Amazing, we were one Ray Allen miss from months of “Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and a Clippers dancer to be named later” rumors. Wait, would you?
With Free Agency launching on July 1, the Heat are sure bets to make no more than a piddling splash. The only key players not guaranteed to return are Allen, who has a player option, and Chris Andersen, an unrestricted free agent. Yet Allen is likely to return. You don’t move from Boston to Miami, win a championship sprung off the greatest shot in the history of your career to pack up and go elsewhere. Unless he were to hang it up.
Andersen should return as well, but who really knows. Is he going to turn down a potential $5 million-plus annually for another shot at a title in Miami? We’ll know soon.
The following are three cost-efficient players who make some sense in downtown Miami.
The oldest 25-year-old in the history of the human race. Oden not only looks 57, but the former top overall pick has logged a whopping 82 games TOTAL since being drafted by Portland in 2008 over Kevin Durant. When Oden hears the name “Durant” do you think he collapses, convulses and foams at the mouth?
With reports of mutual interest, signing Oden to a low-risk deal would be a no-brainer, although the “mutual interest” could be nothing more than his agent driving up his value on the open market. Remember, all Miami has to offer is a mini-midlevel exception worth a little over $3 million annually for a maximum duration of three years, or there’s the veteran’s minimum.
Anything Oden would give the Heat would be a bonus, regardless whether or not Birdman returns. If he can add just 50 percent of the defender he used to be, Miami elevates from dominate to Godly. Just keep in mind any “if” involving Greg Oden is an obese one.
The epitome of a leader. Championship experience. Offering shooting and smarts while once devastating opposing point guards on the defensive end, does Mr. Big Shot have anything left? He’s played 42 regular season games combined the past two seasons, but remains one of the most intriguing free agency options at the guard position.
The question is whether Miami would want to risk stunting the growth of youngster Norris Cole, unless they’d want Billups for the Juwan Howard cheerleader, elite high-five-ability role. An enticing, likely-affordable option who would fit well on this team.
This wouldn’t be Dalembert’s first dance with Pat Riley. They’ve flirted before to no avail since Sam continuously chose money over wins.
But at 32, having played for four teams in his last four seasons, he hasn’t tasted contender status once in his 10-year career. As long as he still has a nice chunk of his $80 million-plus career earnings, signing with the Heat would be plausible.
Samuel is like a less goofy, better rebounding Joel Anthony with an actual offensive game. If Oden goes elsewhere, Sam may be the man.
Other potential additions: Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, and Chris Quinn (Just kidding on the last one).