The key here is that Frye is a big man who doesn't play like one offensively. When the Heat went with a traditional big in the postseason next to the Big Three -- namely Andersen or Haslem -- the offense got absolutely strangled to the tune of 84.0 points every 100 possessions. Keep in mind, the last-place Philadelphia 76ers scored 96.8 points per 100 possessions last season. Yes, 12.8 points better than the Heat did with their Big Three on the floor and a traditional big. Think about that.
The defensive upside of going big wasn't nearly worth the carnage. In fact, the defense got torched when they went big. Even though "go big!" is often the prescription for the Heat when they lose, the truth is that the Heat got blown out when they went big in the postseason. After crunching the NBA StatsCube lineup data, we find that the Heat were outscored by a whopping 30.4 points every 100 possessions when they went big with either Haslem or Andersen on the floor next to the Big Three.
How does that compare with the other lineup configurations next to the Big Three? The Heat outscored playoff opponents by 5.4 points every 100 possessions when they went "medium" (a guard paired with a stretch 4) and a surprising 12.9 points when they went "small" with two guards. The Heat were better as they went smaller.
This trend wasn't just a postseason blip. The Heat saw a similar pattern in the regular season, as well (plus-22.4 going small; plus-8.8 going medium; minus-2.8 going big). For this reason, the Heat would be wise to continue surrounding James, Wade and Bosh with shooters, rather than deploying conventional warfare underneath. After an embarrassing Finals loss, Riley and Spoelstra may feel compelled to switch directions. The evidence points to the contrary.
Frye helps the Heat maintain floor-spacing while also giving Bosh some much-needed relief in the regular season. But they also need help refilling the wing depth behind James and Wade, which is where Anderson comes in. Anderson won't be a defensive stopper for the Nets last season, but he's feisty on the ball with good hands and isn't afraid to shoot the rock. He needs a little work on his accuracy, but he'll carve out plenty of space in the Heat offense. He's a fine 3-and-D option at this price.
The Heat could also get younger with a young reclamation project in Udoh, who has always been a darling of the stats community. In a bit of a surprising move, the lowly Bucks let the 27-year-old walk this offseason by not extending a qualifying offer. The Heat need young bodies with upside, and as a young, 6-foot-10 big with crazy hops, the Heat would be smart to take a flier.
Jameer Nelson | Age: 32 | PG | $2.7 million AAV
At this price, is there a better mentor for Shabazz Napier than Nelson? Though Nelson is much stockier than Napier ever will be, Napier could learn a thing or two about carving out a long NBA career as a shooter and steady playmaker. The Magic didn't see any use for keeping the 32-year-old vet around and waived him, despite a $2 million guarantee for this season. He's a much steadier floor general than Chalmers and can play off the ball, as he was assisted on only 51 percent of his 3-pointers last season. Nelson would be a fine veteran to hold down the fort as Napier and Cole develop.