NBA rumors have swirled around Goran Dragic, Luol Deng, and Hassan Whiteside this season. All three have been involved in speculation about them moving on from the Miami Heat to other teams. An interesting development has been taking place in South Beach since Chris Bosh went down with an undisclosed medical condition. According to the Miami Herald, Dragic, Deng, and Whiteside are playing better without Bosh around.
Since Chris Bosh left the lineup, Hassan Whiteside is proving to the NBA that he can be an elite level scoring center. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he can someday average over 20 points a game. With Dwyane Wade and Bosh getting up there in age, it might behoove the Miami Heat to start grooming themselves a lead scorer. Of course, things are a bit complicated with Whiteside because he becomes a free agent this upcoming summer.
The NBA has shifted the landscape, where smaller lineups are finding more and more success. Luol Deng is naturally a small forward, but he’s proving that he’s even better as a power forward in a smaller lineup. Though Chris Bosh is an excellent outside shooter, the Miami Heat are spreading the floor even more effectively with him on the sidelines. Deng himself has embraced the possibility of spending more time as power forward, even if he is no longer with the Heat after this season.
Goran Dragic might benefit the most from the absence of Chris Bosh. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has switched to an uptempo offense since being forced to change his lineup. By doing that, Dragic has started to look like the star that he was when he was with the Phoenix Suns. Goran is starting to look like he’s worth every penny of the $80 million contract that the Suns handed him last summer.
As everyone with the Miami Heat has been reiterating, the improved play isn’t because Chris Bosh is a bad player. He’s far from that. When healthy, Bosh is one of the best two way players in the NBA. He can defend multiple positions, and he can score from every part of the court. Players just mesh together differently. It’s up to Erik Spoelstra to figure out the best way to utilize his players so that they can have a legitimate chance at another NBA Championship.
Though it is being reported that the Miami Heat are trying to convince him to shut it down for the remainder of the season, Chris Bosh is telling people that he wants to make a return before the NBA Playoffs. While it’s pretty late in the season to make sweeping changes to the offensive and defensive schemes, Erik Spoelstra can figure out how to modify things so that Bosh can be an asset when he does return.
An idea being floated around is to utilize Chris Bosh as a sixth man. In that role, he would be one of the best backup players in the NBA. It would enable Goran Dragic, Luol Deng, and Hassan Whiteside to continue playing at the level that they’ve been playing on. Coming off the bench means that Bosh would not be required to play heavy minutes, which would be quite helpful towards his overall health and durability.
The latest development with the Miami Heat shouldn’t spark up trade rumors involving Chris Bosh. Heat president Pat Riley is very loyal to Bosh because Chris has been loyal to Miami. The two of them want to continue their working relationship for years to come. They just need to figure out how to make things work out for everyone involved.
[Featured Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]