Miami needs eight more players by opening night. Assuming the back of the bench can be filled by minimum contract players -- undrafted rookies, D-League prospects and minor veteran free agents -- the Heat reasonably need three or four legit rotation players, and at least one more starter.
The good news is that because the Heat so thoroughly gutted its roster, after signing Wade and Bosh Miami will still have some $12 million in cap space to use this summer.
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That space could be used to re-sign Udonis Haslem and Quentin Richardson, unsung vets who played quite well for Wade's Heat last season. Haslem is a brilliant defender and rebounder, and one tough compadre. He can hit the open 15-footer as well, but it remains uncertain whether he'd fit in a big man rotation that includes Bosh and likely Beasley. Haslem can guard most NBA centers, and he's much cheaper than a free agent option like Brendan Haywood. But Heat boss Pat Riley has always been fond of having several 7-footers on the roster.
The Heat also need help shoring up the shallow (read: nonexistant) depth on the wings. Wade is out of this world, but even he can't play two positions at once. (As far as I know.) Names like Mike Miller, Anthony Morrow and Ronnie Brewer will come up. The latter two -- one a brilliant gunner, the other a fierce defender and finisher -- would be cheaper and potentially more effective than the veteran Miller in a line-up as top-heavy as a Bosh-Wade unit would be.
If Chalmers stays in Miami, Riley may want to replace him as starter. At the least, he'll need a strong back-up option. Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Heat have discussed a trade with Portland which would bring veteran lead guard Andre Miller -- a perfect fit for Wade and Bosh -- to South Beach. Barring a miraculous acquisition like that, Miami will likely be looking at Luke Ridnour as a replacement option, or Carlos Arroyo, Shaun Livingston, C.J. Watson and Jason Williams (who won a title with Wade in Miami in 2006) as cheap back-up plans.
Miami also has plenty of room to work the trade market. The team still has Bird rights on Haslem; the Heat could finagle a sign-and-trade for Haslem should a team with cap space want the forward. Such a deal would give Miami a valuable trade exception, which could be used to make an unbalanced trade once the Heat use up all their cap space. The Heat could pull off similar deals using Dorell Wright, Richardson and Joel Anthony, assuming there is a market for those players.
And of course, let us not discount the potential for LeBron James, king of kings, builder of castles and destroyer of infidels, to join Wade and Bosh in what would be the ultimate NBA triumvirate of power. James will announce his decision Thursday night; several reports peg Miami as one of the valid options heading into the 23rd hour. If LeBron comes aboard, it won't matter if the other nine players on the roster are Martian midgets addicted to crack cocaine. That team will still contend for a title.