Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top 3 Value Players for the Miami Heat

We all know about the Big 3 and what they mean to this Miami Heat team. LeBron James is playing at an extraterrestrial level that's overshadowing his stellar 2012 season. Dwyane Wade has resurged in the second half of the season and Chris Bosh has consistently produced solid numbers.

But what about the rest of the supporting cast? Which players have given this team the most bang for their buck?

After all, the Heat do pay a premium for their three superstar studs - dishing out in excess of $17 million per player. But there's nothing better than getting valuable production at a bargain price. That's why we've looked at the Miami Heat's top 3 value players this season.

3. Ray Allen

It's still incredible to think that Miami landed this future Hall of Famer that has made a legendary reputation off of dissecting defenses with his lethal perimeter shooting. Allen has provided the Heat with a consistent scoring option at the reasonable price of $3.09 million this season. Rumors claimed that the Celtics were offering Allen double that amount to stay in Boston. Clearly, he chose title contention over cash. The concept of having Allen come off the bench for Miami is still insane. No other team can say they have the top three point shooter in NBA history coming off their bench.

2. Shane Battier

Coming in at an affordable $3.135 million contract, Shane Battier has filled the essential role of "Glue Guy" on the Heat roster. Comparable to what James Posey was for the '06 Heat team, Battier's contribution goes beyond the stat book and box score. Drawing charges, defending elite scorers, boxing out defenders and forcing turnovers are just some of the intangibles that Shane brings to Miami. Not to mention, his three-point shooting has been a valuable asset for the Heat - nearly 90% of all the shots he's taken this season are from beyond the arc! In essence, Shane does the dirty work that not many people notice but his team absolutely appreciates.

1. Chris "Birdman" Andersen

Take a guess at how much Chris Andersen is earning as a member of the Miami Heat? Whatever you came up with, think less. Birdman is donning a Heat jersey for the bargain price of roughly $700,000 this season. That's based on a veteran minimum contract and the fact that he joined the team mid-season. Regardless of the limited time he's been with the team, Andersen has added an athletic, big man presence in the paint for the Heat, who were criticized for lacking that element. With Andersen, Miami is getting a shot blocker, strong rebounder and emphatic dunker at an extremely low cost. He is the epitome of a value player for any team, especially one that is a title contender. It's safe to say that acquiring Birdman was a steal for the Heat - a move that makes Miami's roster that much more complete.

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