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Michael Beasley, Roger Mason Jr. make Heat’s 15-man roster

Oct 26, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Michael Beasley AP

The Heat waived Eric Griffin and Justin Hamilton on Saturday, bringing the team’s roster to the league maximum of 15 players in advance of opening night against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

That means that veterans Michael Beasley and Roger Mason Jr. remain with the team for now, which was somewhat expected. But it’s worth noting that this doesn’t guarantee either player a long-term position on the roster, or one that would even last much beyond the first of the year.

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report explains:

It has been clear for weeks that both would make it at least that far, with Mason Jr. providing some versatility and shooting touch from the perimeter, and Beasley showing a bit more discipline than during his first Heat stint.

But Miami doesn’t need to guarantee either until Jan. 10, making this an extended trial. Heat officials have made it clear that they prize their versatility, whether it means calling up a developing talent from the Sioux Falls Skyforce or signing a veteran who gets bought out elsewhere. Unless Pat Riley manages to trade Joel Anthony — a near-impossible task considering Anthony’s $3.9 million player option for the 2014-15 season — Mason, Jr. and Beasley would be the easiest to purge to create space.

That Joel Anthony ship has sailed, as he’s no longer even a serviceable NBA big — he’s essentially capable of providing six fouls per night, and not much else. No contract is untradeable, of course, but it would be difficult to see a team incentivized to take on Anthony unless they were involved in a multi-player deal that would require his contract to make the salaries match.

Since that’s very unlikely with the way the Heat are constructed this season, it means that Beasley and Mason will need to prove their respective worth before that January deadline to guarantee their deals for the remainder of the season.

Roster flexibility is of the utmost importance to teams contending for a title. Remember, Miami didn’t add Chris Andersen to the mix until late January of last season, and he was a key contributor for them at various times throughout the postseason. So unless Beasley and Mason are model citizens (we’re only talking about one of the two here, obviously) who consistently contribute in the early part of the season, it’s fairly likely that one will be asked to leave before that Jan. 10 date is upon us.

  1. avb530 - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    No surprise here. Mason’s an elite shooter and Beasley’s too good to be cut. And he’ll behave on a no nonsense team like the Heat since its presumably his last chance after all his screw ups.

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      Who cares if he gets into trouble every weekend in Miami? Saint or sinner, he isn’t any good at shooting, passing, etc. You know, important parts of basketball. At least he’s a fabulous defender. Ha. aha. cough.

    • spthegr8 - Oct 27, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Played with & against Roger in High School. Nothing but good things to say about Roger. He is one of the good guys in the league and the consummate professional. Still can shot the ball and he will add another shooter too the Heats rotation. Good pick up by the Heat!!

    • giantslor - Oct 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Beasley’s too good to be cut, but if he gets caught with drugs again, he’ll be cut anyway. It’s all up to Beas. If he focuses and works hard, he can fulfill his great potential.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Both have fit in really well. Roger Mason especially – as Spo said, it looks like Mason has been in this system for years. Plug-n-play.

    And that thing about Joel Anthony… “he’s essentially capable of providing six fouls per night, and not much else”… don’t write off The Warden so casually! He is capable of blocking shots at a very high rate.

    If a GM is out there reading these comments, listen up: Since 2007-08 (Anthony’s rookie season) there have only been 3 players who maintained a block percentage of 5.8 or better while playing in 300 or more games – Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee & Joel Anthony.

    You need this warrior for your defense.

    • muhangis - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:42 AM

      He’s also among the least productive big men in the league! You pay the price with him on the offensive end, cause you get nothing. He’s not even a fabulous rebounder, offense or defense.

      I don’t believe in JUST defensive players or offensive players, you need guys who can have effect on both ends.

      • kingwithringz - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:30 AM

        So u didn’t believe in Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Bruce Bowen, or Steve Nash? Shut up.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 27, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Cut it out, muhangis. The GMs of the NBA to hear the truth about The Warden, not terrible vicious lies. There are suffering defenses out there that really need a shot blocker of his caliber!

      • borderline1988 - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace were historically good rebounders. And for all their faults on the offensive end, they still were better finishers than Joel Anthony. They were also much better defenders. Although I see your point regarding Wallace; the Pistons were basically playing 4 on 5 at times.

        Tyson Chandler is also very limited with the ball in his hands. But he can set screens and finish plays. That’s good enough to be serviceable on the offensive end. Joel Anthony bobbles 50% of the passes thrown his way.

        And there’s more to defense than blocking shots. Anthony fouls too often, commits to pump-fakes, and is undersized.

        Bruce Bowen was a very good 3 point shooter btw.

        Steve Nash was an MVP player, so he gets a pass regarding playing defense. Joel Anthony is not even in the same stratosphere. And Nash plays the least important position on defense.

      • notfol - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        Rodman, Ben Wallace & Bowen were not offensive minded players, but they could contribute. Rodman & Wallace thrived on broken plays & baskets off of offensive rebounds. Bowen could slash a little & make the outside shot. All those guys knew how to play off the ball & if opposing teams ignored them, could & would make them pay. Anthony has never had a grasp on offense, though he works hard at it.

        Anthony blocks at a high rate, but otherwise is merely adequate on defense. He’s there as insurance for Andersen & Oden, both of whom can contribute more on both ends of the floor.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Yes, muhangis great point. He’s like a Reggie Evans – he has no offensive game. Joel isn’t a good rebounder for the Center position.

      Nobody’s questioning his defense and hustle but for an essentially guaranteed 4 million after this season, that’s nearly untradeable unless its in some sort of package deal.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    What a roster! You could make the playoffs with this tram’s 6-15.
    PG- Cole
    SG- Allen
    SF- Battier
    PF- Anthony
    C- Birdman

    With Lewis, Jones, Mason, & Beasley filling out the rotation. That team right there (albeit old) could be a 6 seed. Incredible.

    • redbaronx - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      @1972wasalongtimeago – Pure fantasy on your part! Lets review 6 teams that DEFINITELY have a better starting 5:

      1) Heat
      2) Pacers
      3) Chicago
      4/5 Knicks/Nets
      6) Hawks
      7) Wizards

      Then there’s Cleveland and Detroit if we’re just talking starting 5.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 28, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        Okay maybe there are 6 better starting units in the Eastern Conference of the NBA than the Heat’s 6 thru 10. You win. My bad.

      • redbaronx - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        @1972waslongtimeago – Don’t forget the Wizards at #7. ;-)

    • bougin89 - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      How would that lineup make the playoffs? That would be one of the worst offenses in the league. Delusional.

  4. miamatt - Oct 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    It’s been obvious for awhile this was how the final cuts would go. I imagine that Mason Jr., Beasley, and Rashard Lewis all will get extended stretches of playing time and extended stretches of bench sitting as Spoelstra tries them on for size. No question that Beasley and Mason Jr. are truly in danger of being cut prior to Jan. 10; that being said, mid season cuts in past years have included Terrel Harris, Jorts, and the like… and both of these guys are a significant step up for the back end of the Heat roster.

  5. johngalt1783 - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Wade has said he is a big fan of Beasley. I would be surprised if Beasley doesn’t stick around for the entire season.

  6. trueballs - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I liked what I saw from Mason Jr. I’m surprised more teams weren’t fighting for him this summer. Solid 3&D role player on a contender – who doesn’t need that?
    Anyway, Brett. Let’s not write off Joel Anthony just yet. Yes he may the least skilled player in the league, but he jumps like a pogo stick and blocks at an incredible rate. Since the big 3 came together he’s usually been a part of their best defensive lineups. Sure, he thrives in the Heat’s system, but you can’t deny his hustle and pick&roll defense.

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