Heat re-signs Jamaal Magloire
Jamaal Magloire will be returning to South Florida for a third straight season with the Miami Heat. Magloire signed off on his third straight one-year minimum salary contract, this time paying him $1,352,181.
Magloire is a 32-year-old, 6’11″ wide-body who uses his brute force to attack the glass and snatch down rebounds.
The former All-Star no longer possesses the skills of his younger days. He is now largely relegated to the role of enforcer. He is a strong locker room presence and a role model for younger players.
But the reality is that he’ll never play. He now becomes the Heat’s fourth center under contract, a uniquely large total for a normal roster construction, joining Cleveland Cavaliers free agent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, fellow Heat free agent Joel Anthony, and second-round pick Dexter Pittman.
Not one of the four is a deserving starter on a title-contending team, yet all four have contracts that are fully guaranteed for the coming season, and one of them will be gifted the role. It won’t be Magloire.
With Pittman likely to be relegated to the Heat’s N.B.A. D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the majority of the season, Magloire figures to be the Heat’s third string center, and may not even be a lock to make the regular season rotation if a better option comes along.
While much hysteria has been made of the first two weeks of free agency, the off-season is a long, drawn out process which lasts until the end of October. There is much still left to be determined at the position around the league, including the ultimate resolution of the Erick Dampier situation and the potential emergence of new and previously unaccounted for alternatives.
With its current roster construction, pending any significant frontcourt additions, the Heat’s best alternative would appear to be to adopt a small-ball strategy predicated on maximizing floor spacing, allowing Mike Miller to take the court and shifting the 6-foot-11 inch Chris Bosh to center and the 6-foot 8, 250-pound LeBron James to power forward. It’s not all that difficult to imagine such a rotation simply overwhelming its opponents with such a brutal offensive efficiency that any defensive shortcomings would be thusly mitigated.
Jamaal Magloire is a wonderful person, and a wonderful friend to Dwyane Wade. But he simply doesn’t have any N.B.A.-quality talent left to offer. The roster spot, therefore, could have better been utilized elsewhere.