Now that the big name unrestricted free agents are off the market, it’s time for the Miami Heat to do more than window shopping. Now we can turn our attention to some of the quality free agents still available that fit the Heat’s needs/wants.
Teams can amnesty players in three days, so there may be some new candidates then (Tyrus Thomas?). First thing’s first. Resign Chris Andersen. Then they might add one of the following free agents.
In each season the Heat have taken a flyer on a risky center during the big three era: Joel Anthony, Eddy Curry/Ronny Turiaf and last season’s Chris Andersen. Alex covered this position in his article, but I’ll address the position too, not counting Greg Oden (since that story has been bludgeoned to death).
DeJaun Blair has been mentioned. He’s young and a good rebounder for his 6’7” size. But the Heat have enough undersized players with Udonis Haslem being able to do what Blair does at the five spot. The Heat have shown to take risks on big big men.
Samuel Dalembert/Jermaine O’Neal will not happen. The reason I lump these two together is because, as much as they are linked to the Heat, it just isn’t going to happen. Dalembert wants playing time, the Heat don’t enough available in its small-ball world. O’Neal is old and couldn’t even make a dent on the Phoenix Suns, much less the NBA Champions. Of the two, I think O’Neal is more likely. But the Heat have been down that road before.
The name I like is Brandan Wright. At 6’10” and 210 pounds wet, this 2008 lottery pick by the Charlotte Bobcats showed he could play last season with the Dallas Mavericks. Scoring 8.5 points and grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game, Wright is still averse to playing as a true big, opting to play face up. He also had an insane PER rating of 21.03 last season. That has him ranked 20th in the league and half a point higher than Chris Bosh (20.08). Since undersized centers that play like small forwards aren’t a commodity, he could be had for cheap. The Heat would miss far less athleticism on the floor with Wright as opposed to any of these other centers.
One trade possibility is Marcus Camby. The Toronto Raptors have a ton of cap space and the Heat might be looking to dump the contracts of Mike Miller and/or Joel Anthony. Camby is set to earn $4.4 million next season but that is still less than what Miller ($6.2 million in 2013) is making. The Heat would rather not take on any contracts, but if the Heat had to give in, there are a lot worse guys than veteran Camby.
I can’t figure out why Andrei Kirilenko isn’t signed yet. Even though he looks like he came alive in a wax museum, he could represent the biggest value on this list for Miami. At 6’9” and 230-ish pounds, he could play the three or four. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game (which would have ranked third on the team for the Heat). He is a capable three-point shooter, hitting 31 percent of his shots. Kirilenko could earn some playing time at power forward, where the Heat like to play non-power forwards so often. But he could be redundant of Rashard Lewis.
Antawn Jamison, who just met with the L.A. Clippers, is the typical title-hungry veteran that could play with the Heat. It depends what the Heat is looking for. Jamison will probably want more minutes than the Heat have available, and would probably opt to remain in Southern California if he had the choice to sign with either the Clips or Heat. But Jamison is a good scorer that has more dimensions to his game than a lot of guys on the Heat bench. He’s the kind of player they would like to have.
Point guards: Check out this article from a few days ago.
Of all the players available, the Heat seem most interested in a low-minute point guard and is willing to take a shot at adding a center. We’ll see how Miami decided to reinforce its championship roster.