Miami Heat Free Agency Talk: Recapping All the Latest Chatter
Over the first four days of the free-agency period, the Miami Heat's rumor mill has been fairly quiet. The Heat have been connected to just three players.
However, the lack of chatter is far from a surprise.
Miami entered the free-agency period with just two available roster spots. On top of that, due to Miami possessing a Big Three, the Heat have very little financial flexibility. Miami has a taxpayer exception of $3.2 million (which can be split among two players) and, of course, the ability to handout minimum contracts.
While there are only a couple, let's take a look at the rumors that have been floating around about the Heat.
1. Heat Are Trying to Re-Sign Chris "Birdman" Andersen
Miami made it clear before free agency began that bringing back the only rotation player from the 2012-13 Heat to hit the open market was a priority.
Heat president Pat Riley talked about wanting to bring back the contributors from the 2013 championship team and spoke specifically about his desire to see Birdman return.
Riley: We love Chris Andersen and we want him back. His name is highly respected and honored in this organization. He's the real deal.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) June 26, 2013
Once free agency kicked off, it didn't take long for the Heat to start negotiating with Andersen.
#Heat are talking with Chris Andersen's camp. There is optimism on getting something done soon to get the Free (agent) Bird back to Miami,— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) July 1, 2013
What's holding up this deal from coming to fruition is likely whether Andersen will receive the Heat's taxpayer exception or if he's willing to take a pay cut and sign for the veterans' minimum, which for him would be $1.7 million. Andersen will make $4.8 million from the Denver Nuggets due to his amnesty release, so that could play a part in Birdman potentially signing for the minimum amount.
Andersen has talked about wanting to remain in Miami.
Chris Andersen: "Let's try to get the three-peat next year." So, he's staying?— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 24, 2013
At this point, it would be a stunner if he isn't in a Heat uniform next year.
2. Heat Among the Front-Runners to Land Greg Oden
Prior to free agency, Riley also talked about Miami's interest in Greg Oden, who is on the comeback trail after chronic knee problems have kept him out of an NBA game since December 2009.
Pay Riley on Greg Oden: "We had a good two-day visit. We will explore that and see where it goes."— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) June 26, 2013
As free agency got underway, we learned that Miami was among many teams competing for Oden's services.
From Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Oden, 25, has received interest from the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies, league sources said.
The last thing we've heard on the situation is that the Heat are favorites, along with the San Antonio Spurs, to scoop up the former Portland Trail Blazer.
Hearing strongly that Miami still needs to be in same zip code w/Spurs & Cavs in Greg Oden's free-agent thinking. Heat right there, I'm told— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2013
Evolving list for Oden given complexities of his comeback, but one source close to situation contends Spurs and Heat slightly ahead of Cavs— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2013
If Andersen is Miami's top priority, Oden is clearly No. 2. And that makes plenty of sense.
As Spears mentioned in his report, Oden is still just 25 years old. While Oden spent the majority of his first stint in the NBA injured, he was a very productive player when he was on the court. In his last season played (2009-10) he averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game.
With the Heat in need of some size and a player who might be willing to take a cheap contract, Oden is obviously appealing.
3. Heat Have Interest in Sebastian Telfair
Miami has also been connected to the former lottery pick Telfair, who most recently played for the Toronto Raptors.
Sebastian Telfair, who has never played in the postseason, wants to join contender. Knicks, Nets, Heat, Thunder are interested, per sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 3, 2013
Other than the Heat's interest in Telfair being revealed, there hasn't been much to this rumor. It would seem that Miami is directing much of its time and attention to its two big men targets.
With the emergence of Norris Cole and the improving Mario Chalmers, it's hard to see any playing time being available. But, considering Telfair's apparent desire to play for a contender, maybe he'd be willing to simply be insurance in case of injury.
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