11 Center targets for Heat at veteran minimum in 2024 NBA free agency

From proven veterans to buy-low upside plays, here at 11 centers the Miami Heat could target in free agency this summer.
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The 2023-24 NBA season has officially concluded, and now the excitement shifts to the upcoming draft and free agency period. Teams like the Heat are looking at every avenue to improve around the margins and with potential holes at center coming up with Thomas Bryant and Kevin Love's player option, the Heat will need to fill that much-needed spot behind Bam Adebayo.

The Heat haven't had the best luck with center depth in the Jimmy Butler/Bam Adebayo era. With as much as Adebayo is tasked with, getting him proper rest is crucial, but if your backup big can't stay on the floor without giving up a lead, that rest gets cut short.

Because of their position in the luxury tax, the Heat will likely be limited to signing players to veteran minimum contracts in free agency. So, looking at the 2024 free agent class, there are 10 centers for the Heat to look at, all with different skill sets, ages and experience.

9-11, Young Wild Cards: Jalen Smith and James Wiseman

These two guys are still super young and have been on rosters that weren't particularly catered to them. Granted, Miami would be the same, but this would be an opportunity to rebuild their perceived value with the help of the Heat's development program.

At 10 is Jalen Smith, who just came off a deep playoff run with the Indiana Pacers. He has a player option and can become an unrestricted free agent, and could be looking for a chance to showcase his talents. Backing up Bam Adebayo is a huge responsibility. You need to bring the effort and discipline he brings and sustain it. It's certainly not an easy task, but it is an opportunity to grow as a player and learn from one of the best centers and head coaches in the NBA.

This could be a make-or-break year for him, and joining the Heat and performing well could give him the grace of a longer NBA career. The Heat have a history of taking players who were overlooked and have something to prove and guiding them to being the best version of themselves.

Next is James Wiseman of the Detroit Pistons. Wiseman is a restricted free agent which would make him a bit harder to obtain, but with the Piston's current front-court depth, he could be the odd man out making him available. The biggest thing for Wiseman is his size and athleticism. The comparison may bring PTSD to Heat fans, but the Hassan Whiteside comparison makes sense.

Give him a chance to anchor the second unit's defense and be an absolute nuisance on that end. While offensively he needs to keep working, he could be a perfect lob threat for Tyler Herro and Terry Rozier. He's a decent to good finisher and with as many players on the team that makes extra passes, Wiseman could find himself getting easier buckets.