successful.   

One candidate is Antoine Walker.  But reviewing his shooting percentages of 39.7% FG, 27.5% treys, and 43.8% FT makes it apparent that he is a candidate the fantasy manager should quickly dismiss as should the Miami Heat.  He doesnít even contribute much beyond those poor percentages. 

That leaves, perhaps by default, Dorell Wright.  His season ending averages do not look particularly remarkable but looking closer it can be seen in the 19 games he started last season he gave evidence of solid fantasy potential.  His averages were 29 mpg, 9 pts, 6.7 reb, 1.0 st, and 0.9 bl in those starts.  The rebound and block numbers are enticing for a player who can qualify in many leagues to play the guard position. 

Wright is a young player with demonstrated potential who has the further incentive to produce as he is entering into the final year of his rookie contract. A fantasy manager looking to grab a sleeper in the later rounds should give Wright consideration as the Heat have not presented him with much competition.  Training camp should give further evidence of his eventual regular season role. 

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