Miami Heat Offseason Tracker: Latest Rumors and Free Agency News

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIJune 25, 2012

Miami Heat Offseason Tracker: Latest Rumors and Free Agency News

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    The Miami Heat are coming off a championship that netted LeBron James his first championship ring.

    Admittedly, much of the news lately has been about the big three's TV appearances and what happened at the championship parade.

    The Heat can celebrate and enjoy this moment for now, but soon they'll have to get back to work if they have hopes of repeating as champs.

    Here's a tracker of the latest buzz and rumors surrounding the Heat this offseason.

Mike Miller Shoots Down Retirement Rumors

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    Update: Wednesday, July 18 — Ethan Norof

    Mike Miller isn't walking out of that door just yet.

    According to the Associated Press, Miller will continue on with his current rehab and has no plans to undergo surgery to address his ongoing back issue. Although things could certainly change in the future, it appears Miller has avoided undergoing the knife and early retirement for the time being.

    -End of Update-

    Well that was certainly short-lived.

    According to DeAntae Prince of Sporting News, Mike Miller has shot down the rumored reports that he could retire from the NBA this summer.

    This makes far more sense when compared with the original reports that Miller might retire, considering he still has a three-year $18.8 million contract to live up to.

    There’s still a chance that the Heat could exercise the amnesty clause on Miller’s contract to free up cap space moving forward, but he may have played his way back onto the team with his masterful Game 5 performance.

    In the end, Miller needs to make the best decision for himself and his family. At this juncture it appears that he wants to keep playing, but if he chooses to retire, nobody would blame him after all of his injuries.

Miami Heat Add Rashard Lewis

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    UPDATE (7/10/12 at 6:24 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden

    According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Rashard Lewis has agreed to sign with the defending champion Miami Heat. Windhorst reports that it will be a two-year deal worth $2.8 million.

    According to sources, Lewis had other options.

    Lewis had other suitors and might've been able to get a higher offer elsewhere but was sold on a role with the defending champions after meeting with team president Pat Riley on Sunday in Miami.

    A smart move by a player looking to redeem himself for underachieving under a mega-deal during his previous five seasons.

    UPDATE (7/10/12 at 4:55 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden

    According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, Rashard Lewis could be signing with the Miami Heat in the very near future. To say that he could be taking a decrease in pay would be an understatement.

    People I've talked to today believe it's very likely Rashard Lewis will end up in Miami for the $1.35 million veteran's minimum.

    — Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) July 10, 2012

    Prior to the 2013 season, Lewis was on the back end of his six year, $118 million. That offered an average of nearly $20 million a year. Fortunately for Lewis, contributing to a team winning a championship is a good way to get your dollar signs increased.

    --End of Update--

    Since the New Orleans Hornets decided to buy out Rashard Lewis' contract, the veteran three-point threat is now a free agent.

    According to Alex Kennedy via Twitter, Lewis is set to meet with the Miami Heat this weekend to discuss a possible deal.

    Kennedy says that there appears to be mutual interest between the two parties.

    Lewis hasn't been the same NBA talent since leaving the Orlando Magic, but he could be effective with a minimized role in Miami.

    Lewis can still spread the floor with his reputation as a solid three-point shooter and would be a solid role player alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Ray Allen to the Heat

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    Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

    Ray Allen can become a free agent next season if his tenure in Miami doesn't go as expected.

    According to the Miami Herald, both Allen and Rashard Lewis, who were both signed as free agents during the offseason, have player options for the 2013-14 season.

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the 2013 offseason.

    Update 2: Friday, July 6 

    According to Miami Heat owner Micky Arison via his Twitter account, it appears to be official that Ray Allen has finally decided to join the Heat.

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both made a concerted effort to bring the sharpshooting veteran to South Beach, and it appears the two superstars were convincing.

    Allen had also been linked to a return to Boston and a possible move across the country with the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Clips recently fell out of the running after signing both Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford.

    Allen's choice appeared to be narrowed to two teams, but it appears as though playing alongside the Heat's big three was too good to pass up.

    UPDATE: Friday, July 6

    It's beginning to look more and more certain that the Miami Heat will bolster their rotation by adding future Hall of Fame shooting guard, Ray Allen.

    Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld recently tweeted that the general consensus around the NBA is that Allen will end up joining the Heat.

    A league source told Kennedy, "Barring a change, he'll join the Heat."

    What looked like a pipe dream scenario mere days ago is suddenly becoming a reality for Heat fans.

    Allen would most likely come off the bench in a sixth man role to score in bunches off the bench and knock down threes (as he is accustom to doing).

James Jones Leans Towards Returning

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    Update: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

    James Jones is so excited by the Miami Heat's offseason moves that he now leans toward returning to the team next year reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

    As long as his body holds up, Jones hopes to be just another three-point threat on a roster that's loaded with them. He didn't get many minutes during the 2012 title season, but seems at peace with just being along for the ride while staying ready.

    - End of Update - 

    As far as we know at this juncture, James Jones is seriously contemplating retirement from the NBA.

    According to SI.com, Jones’ possible retirement is “most definitely” on the table moving forward.

    In 2011, Jones won the NBA Three-Point Shootout at the NBA All-Star Weekend. He’s spent the past four seasons as a member of the Miami Heat.

    Last season, Jones averaged 3.6 points per game while shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.

    Jones is 31 years old and has only been in the league since 2003, but apparently he has aspirations outside of the game of basketball that he wants to pursue.

Heat Interested in Bell, John Lucas III?

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    UPDATE (7/8/2012): Ben Leibowitz

    The Miami Heat don't appear to be finished making moves this summer.

    According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Jazz are working on a buyout with veteran shooting guard Raja Bell.

    Bell reportedly has interest in returning to his hometown to play for the Miami Heat. Other teams on Bell's wishlist include the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

    According to a 2010 article by ESPN's Marc Stein, Kobe Bryant already made an effort to recruit Bell to Los Angeles the last time he was a free agent. Now that Bell's good friend Steve Nash has joined the roster, it's safe to assume that they're the biggest threat to take Bell away from Miami.

    In addition to Bell, Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that the Miami Heat have been in contact with free-agent point guard, John Lucas III.

    Lucas is likely drawing attention from Heat management stemming from a 24-point game he had in a Bulls win over Miami last season.

    More information will follow as the story develops.

Marcus Camby Chooses New York over Miami

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    UPDATE (7/9/2012): Ben Leibowitz

    The Miami Heat are officially out of the running for veteran big man Marcus Camby.

    Camby has reportedly reached an agreement to sign with the New York Knicks on a three-year, $13.2 million deal via a sign-and-trade with Houston, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN.

    It would have been nice for Miami to add a true center (a position that has been elusive in South Beach), but it's not a huge loss.

    The Heat proved with their small-ball lineup in the NBA Finals this year that they're able to outplay bigger, more physically imposing players (Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins).

    Obviously, luring Ray Allen was the bigger target for Miami this summer and they succeeded in bringing him to Miami. It's unfortunate that Camby is joining a different team in the Eastern Conference, but the Heat will still be active in free agency.

    --End of Update--

     

    UPDATE (7/8/12): Maxwell Ogden

    Just when it started to look as if the Miami Heat could add the big man they've long needed, the team they eliminated seems to have exacted some revenge. Much like the Heat's signing of Ray Allen, the culprit behind the steal could be a superstar 3.

     

    Carmelo wants Marcus Camby. His words: “I love Camby. If he wants to come to New York, I’m opening the doors for him."

    — Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) July 8, 2012

     

    Marcus Camby appears to be in favor of this welcoming, as he's reportedly cancelled his meeting with the Miami Heat. In all likelihood, the champs will need to continue in their search of a quality big man to play at the 5.

    --End of Update--


    UPDATE (7/7/2012): Ben Leibowitz

    A deal that includes Marcus Camby leaving Houston for the Miami Heat has become a bit more convoluted recently.

    According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Camby's visit with the Heat set for this weekend was postponed due to the signing of Ray Allen, which took up the Heat's available cap space.

    For the Heat to acquire Camby moving forward, it would have to be through a sign-and-trade deal with Houston.

    However, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Rockets are still aggressively pursuing Dwight Howard. If the Rockets execute a sign-and-trade involving Camby moving forward, they'll want to acquire assets that they could use in a possible deal for Howard.

    Do the Heat have enough available to make a sign-and-trade worthwhile for Houston? That remains to be seen.

     

    UPDATE (7/6/12): Maxwell Ogden

    Marcus Camby appears to have cut his list down to two. According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, those two teams happen to have been opponents in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

     

    Rockets center Marcus Camby to meet with Heat on Saturday, source said. Knicks next. Rockets unlikely, and not until after Asik decision.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 6, 2012

     

    While the Houston Rockets remain a team with an outside chance, it's hard to imagine Camby opting to remain in Texas. The 38-year-old is approaching retirement and would be best suited for a title run in either Miami or New York.

     

    According to a CSN.com article referencing Chris B. Haynes' Twitter, Marcus Camby has narrowed down his free agency search to six NBA teams.

    Among those six is the Miami Heat.

    Joel Anthony is the only capable center on the roster right now for Miami, but even Anthony has limited basketball skills and is undersized for a center.

    Chris Bosh has been successful at sliding over to the five spot while the Heat play small-ball, but it's safe to say he's more comfortable playing power forward.

    If the Heat were to land Camby, they'd solidify the center position for certain situations.

    Camby is getting up there in age, but he's still a solid rebounder and great shot-blocker.

    The Heat were effective utilizing their small lineups in the playoffs this year, but Camby would be a nice fit for a change of pace and a defensive post presence.

Heat Could Target Big-Name Free Agents

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    Despite winning the NBA championship this season with the rock-solid core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat may choose to stay active this summer targeting marquee free agents.

    According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the Heat could be out to convince some big NBA names to take a pay cut in order to play for a title in Miami.

    Some of those names include Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal, Grant Hill, Chris Kaman, Andre Miller and even Brandon Roy, who's eying an NBA comeback.

    Nash has already expressed an interest in listening to Miami this summer, and he brings a lot to the table even at 38 years old.

    Although adding a two-time MVP to a roster that already sports a three-time MVP would certainly be intriguing, another veteran may hold a more prominent spot on the Heat’s offseason radar.

    The Heat are currently looking to acquire free agent sharpshooter Ray Allen, where there appears to be mutual interest according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

    This would be like salt in the wounds of Boston Celtics’ fans, but ultimately it will be Allen’s decision.

    The Heat will only be able to sign extra pieces via the “mini” mid-level exception of about $3 million, but they could conceivably bring aboard an eclectic group of NBA veterans with championship aspirations.

    Even if Miami fails to add big-name veteran pieces to their current roster, they'll still be a threat to win it all again next year.

    If they do manage to sign one or more veterans this offseason, they will be downright dangerous.