This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
2022-23 Miami Heat Team Preview
Miami had a relatively quiet offseason, though the loss of P.J. Tucker to Philadelphia -- a conference rival -- is a tough blow. The Heat failed to replace him, so the rotation will have to be adjusted. Potentially, that could mean more minutes for Victor Oladipo, who was re-signed.
2021-22 Record: 53-29; Lost in seven-game Eastern Conference Finals to Celtics
2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 48.5 wins (DraftKings)
2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +2000 (DraftKings)
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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings, which includes fantasy basketball projections for every player.
CITY TEAM Fantasy Basketball Preview
Butler had another regular season in which he missed a lot of time. He appeared in just 57 games, marking the third straight season in which he has failed to play at least 60 games. He hasn't topped 65 games since the 2018-19 season and hasn't played at least 70 games since he was a member of the Bulls. When he was on the floor last season, he was great, averaging 21.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He was an asset with his percentages, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 87.0 percent from the free-throw line. There are limitations to his game, though, such as him averaging exactly 0.5 three-pointers per game in each of the last three seasons. The Heat want to win a title, so they want to make sure Butler is healthy for when the playoffs roll around, not push him to play in as many games as possible during the regular season. That makes him a somewhat risky fantasy option since his name recognition alone will likely require managers to select him early in drafts if they want him on their squad.
Last year, for the fifth consecutive season, Adebayo increased his points per game, shots per game and steals per game. He averaged a double-double at 19.1 points and 10.1 rebounds to go along with 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per night. Playing a huge role in Miami's perennial success, Adebayo stands as the lone source of interior grit after P.J. Tucker's migration to Philadelphia. Dewayne Dedmon marks the only source of floor spacing depth behind Adebayo. Playing time could hit an all-time high for the 26-year-old. If Miami asks him to anchor the basket more often, an uptick in rebounding and shot blocking is likely. He's ranked between 21st and 34th in eight-category per-game fantasy production over the past three years, so drafting him in that range again -- probably closer to the higher end -- makes sense this season.
After nine seasons in Toronto, Lowry signed a three-year, $85 million contract with Miami last summer. The now-36-year-old point guard saw a reduced role on the Heat, sharing more responsibilities with Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. Lowry's 18.2 percent usage rate was his lowest since his third year in the NBA, and his 13.4 points per game were his fewest since 2009-10. However, his efficiency remained strong, as his 60.0 percent true shooting mark on 44/38/85 splits was the second highest of his career. Lowry also contributed 7.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 33.9 minutes. The result was Lowry ranking 51st in per-game fantasy production for eight-category leagues -- a solid mark but his lowest since 2012-13. His role should remain similar this season, as the Heat made few offseason changes. Another year older also puts Lowry at increased risk of injury and rest, plus general regression. As a result, fantasy managers likely won't have to pay up to the fifth round for Lowry, but he still provides a nice floor as a three-point shooter and passer.
Herro made significant strides in his third season, netting him the 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year award. He reached career highs in nearly all metrics. The 22-year-old averaged 20.7 points on 45/40/87 shooting, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 32.6 minutes. He also set a new career-high single-game scoring performance with 35 points against the Hornets. Miami wasn't shy about leaning on him as the leader of the bench unit, as his 28.8 percent usage rate (18th in the league) would suggest. The fantasy result was Herro ranking 66th in per-game value. With Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry aging and prone to rest days and injury, fantasy managers should feel confident targeting the young and rising Herro. He'll boast a major production boost when one or both of Lowry and Butler miss games, and he's entrenched as a high-usage offensive option even when the pair are available. Combine Herro's potential for boosted stats with an assumed improvement, and he will go off the board much earlier than last season's rank. He will have trouble reaching elite levels due to his current role and lack of defensive stats, but the Kentucky product is a high-floor option in the early-to-mid rounds of drafts.
Miami Heat Depth Chart for 2022-23
More detail: Full Miami Heat depth chart
- PG: Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent
- SG: Max Strus, Tyler Herro
- SF: Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo
- PF: Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin
- C: Bam Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon
Miami Heat Predictions for 2022-23
I think it's fair to expect the Heat to take a hit in the win column given the loss of P.J. Tucker and the injury concerns of aging veterans Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo can only take this team so far when those two are absent, and the bench -- while scrappy -- isn't full of proven talents. Victor Oladipo's presence will matter.
- Loses in second round
Victor Oladipo is a contender for Most Improved Player (+24,000 -- FanDuel).
NBA Award Contenders