Predicting the Miami Heat's 15-Man Roster for the 2015-16 Season
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Predicting the Miami Heat’s 15-Man Roster for the 2015-16 Season

Miami Heat Team in Warmups

Small Forward

Luol Deng of the Miami Heat

Starter: Luol Deng

Reserves: Justise Winslow, James Ennis

Odd Man Out: Henry Walker

Luol Deng unexpectedly exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season and will enter training camp as the starting small forward.

Though he wasn’t sensational, he was a stable and consistent presence for a team that lacked those traits last season. Deng played and started in 72 games while scoring 14 points on 46.9 percent from the field.

While he will enter camp and the season as the starter, it is No. 10 overall pick Justise Winslow that will be the player to watch from this position.

Winslow is an athletic swingman capable of excelling on the fastbreak while playing excellent defense. He is essentially a younger version of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Metta World Peace. The University of Duke product could eventually unseat Deng as the starter as the season progresses.

James Ennis had a terrible summer league showing which has led to speculation that he could be on his way out of Miami. However, the team has already made arrangements for Ennis deep into August, which likely means they plan to keep him around. In addition to being just a second-year player, Ennis has a low cap hit at just $845,000 for the upcoming season.

On the other hand, Henry Walker played in 24 games and started 13 of them towards the end of last season, and he does hold a partially guaranteed contract for next season. However, of all of the aforementioned players at this position, he holds the least value.

Had Deng not opted in, Walker likely would have been a shoe-in for a roster spot.

Now that Deng is back combined with two young forwards that the Heat hold in high regard, it’s hard to find a place for Walker on this roster.

Next: Power Forward


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