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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-10-02

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-10-02

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-10-02The most intriguing positional battle for the Heat over this next month figures to come at small forward.

Oh, the Heat has plenty of them, what with James Jones, Quentin Richardson, Yakhouba Diawara and Dorell Wright on the roster.

But does it have a starter?

Or might the starter even come from another position?

That's where Michael Beasley enters the equation. Despite being utilized almost solely as a reserve power forward in his rookie season, Beasley is slated to split time during the preseason between power forward and small forward.

Basically, it's not as if Beasley has to blow away the competition, considering what the competition is.

Jones, who has four more seasons of partially guaranteed money on his contract (including $2.1 million in 2012-13), finished last season as the starter at the position. He has been a reserve for the majority of his career and said he would have no issue with again filling such a role.

Richardson, who has made 389 career starts (compared to 59 for Jones), has been classified as a shooting guard by Heat President Pat Riley and also holds an $8.7 million expiring contract, making him potentially more attractive as a trade chip. Therefore it will be interesting to see how much effort the team puts into making things work with the journeyman.

Diawara is a quality defensive stopper, but hardly anyone's idea of an everyday starter.

And Wright has done nothing to inspire confidence these past few seasons. Like Richardson and Diawara, he also holds an expiring contract.

So perhaps it will be Beasley at the position by default. But Jones might make the most sense, considering the Heat already has a longer commitment to him in place than to any other candidate on the roster.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 2, 2009


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