The NBA recently got real.
The league mandated that all teams must annually update their players height measurements without shoes and the measurements for the Heat players are finally in.
Down from “6-7” with shoes, Justise Winslow could be the potential opening night starting guard for the Heat with official height measurements of “6-6”. Rookie Tyler Herro who was drafted 13th overall from Kentucky will officially listed at 6-5 a little shorter than his combine height of 6-6, second round pick from Stanford KZ Okpala official numbers measure him at 6-8 instead of 6-9. Heat guards Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic, Winslow’s most likely potential backcourt mates, both were listed at “6-3.
The Heat’s big trade acquisition, new face of the franchise and likely starting small forward Jimmy Butler, who is “6’8” in shoes, will officially be listed an inch shorter at “6-7,” likewise for James Johnson, who is away from the team until he meets his conditioning requirements. And the same for Duncan Robinson who also will now be officially listed an inch shorter at “6-7.” The Heat will have one 7 footer on the roster instead of two, as Meyers Leonard, who will remain a seven footer is down by an inch from 7-1 to 7-0 and Kelly Olynyk from 7-0 to 6-11. Next in line to be the Heat franchise center, Bam Adebayo, is measured at 6-9, down from 6-10.
So basically every player except for Dragic, Devon Reed and Udonis Haslem shrunk an inch without shoes. Does this change anything? No, it doesn’t. However, while we’re discussing players heights, what this does say is that the Heat will be a lot bigger, especially in the wing positions than previous seasons. In the second quarter of the scrimmage on Sunday, with Olynyk injured, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra started a lineup of Winslow (6-6), Butler (6-7), Robinson (6-7) Adebayo (6-9) and Leonard (7-0). That is a huge line up for a heat team that often deployed 6-3 guards such as Dragic, Waiters, and Tyler Johnson together in recent years.
Another big lineup could feature Winslow, Butler and Okpala but we should expect the second-round rookie to play more in versatile lineups at the four, similar to James Johnson the last two seasons. Spoelstra could also go smaller by sliding Winslow and Butler down to the 3 and 4, with Dragic and Waiters at the 1 and 2, although I don’t think it would be wise. So many possibilities. What about Herro in the backcourt with Winslow and Butler along with Olynyk, Leonard or Jones next to Adebayo?
Needless to say, this roster is one of the more versatile and flexible groups Spoelstra has had recently. The versatility is not just measured with a ruler, but with skillsets.