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Would Trading Chalmers be a Mistake for Miami?

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Mario Chalmers hes been with the Miami Heat since the Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and subsequently traded him to Miami. Chalmers’ time with Miami hasn’t been spectacular despite the two championship seasons. He holds career averages of 8.9 points per game, and 3.8 assists per game. While Chalmers isn’t a superstar, keeping him on the roster for the 2015-16 season would provide valuable depth and veteran leadership behind Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade but at a steep cost.

Chalmers’ $4.3 million salary (39th among PGs) is modest, however, it comes with a $16 million tax hit that Pat Riley and Mickey Arison may not want to pay for an unspectacular player. Nobody could possibly argue that Chalmers is worth $16m dollars. After a 2014-15 season that saw him play at a highly inconsistent level, finishing the season with 10.2 points per game on 42.2% shooting in addition to 3.8 assists per game.

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Chalmers would provide a strong mentor to the young guys such as Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, and Tyler Johnson as well as a solid backup, but only if Miami can shed cap space elsewhere in order to lessen their tax hit for this season. Miami also needs Chalmers to up his shooting percentage, particularly his 3PT % if he is to show Miami he deserves a spot on this roster come this season. Miami does not need alot from Chalmers, but efficent scoring and three point shooting at a strong clip is essential.

Chalmers has been in a Heat uniform for 7 seasons now, and that time may be coming to end. The Heat may hold onto Chalmers for the first part of the season in order to build up his trade value and look send him packing at this years trade deadline, as the salary cap numbers are not calculated until the end of the season. While some fans love him, and others hate him, his playing career in Miami hangs into the balance. All we can do as fans, is sit back and trust the Godfather.

*All stats courtesy of Foxsports.com

  • Bryan Young

    Actually, I think you have to look beyond Mario’s regular season averages to determine whether or not the Heat should keep him. I know a lot of people say that he would provide valuable depth for Miami but how true is that? To determine that first let’s look at his efficiency. As some of us may know, PER is a great way of determining a player’s overall efficiency while on the court. The league PER average always being at 15, it begs the questions, “Where does Mario rank?” Well the answer is… not good. In his 7 year career, Mario has an overall PER of 12.4 which is a ways below league average. In fact, last year in the biggest role of Mario’s career after the Heat needed everybody to step up with the departure of LeBron James, Mario delivered the 3rd worst PER of his career at 11.7… One of the many things that has made Heat fans mad at Rio over the years is turnovers and pointless fouls. In the 2014-2015 seasons, again in a bigger role and with more responsibility, Mario Chalmers responded with the most turnovers and most fouls of his career. Just looking at turnovers alone, nearly 1/5 of his plays ended in a turnover (18.2%) which albeit is slightly down from his career average of 18.9%. He actually did hit the 1/5 mark in 2013-2014 (20.4%). Diving even deeper we can look at Mario’s overall impact defensively and offensively. Last year, Chalmers had a Real Plus/Minus -0.6 on offense and a -0.4 on defense. Looking at the Heat last year when Mario Chalmers was off the court, the Heat’s offense actually improved by over four points (102.4 to 106.7) while their defense took a bit of a slide by nearly three points (105.9 to 108.3). Comparing that to his career, the Heat offense had stayed the same (109.2 when he was on the court 109.2 when he sat) while the defense slipped by a little over a point (104.3 to 105.8). For his career Mario is an overall +0.4 which while positive is somewhat negligible and I don’t think it would be hard to find someone who has the some on court impact… Speaking of impact, how much has Mario contributed to wins? Throwing out his efficiency, plus minus, turnover numbers, fouls, how much has the guy helped the Heat WIN? Well the answer is… not too much. Like most of his other numbers, Mario’s contribution to the success of the Heat has been subpar and if anything he owes some of his perceived impact on a winning team to playing with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh… For his career Mario Chalmers hold a Win Share Estimate Per 48 minutes is .093, the league average is .100… Last year his Win Share Estimated dropped to nearly half of league average (.056)… And his career Win Shares (which is the straight up number of wins a player has contributed to a team) again isn’t great or maybe even average for a guy who for a lot of his career, was a starter. In his 7 years, Mario has contributed a whooping 28 wins to the Heat… 28 out of 519 games and 14451 minutes played. Solid role player usually implies that the player is at least or slightly above league average but Mario Chalmers unfortunately is a bit below that. And while he has had his moments, and there have been BIG moments, it probably wouldn’t hurt the Heat that much to trade him, the difference would be negligible… His production can be replaced, is he really worth the 16 million dollar tax hit for the Heat? I wouldn’t imagine that any organization would want to pay 16 million dollars for a below average player but hey, it’s not my money or my team. I’m just stating the facts.