NBA Free Agents: Mario Chalmers Flies Under The Radar

Mario Chalmers will likely remain with the Miami Heat, where he'll likely continue to live in the shadow of a few All-Stars.

It's easy to forget about Mario Chalmers, given the minor position he holds in the on-court power structure of the Miami Heat. Chalmers lost his starting job last season to both Carlos Arroyo and Mike Bibby (quite a feat in 2011), but remained the team's most reliable point guard in the postseason as Arroyo had been waived and Bibby's horrific shooting stapled him to the bench. For that reason alone, Chalmers would be worth keeping for the Heat.

But there's also the simple fact that it remains difficult for the Heat to add any players over the minimum salary due to salary cap restraints. The Heat will be able to use the full mid-level exception, and by waiving Mike Miller under the amnesty clause -- something the team may not want to do -- Miami could open up a bit more space. But the surest bet to filling out the roster remains paying the team's own free agents like Chalmers and James Jones.

Chalmers' points per game average dropped to a career low 6.4, but his per-minute scoring remains steady at a bit over 10 per 36 minutes. Unfortunately, the lower minutes and erratic role didn't help Chalmers' efficiency at all: he shot a hair under 40 percent from the field and 36 percent on three-pointers. Playing with attention-demanding stars on offense should have boosted Chalmers' efficiency, but the unstable role could have countered that.

Chalmers remains an underwhelming playmaker as well, but Miami hardly needs him to create opportunities off the dribble. That would only become a concern if another team tosses an offer at the guard. He remains a strong ball hawk, having registered 26 steals in 21 playoff games despite playing about 24 minutes a night.

For more on Chalmers and the Miami Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.

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