MIAMI — Well, Twitter has been an interesting place to visit for Heat fans lately.
With every tweet from Dion Waiters referencing Dwyane Wade, it’s led some to believe Wade’s return to Miami can actually happen next season. Is too much being made about this Waiters-Wade Twitter love-fest?
We answer that question and more in the latest installment of the Heat mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).
@heatculture3: Are we looking too much into the Dwyane Wade/Dion Waiters situation?
Anthony Chiang: As long as you take it for what it’s worth, no. It’s definitely interesting, considering that Dion Waiters has become Dwyane Wade’s successor. And Wade has done little to diminish Waiters’ public display of admiration for him. Waiters has made it known he would have no problem sharing the shooting guard spotlight in Miami with Wade, and even tweeted that playing with Wade is on his “bucket list.” On top of that, Waiters has retweeted photoshopped images of he and Wade standing side by side as Heat teammates. As for Wade, he’s retweeted some of these posts from Waiters. So, what does this all mean? Waiters seems very open to sharing some minutes and some of the spotlight to help make room for Wade in Miami. That’s important. If Wade were to join the Heat, Waiters would be one of the players most affected as the Heat’s starting shooting guard. And Waiters, according to Twitter, has no problem with that.
But if you’re looking at this Wade/Waiters situation as a sign that Wade’s return to the Heat is imminent, you’re reading too much into it. Waiters doesn’t control Wade’s fate. Actually, the Bulls do. After Wade passed on free agency this summer to exercise his $23.8 million option to return to Chicago, a buyout is pretty much the only path to a Heat return this upcoming season. That’s possible, especially with the Bulls now at the start of a rebuild with a young roster. And Miami does still have the $4.3 million room exception it can save for Wade if he actually becomes available next season. But would Wade fit in? The Heat already have Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder as shooting guard options. So Wade would probably be asked to accept more of a mentor role with Miami that includes inconsistent playing time. Yes, Twitter has revealed to us that Waiters seems willing to sacrifice part of his role and game for Wade. But is Wade willing to sacrifice to fit in with the new-look Heat? That’s a question that hasn’t been answered yet.
@Yannis_S_: What are the Heat planning to do to address their lack of depth at small forward?
Anthony Chiang: Three-guard lineups. That seems to be the Heat’s answer to their lack of depth at small forward. At 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, Justise Winslow is really the only true small forward currently on the Heat’s roster. But coach Erik Spoelstra is a fan of using three-guard lineups, and 6-foot-6, 200-pound Josh Richardson and 6-foot-4, 205-pound Rodney McGruder could be used at small forward in this scenario. Even 6-foot-9 James Johnson, who was most effective as a power forward last season, can be used as a small forward in big Heat lineups. Spoelstra likes “positionless” basketball, and that’s the Heat’s answer to this question mark at small forward.