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Don't expect the Miami Heat to make moves anytime soon. They're going to wait for all the other teams with money to overspend on free agents, which will then leave the leftovers that Miami will give a mid-level exception or veteran's minimum to.
Let's take a look at a few of the players who have been discussed in Heat circles:
The former No. 1 pick has been the popular choice among not just fans of Miami, but also within the organization. The 7'1", 250-pound center has said to have been looking healthy, and it's prompting the attention and interest of not only the Heat, but up to eight teams supposedly.
However, Marc Stein reported that the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are the current frontrunners for the services of Oden. While some may assume Oden would chase money now, since he hasn't played the past two years, it would be wise of the former Portland Trail Blazer to take baby steps in getting re-acclimated with the league.
Oden could take a lucrative deal from a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers that could end up starting him and playing him heavy minutes, but is that what he needs in his first few weeks back from a temporary retirement? Miami could sign him to a deal for a year or two and allow him to play 15-20 minutes per game, while still playing a large role on both ends of the floor.
Plus, LeBron James will be a teammate, and every last player that has spent time with James has had nothing but good things to say.
The Miami Heat and its fanbase knows all too well of the exploits and talk that comes from Samuel Dalembert. But as much as we want to think that Miami being close to Dalembert's birthplace of Haiti, that has played no factor in Samuel's decision-making of choosing other suitors over the Heat.
In case you don't remember, Miami attempted to employ the services of Dalembert in the offseason after losing the NBA Finals. Before ending up with Shane Battier, Dalembert was a possibility, but ultimately signed with the Houston Rockets for a deal that gave him $7 million per year, far more than what the Heat were offering, which was the mid-level exception.
Since then, Battier has won two titles and Dalembert has been on two teams that don't want him. He was traded by Houston the year after signing that lucrative deal and is now buried on the bench of the Milwaukee Bucks, losing time to younger options in Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Dalembert made waves during the Heat's dismantling of the Bucks in the first round without getting off the bench. Before his team was swept, Samuel was already speaking of possibly joining the Heat next season.
Having an excellent shot-blocker that has a decent offensive repertoire would be huge for the Heat. However, Dalembert has constantly chased money his entire career and his complaining on the end of Milwaukee's bench may not bode well if he plays on a Heat team that has been known to have players go from starters to benchwarmers in the span of a few weeks.
The last thing Miami need is a bench player that it will need to complain about minutes. This team is a tight unit, and one rotten apple could spoil the bunch.
I entirely recognize that this is a long shot. Hickson will be 25 years old next year, has proven he can play effectively at the 4 or 5 and is one of the most athletic players to play those positions. Plus, he's coming off of an excellent bounce-back season with Portland after a rough go in Sacramento.
He made $4 million last year, but any player who averages 13 points and 10 rebounds per game is going to get a lucrative offer coming their way. If it worked for Kris Humphries, it's going to work for Hickson.
However, the Heat have a former teammate of Hickson's in LeBron James. J.J. played the first two years of his career with James as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, going from seldom-used bench player to starting power forward in the span of a year.
Hickson averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his final season with LeBron. Although nothing has been brought up between Hickson and the Heat, it would be worth a look for Miami to at least take a stab at adding a young player who would be worth keeping around for the future.