6 NBA Free Agents Miami Heat Should Sign to Solve Rebounding Problem
The Miami Heat are still the favorites to win the Eastern Conference title this year, but they'll need to figure out their rebounding woes if they plan on winning a second straight championship.
At some point, someone—either the bigs on the roster or a free agent or two—will have to emerge as a consistent force on the glass. And since it doesn't appear that anyone currently wearing a Miami uniform will step up to the challenge, the team's front office would be wise to start calling a few agents to find some desperately needed frontcourt help.
6. Erick Dampier
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A Boston Globe report stated that Erick Dampier has piqued the interest of the Boston Celtics, so if the Miami Heat want to bring in their former center to help shore up the middle, they need to move quickly.
The 36-year-old Dampier chipped in 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in limited playoff action for the Atlanta Hawks last season, so he's still in game shape and ready to contribute. Miami won't ask much of Dampier, and bringing in the 16-year vet could ensure that Chris Bosh is well rested come playoff time.
5. Troy Murphy
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The Dallas Mavericks cut Troy Murphy earlier this season (to make room for Derek Fisher), but the 6'11" forward still has enough talent to be a valuable contributor.
These days, Murphy isn't able to average a double-double, but the Heat don't need him to do so. A handful of solid minutes each night at the 4 and 5 spots will be enough to make Miami at least somewhat competitive on the boards.
Murphy's defense won't win him any awards, but there aren't many on the Heat roster who are as effective on the glass as the former Notre Dame standout.
4. Chris Andersen
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According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Heat had interest in Chris Andersen back in August, but nothing ever came of it. Miami hasn't solved its interior woes over the past four months, so the Heat front office may want to place another call to Andersen's agent to see if a deal can be struck.
A team that is last in the league in rebounding and 25th in blocked shots can use every talented big man that it can get its hands on, and Andersen—a prolific interior defender—certainly meets that criteria.
3. Eddy Curry
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A return to South Beach for Eddy Curry could make some sense once the seven-foot center wraps up his season with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association.
After winning a title with the Heat in June, a slimmed-down Curry had brief stints with the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks this year before heading overseas. The 30-year-old Curry looked decent in his two regular season games with the Mavs, and given his familiarity with Erik Spoelstra's system, he would have no problem giving the Heat 10-15 quality minutes per night.
2. Shelden Williams
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Shelden Williams is currently playing with a top-level French team, but if there is any way to lure the 6'9" forward back to the United States, the Miami Heat should explore the option.
Williams averaged an impressive 9.9 rebounds per 36 minutes as a member of the Brooklyn (then New Jersey) Nets last season, and is a physical presence on the defensive end of the court.
The players on the end of the Heat bench are far less talented than the former Duke forward, as Williams can provide a much-needed dose of toughness for Miami's title run.
1. Kenyon Martin
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Simply put, Kenyon Martin would be a perfect fit for the Heat.
Even at 35 years of age, he would excel as a backup to both Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh, and he would help Miami match up more effectively against the bigger teams they'll likely face in the postseason.
Martin is a far cry from the player who terrorized opposing teams for the better part of the last decade, but he still has value to a contending team, especially considering the fact that he appeared in all 11 of the Los Angeles Clippers' playoff games last season.