Dwyane Wade returning healthy and ready to play 32 minutes a game would qualify the Miami Heat as having the best off-Season in the East all by itself. The Heat star was third in the Eastern Conference in scoring last year, a fact obscured by his injuries and the Heat’s failure to gel into a playoff contender. But Heat had a unique opportunity among Eastern Conference teams this summer. If center Hassan Whiteside simply makes continued improvements toward his monster potential — and Wade and Chris Bosh are healthy — the Heat already compete as most improved. Then Pat Riley’s moves shored things up.
The results: Bosh comes in healthy. Wade, who has missed about 20 games a year for the last four years, switched trainers, lost weight, and enters healthy. Riley’s Heat added potent offensive threat Goran Dragic, which not only upgrades the offense but may spare Wade some grueling minutes. Add the classy, dangerous (and defensive) Luol Deng. Ditto, veteran Udonis Haslem. Maybe you get something of value out of A’mare Stoudemire? That’s gravy. Gerald Green, Josh McRoberts, Mario Chalmers? Nobody is going to look forward to playing the Heat.