5 Free Agents the Miami Heat Must Avoid
The Miami Heat won't be the most active team on the free agency market this summer, but general manager Pat Riley and team owner Mickey Arison will still be looking to make some minor tweaks to Miami's roster.
There's no doubt the Heat will at least attempt to get younger this offseason, especially with the need to ensure LeBron James remains in Miami for years to come.
However, there are a few free agents Miami should avoid this summer, despite these individuals appearing to be ideal fits.
1. Kyle Korver
A good portion of Miami’s success on the offensive end is predicated on from beyond the arc, with the Heat’s fluid ball movement creating open looks for sharp shooters like Ray Allen and Shane Battier.
And assuming Miami decides to amnesty Mike Miller this offseason, there’s a chance the Heat would be on the market for someone to step into his role.
Kyle Korver, who’s spent the last couple of years in Atlanta, might be an enticing name to some. He’s widely known as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, and only Detroit’s Jose Calderon had a better percentage from beyond the arc than Korver’s 45.7 percent this past season.
However, there are a couple of reasons why Miami should avoid adding Korver to its arsenal.
First of all, it’s no secret that Korver has struggled on the defensive end throughout his career. And while the Heat rely on creating offense through the three ball, defense lies at the foundation of the team’s culture.
Allen already is sometimes a liability, so adding an additional weak link on defense likely isn’t in the cards for the Heat this summer.
Plus, it should also be noted that Korver is 32 years old and made $5 million last year. Miami, who’s already up there in the age department, will likely be looking to get younger.
A more viable option might be someone like O.J. Mayo. The current Dallas Maverick could test free-agency waters if the team doesn’t elect to exercise his $4.2 million option.
Mayo is just 25 years old and has the potential to bolster Miami’s efforts on both ends of the floor.
However, for Mayo to be a legitimate option for the Heat, the Mavericks do have to exercise that team option, and he would likely have to agree to less money than he might make elsewhere.
2. Tony Allen
Another shooting-guard prospect, Tony Allen is almost the opposite case of Kyle Korver.
Allen is an exceptional defender, but he is limited on the offensive end. Throughout the regular season, he hit just 13 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and averaged slightly under nine points per contest.
He’s also 31 years old, but a factor working in his favor is that he’d likely fit right into Miami’s price range.
Allen made $3.3 million this season, which is nearly half of Mike Miller’s scheduled $6.2 million next season.
However, unless the Heat add other offensive weapons, it’s not likely that Allen will be on the team’s radar this summer.
3. Juwan Howard
Juwan Howard has had a nice run with the Heat, and he only made $135,697 this past season, but it’s time for Miami to part ways with the 40-year-old big man.
Sure, Howard’s salary might only take up a minuscule portion of the Heat’s salary cap, but Miami is going to need every dollar in order to attain the flexibility necessary to improve this summer.
And why waste that amount cap space on a 40-year-old when those dollars could be used on a younger project who might be able to contribute to Miami’s success over the long run?
Howard has been a great asset for the Heat over the past two years, especially on the leadership front. However, with the active summer of 2014 looming, Miami will need to be stingier than ever when it comes to salary-cap space.
4. Matt Barnes
Small forward Matt Barnes played for the Los Angeles Clippers this past season. He's another player familiar to many fans, and he could be a promising addition to the Heat's roster.
And, if he comes at a bargain, Barnes might be the right fit for Miami.
Still, at 33 years old, Barnes is another prospect in the latter stages of his career. It might seem like we’re beating a dead horse at this point, but the Heat need to focus on getting younger—not older—next season.
Plus, Barnes has had a couple of off-court issues in his career, and although he has the ability to be a quality contributor for Miami, I’m not sure the risk is worth the reward, especially when you factor in his age.
5. Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups was included on this list because there is a chance Miami decides to part ways with Mario Chalmers this offseason.
I don’t expect this to be the case, but for the sake of discussion, Billups is likely a name many fans would throw out as an addition they’d like to see to Miami’s roster.
He’s a veteran well-respected across the league, he shines in the biggest moments of games, and he has championship experience.
All the above make Billups look like someone whom the Heat would like to add this offseason, but a quick glance at his birth certificate erases that thought.
Billups, who’s spent the past couple of seasons with the Clippers, is 37 years old and undoubtedly near, if not already at, the end of his career. Quite frankly, it wouldn’t shock anyone if the point guard decided to call it quits this summer.