Miami Heat Should Retain James Johnson, Dion Waiters; Should Acquire Defensive Specialist Serge Ibaka

By Jeff Harris, Posted: 06/07/17 09:21AM EDT

During the second half of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Miami Heat surges back thanks to its core of role players that grows into potential superstars. In fact, the Heat almost grabbed the last Eastern Conference Playoff spot.

Chemistry and team spirit is the key and the reasons why many basketball analysts believe the Miami front office should stick it out with James Johnson and Dion Waiters. With the issue of Chris Bosh's salary out of the question according to CBS Sports, the Heat management can readily match whatever offers Johnson and Waiters will get from other teams.

The only question is whether the Miami Heat will have enough salary cap space to bring a certified NBA superstar. Early rumors suggested that they are seeking to inquire on the All-Stars the likes of Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap according to Miami Herald.

Miami Heat Salary Cap

With Bosh's humongous salary, the Heat now only has a guaranteed payroll of only $63.8 million. This would give them as much as $38.2 million based on projections of next season's salary cap.

Obviously, James Johnson and Dion Waiters both have secured a bigger paycheck. This makes attracting Hayward, Griffin and Millsap very hard, monetary-wise. Then there's the backup point guard concern which they could resolve via the NBA Draft. But should the Heat management decide to stick with the salary cap limit, which name is left for them to snatch?

Miami Must Get Serge Ibaka

How about Serge Ibaka? The Miami Heat first team is pretty much strong on all positions except at No. 4. The 27-year old 6'10 power forward may not have been voted into the All-Stars but he powered his way up into NBA All-Defensive First Team, thrice, leading the league in shot block twice. Plus, Ibaka's jump shots can pretty much open the floor where Hassan Whiteside can operate.

With Ibaka on the floor, Johnson could often slide down to No. 3 while Justise Winslow is still recuperating from his shoulder injury. So how about having James Johnson, Serge Ibaka and Hassan Whiteside for frontline, and Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters manning the backcourt sounds?

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