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Miami Heat Offseason Review: The Youth Revolution is On

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The long-time face of the franchise is gone, as the Miami Heat begins Year One of its rebuild.

Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports


Miami Heat

2015-16 Record:48-34 (T-1st in Southeast Division; T-3rd in Eastern Conference)

Key Additions: Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Derrick Williams

Key Losses: Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Joe Johnson

The first time the Miami Heat take the floor in the 2016-17 season will be an odd one. For the first time since the 2003-04 season, Dwyane Wade will not be leading the Heat into battle. The squad that takes the floor that night will be a far cry from the one that eliminated the Charlotte Hornets from the playoffs last season.

2016 Game 7

Hornets @ Heat

Position

2016-17 Projected

Opening Night Lineup

Goran Dragic PG Goran Dragic
Dwyane Wade SG Tyler Johnson
Joe Johnson SF Justise Winslow
Luol Deng PF Chris Bosh
Hassan Whiteside C

Hassan Whiteside

60 percent of Miami's starting lineup will have changed, as Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson have all moved on, and one of the projected starter's career status (Chris Bosh) remains...well, murky at best.

So the upcoming season will be one of transition in South Beach. Hassan Whiteside is the team's new $98 million man, Goran Dragic will be expected to carry the scoring load and still no one knows for sure what to expect with Chris Bosh.

To try to make sense of everything that went down this offseason, I asked Matt Pineda of Hot Hot Hoops a few questions on Miami's offseason and the new look Heat.

At The Hive: First, there is no more Dwyane Wade in South Beach, which must be incredibly weird. How will the team look and play without him this year?

Matt Pineda: I think the team will look very different without Wade. First, we will struggle with an identity for a while and lose plenty of games. ESPN projects us 12th in East. Secondly, we will play, hopefully, more team oriented basketball.

I think the team will be built around Winslow and Whiteside, but Dragic will be the engine to score. Winslow is the future and Dragic might be on the move. But Goran will help this team win games this year.

ATH: How are fans at Hot Hot Heeps talking about this season? Excited to see a new era? Dread? What are your thoughts on the youth movement as well?

MP: People are excited for a youth movement. We will miss Wade, but excited for Josh Richardson, Winslow and Tyler Johnson to have more opportunities to contribute.

I really like Josh Richardson. I think he will be special. But all this youth movement only works if one of them becomes a star, and that needs to be Justise Winslow. He needs to take a big step this year.

ATH: What are your thoughts on the Dion Waiters signing?

Dion Waiters will be a great scorer off the bench. I think his playmaking will be valuable in the second unit, but he is not an ideal fit next to Dragic unless he gets much more consistent with his 3 point shot.

ATH: What exactly is going on with Chris Bosh?

Chris Bosh? Who knows? He is training and exercising but not playing basketball with the team. They hope for him to be back, but there seems to be some disagreement with the Heat medical staff and Chris Bosh's medical advisors. Bosh wants to play and has medicine that could allow it, but Miami is not sure the risk is low enough to feel comfortable. No timetable. No idea.

ATH: What are your expectations for this season?

MP: If Bosh plays, the Heat are a 7/8 seed in the East. Without him, they are in the lottery. Either way, they aren't going to be in the second round of the playoffs. This is a year to build on the foundation of the youth.

If you are looking for a further information on the Heat, Pineda broke down their roster position-by-position.