South Carolina basketball: Why Chris Silva is short-term for the stacked Miami Heat

Chris Silva is the one of the most talented South Carolina basketball players to reach the professional hardwood and has tenacity that fits the Heat’s culture, but he won’t be in Miami long. 

Silva signed with the Miami Heat earlier this year upgrading his two-way contract to a three-year deal giving him the 15th and final roster spot. This alone was due to the hard work the rookie had been putting in the Heat’s Summer League roster.

Silva is best skill is getting the ball off the glass and can add a layer of rebounding to the Heat’s game on both sides of the floor.

The Heat currently rank 14th in total rebounds per game on the season and to be able to compete with the first, second and third seeds in the Eastern Conference, the Heat need to improve the amount of boards they get per game. The first seed Milwaukee Bucks are first in the league for rebounds per game, the second seed Toronto Raptors are currently 12th in rebounding, and the Boston Celtics rank at ninth in rebounding. All are averaging at least four more rebounds per game than Miami in their last three games, respectively.

In Silva’s three games he’s played in August he has logged 17 rebounds in less than 40 minutes of play. Per 36 minutes Silva would average over 13 boards a game from his 2019-2020 totals.

While Silva would insanely improve the Heats lackluster skills off the glass, I’m sorry to say that Silva won’t be the solution, and my prediction is he won’t be on the roster for much longer past this post-season.

Unfortunately for Silva, the Heat have an extremely deep bench with very talented players. While Silva himself is very talented and young, I don’t think he’ll by prioritized by head coach Erik Spoelstra as a future piece of this organization.

Looking into the Heat’s payroll, you can see that there are a ton of players that can play the shooting guard or small forward positions. The Heat feature the following players that can play the two-guard or the three position: the tenacious Jimmy Butler, 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, a tough Jae Crowder (who I think they’ll resign after this season), a rookie sensation in Tyler Herro, dunk champion Derrick Jones (wrongfully), a guy who catches fire from three-point land in Duncan Robinson, and possibly growing star Bam Adebayo if the Heat were looking to use a big man lineup.

Even if the Heat don’t sign back Crowder this free agency and Adebayo sees no minutes on the wing, Silva is looking at minimal minutes. Realistically Silva would only be playing in blowouts, games with several injured players or in load management situations.

My prediction is that the Miami Heat showcase his talent again during the Summer League (or whatever new version of this we’ll see because of the COVID-19 pandemic pushing back the season) and sell high on him in the next free agency period.

I can envision the Heat doing one of the two things: the first option is that trade him for a high second, if not late first round pick, where the second option is the Heat could pair him with the terribly overpaid Kelly Olynyk and look to free up some cap space to sign another threat.

While I would love for Silva to stay on a roster that matches his tenacity and hard work, I believe it is likely that he would be wasting his time in Miami.

Silva is one of three Gamecocks on a roster in the NBA Playoffs in the bubble in Orlando this post-season in addition to PJ Dozier for the Denver Nuggets and Brian Bowen II of the Indiana Pacers.