5 2013 NBA Free Agent Bargains Who Would Be Ideal Fits for Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have very little financially flexibility this summer. They are already well over the tax, which means their budget this summer is a taxpayers exception of $3.2 million and minimum-contracts that fill out the roster. That's it.
But the Heat are obviously an attractive free-agent destination. Miami offers great weather and the opportunity to play alongside LeBron James and thus, compete for a title.
Throughout the Big Three era, that sales pitch has been enticing enough to sway players into taking pay-cuts to join Miami. Here are five players the Heat should target with that pitch this summer.
Greg Oden is on the verge of an NBA comeback, and the Heat represent a great fit.
On a team with four hall-of-famers (if Ray Allen returns), Oden wouldn't be the center of attention, which he was as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. No one would be expecting him to make a big impact on the Heat. As simply front-court depth, there would be little pressure on him.
From Miami's perspective, Oden represents a low-risk/high-reward scenario. For potentially a minimum contract, the Heat would be investing very little in Oden.
If he can't stay on the court, as he was unable to do in Portland (he hasn't played an NBA game since 2009), then so be it. The Heat will be fine. But if Oden's able to comeback successfully, and even scratch the surface of his potential, then the Heat will have gotten a steal.
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Antawn Jamison was willing to accept the veterans-minimum in order to play with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles this past season, so there's definitely reason to believe he would want to join LeBron and the Heat.
While the 37-year-old Jamison has declined significantly in ability lately, he still is capable enough to warrant Miami's interest.
As a below-average defender, his value would come on the offensive end. He could carve out a nice role as a low-minute bench scorer. His averages of 9.4 points per game in 21.2 minutes in 2012-13 are respectable.
Not only can he do damage offensively in the paint, but he knocked down 36.1 percent of his three-pointers and 42.0 percent of his jumpers from 16-23 feet out this season, according to HoopData.
Timofey Mozgov was essentially a non-factor as a member of the Denver Nuggets this season. Playing behind Kosta Koufos and Javale McGee, he averaged just 8.9 minutes in the 41 games he appeared in.
His lack of playing time could play into the Heat's favor, as his market value has taken a dive.
At 7'1", Mosgov would provide size and front-court depth. The Heat can always use more rebounding, and Mosgov has some ability in that department. He's also been a decent shot-blocker throughout his three-year career.
He's not a great player by any means, but this is by and large the caliber of player Miami's going to have to target this summer.
Despite being a decent young player, Dejuan Blair fell out of the San Antonio Spurs rotation this season. It's a forgone conclusion that he won't return to the team, and the Heat should consider swooping in for the power forward's services.
Blair might be just 6'7", but he's an outstanding rebounder. For his career, he's averaged 11.1 rebounds per 36 minutes. He's a very strong player, and can hold his own on the defensive end.
Also, at 24-years-old, Blair is someone the Heat can develop.
Still, the main attraction is the rebounding. The Heat were dead last in the 2012-13 regular season in rebounding, and adding Blair into the mix could be a step towards not repeating that.
Chris "Birdman" Andersen signed with the Heat mid-season in 2013, and was a huge asset, especially in the playoffs.
He was the Heat's top per-minute rebounder and shot blocker in the team's championship run. On top of that, he proved to be more than capable on the offensive end, which is a skill role-playing Heat bigs have lacked throughout the Big Three era.
Due to his high-energy game, he became a fan-favorite, and it's hard to envision him leaving. After the Heat's championship parade, Andersen said he wanted to return and coach Erik Spoelstra said he wants Birdman back as well.
It will likely require the Heat using their entire taxpayers exception to sign Andersen and that's a completely fair price. He should be Miami's top off-season prioirty.