Miami Heat: 10 Veteran Players Who Would Be a Perfect Fit for Next Season

Peter OwenCorrespondent IIMay 22, 2012

Miami Heat: 10 Veteran Players Who Would Be a Perfect Fit for Next Season

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    Whether the Miami Heat win an NBA Championship this spring or falter before they reach the Finals, the team needs to retool with some veteran leadership.

    The likes of Juwan Howard won't always be around and simply use up cap space (however little), Ronny Turiaf has provided some valuable minutes so far in the playoffs, but his production is replaceable.

    There are also plenty of veteran options at point guard for the Heat should they choose to go after someone to run their offense.

10: Ronnie Brewer

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    The Chicago Bulls' Ronnie Brewer would be a great addition to the Miami Heat bench rotation.

    His contract in Chicago is non-guaranteed next season, and whether he returns depends on management's chosen way of dealing with the Derrick Rose injury. He could make way as part of a trade for a star.

    Should he simply be released, a strong possibility given his poor play at times, the Heat should go after him.

    A defensive specialist, possibly one of the top defensive guards in the league, Brewer can come off the bench and hold his own against any of the league's top two-guards while Dwyane Wade gets some rest.

    His offensive game is limited; however, he became more confident in his shot since joining the Bulls.

9: Joel Przybilla

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    The Miami Heat already went after Joel Przybilla when he was available a few months ago, but he chose to return to the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Przybilla would be coming in to give the Heat some grit and even more toughness. He still has plenty of minutes left in him that could be valuable on a team sorely lacking quality centers.

8: Jarrett Jack

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    Jarrett Jack had to step up when Chris Paul left the New Orleans Hornets before the season began.

    Jack grabbed the chance with both hands, finishing as the team's leading scorer on the back of a decent season.

    The Heat's issues at point guard are well documented, and if Jack were willing to bend his payment to fit the Heat's structure, he would give them the offense-running guard they desire.

7: Lamar Odom

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    Lamar Odom had a 2011-12 season to forget with the Dallas Mavericks.

    After being floated as part of the soon-to-be-vetoed trade for Chris Paul, Odom demanded to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers.

    He wound up with the champion Mavericks, but never got going. Personal issues caught up with him and affected his performance and he was eventually sent home for the season to deal with them.

    At the moment, there is no word on whether he will stay in Dallas next season or move on again, but should he choose to go, the Heat must be ready to chase him.

    Odom has proven championship experience. He has been there, done that in the NBA Finals and is a proven performer, winner of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

    Getting back to that level would be a challenge, but one Odom could be willing to accept should it lead to another ring with Miami.

6: Matt Bonner

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    I have included a few long-shot chances on this list of NBA veterans who are less likely to end up on South Beach.

    Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs falls under this category.

    The Red Rocket has been a key part of the Spurs current 17-game winning streak (including two consecutive sweeps in the playoffs).

    Another veteran with playoff experience at a position the Heat could use it. His ability to knock down long-range jump shots makes him a taller, better version of Shane Battier.

5: Andre Miller

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    Andre Miller has proven his worth this season with the Denver Nuggets, giving the Lakers all they could handle in their seven-game opening-round loss.

    Miller is one of the better point guards in the league, still able to play the game at a high level despite his advancing years.

    He would be a valued addition to a Heat team that desperately needs a point guard.

4: Chauncey Billups

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    The Los Angeles Clippers' guard Chauncey Billups has missed the end of the season with an Achilles' tendon injury, but that doesn't mean he can't return and be a valuable piece.

    His future is up in the air at present, though he recently told the LA Times:

    "I'm definitely going to give this a huge amount of consideration this summer. I feel like we've got some unfinished business a little bit," Billups said. "You never know what direction the team is going, if they even want me back. I've learned not to really assume nothing.

    "I don't know if this is going to be my last time here. But if it is, I had a good time. But if not, I'm looking forward to continuing. I'm definitely going to be back playing next year. For sure and you can believe that. Believe it."

    Billups, an NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, would clearly bring a certain edge and experience to the Heat.

3: Kirk Hinrich

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    Kirk Hinrich of the Atlanta Hawks may not be the scoring threat he was back in the middle of his years on the Chicago Bulls, but he can still give Miami the boost it needs.

    Hinrich was starting before he sustained an injury in the run up to last season's NBA Playoffs. This led to back-up guard Jeff Teague moving into the starting lineup and breaking through as a supreme talent.

    Since then, Hinrich has struggled to get his starter's role back, though he seems happy to play a supporting role off the bench.

    This makes him a possible addition to the Heat, who could choose to bring him off their bench to spread the floor and run the offense, or even re-install him as a starter.

2: Chris Kaman

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    Chris Kaman is likely on his way from the New Orleans Hornets, he's spent his time there in the doldrums and proven his worth as a big man.

    The Miami Heat have been linked with him before, but going into this summer, now is the time to make the link a reality.

1: Steve Nash

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    By far the top player who could wind up with the Miami Heat is Phoenix Suns' point guard Steve Nash.

    Nash said his goodbyes in Phoenix as the season ended, paving the way for him to take a pay cut and join a contender somewhere.

    Why not in Miami? Nice weather, beautiful surroundings, fellow future Hall of Fame teammates and most importantly to Nash, the chance to finally get the Championship his illustrious career deserves.