5 Moves the Miami Heat Should Consider to Challenge the Lakers
With four active All-Stars in their starting lineup, along with former All-Star Antawn Jamison joining the mix, the Lakers have potential to be very dominant this season. One of their strengths is their size. With Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill all splitting time at the 4 and 5, any team that hopes to defeat the Lakers will need some size of their own.
Miami is obviously a very talented team, but size is not one of their strengths. Chris Bosh is a multi-time All-Star, but much more of a finesse player than a banger. Joel Anthony is simply there to take up space, and reserve forward Udonis Haslem struggled a lot last year and seems to be on the decline.
Miami did pick up 6'10" Rashard Lewis this summer, but seeing him play hard in the paint is about as likely as seeing Latrell Sprewell suit up again.
Sign Chris Andersen
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The recently amnestied Andersen would be an ideal pickup for the Heat. "Birdman" struggled for playing time in Denver last season, but the surprising play of rookie Kenneth Faried and midseason acquisition Javale McGee had more to do with that than Andersen himself.
Andersen has shown in the past that he can be a very energetic big man who can rebound and block shots, while also catching the occasional lob pass. If Andersen and Miami could come to an agreement financially, he would fit in greatly with this hungry squad.
Sign Louis Amundson
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
According to Chris Tomasson on Sulia, Amundson is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal at $3 million a year, so the likelihood of him signing with Miami is slim. But, that doesn't mean they shouldn't at least make an offer or try a sign-and-trade with Indiana in exchange for James Jones and a pick.
Again, it isn't likely Miami can land Amundson, but if the opportunity were to present itself, Miami would be smart to snatch him up.
Trade for Jason Smith
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
With recently acquired bigs Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick (via Phoenix) along with the recently signed Ryan Anderson (via Orlando), New Orleans rookie (and current Olympian) Anthony Davis will have plenty of help in the Hornets frontcourt, making Jason Smith the possible odd man out.
Miami could offer swingman James Jones, who is about as one-dimensional as Reggie Evans, and reserve big Dexter Pittman to the Hornets in exchange for Smith. Smith would give Miami a young energetic big off the bench, while New Orleans would clear up the front-court logjam and also save about a $1 million in cap space.
Sign Darko Milicic
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
He clearly has not lived up to the expectations of being such a high pick, but unlike Kwame Brown, the definition of a bust, Milicic actually has value. While he lacks speed and agility, which Miami clearly has plenty of, Milicic does have a strong body and a good defensive post presence.
Milicic was amnestied by Minnesota, reportedly to make room for Nicolas "The Nutcracker" Batum (who went back to Portland), so if Milicic is willing to take a pay cut, Milicic could be a surprising contributor for the Heat.
Trade for Anderson Varejao
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The chances of this happening are way beyond slim, but that does not mean Miami shouldn't at least try to work something out with Cleveland.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is likely still bitter with LeBron for leaving and probably will have nothing to do with helping the Heat improve. But, Miami could still make an offer or two.
Cleveland gets: Derrick Williams (Min), Dante Cunningham (Min), and two first-round picks (Mia)
Miami gets: Anderson Varejao and Dominique Jones (Dal)
Minnesota gets: Udonis Haslem (Mia) and Vince Carter (Dal)
Dallas gets: Mike Miller (Mia)
Cleveland would move Varejao, who has been in some trade rumors in the past, for Derrick Williams and two first-round picks. Williams seemed to have a hard time fitting in on the Timberwolves last year and may already be hoping for a change of scenery.
Pairing him with fellow sophomore Kyrie Irving may help boost his confidence and expound on his potential.
Miami would make out great in this trade, moving two replaceable backups for an energetic starting center who can do the dirty work.
Again, this trade, or any involving Miami and Cleveland, is extremely unlikely. But, it doesn't hurt to speculate.