Jan 30, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Wizards center Emeka Okafor (50) celebrates scoring during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Emeka Okafor a Target for the Miami Heat

When LeBron James left and Chris Bosh decided to re-sign, many fans expected the Miami Heat to transition to a more traditional rotation by signing a true center and playing Bosh at his natural 4 position.

Well, that hasn’t happened. Bosh is still the starting center and has been paired with Josh McRoberts to create a front court that can stretch the floor. Erik Spoelstra seems keen to stick with the small-ball approach, LeBron or no LeBron.

Still, the Heat could benefit from a traditional center on the roster. They experimented with Greg Oden last season, who didn’t quite work out on the court or off it.

That’s why the team is making inquiries around free agency about some possible big men, according to the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson.

Among power rotation players, the Heat has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the Heat about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.

The 31-year-old Okafor has a reputation for being injury prone, though he has played in more than 70 games in six on his nine NBA seasons and fewer than 30 games just twice (2005-06 and 2011-12). As a center coming off the bench, Okafor carries a lot of value. For his career he averaged nearly 12 and 10 per game.

Ekpe Udoh is younger at 27 but has never lived up to the hype of being drafted in the lottery. Still, he is a decent shot blocker, averaging at least two blocks per 36 minutes every season. But his offensive game is severely limited.

I mean…

The other three Jackson mentions—Blatche, Maxiell and Brand—seem unlikely. If the Heat are to add a big man, Okafor seems to be the clear best choice.

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Tags: Ekpe Udoh Emeka Okafor Miami Heat

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