Within the next 24 hours, we should know if Greg Oden is going to be the Miami Heat's big free agent splash of 2013.
Oden has been one of the few free agents that has generated interest from a Heat team that's more concerned with the offseason of 2014 than the current one. With luxury tax penalties impending and nearly an entire roster set to become free agents next season, Miami has had to be cautious in its approach to this year's offseason.
The only moves that have been made thus far were the utilization of the amnesty clause on Mike Miller and the drafting of Long Beach State swingman, James Ennis. Otherwise, the Heat have remained extremely quiet, and for good reason. They have little to spend outside of the veteran's minimum and a mid-level exception.
Even after two consecutive championships and an utterly devastating regular season run, the Heat still have areas of improvement to make, thus why Oden is being considered. Miami ran into problems defending the likes of Roy Hibbert and Tim Duncan on their way to the title, constantly giving up high-percentage looks and offensive rebounds to All-Stars that make a living around the rim.
If there's any area of concern, it's under the rim. The Heat's small lineups and lineups based on spacing obviously work, but they also came a few free throws and offensive rebounds away from being failed experiments because of the influence of the bigs of teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.
I've read people clamoring for a Miller replacement, but those suitors could already be on the team in the forms of James Jones and Rashard Lewis, both of which are extremely apt at replacing Miller from a shooter's standpoint.
However, what the Heat could use is a hard-nosed, nuisance of a perimeter defender. A player that could annoy future potential opponents in the postseason and has had a history of doing so would be solid insurance to add to the end of the bench.
Oden isn't included in this article because it's already implied there's mutual interest. This list is more focused on players the Heat should consider to fill in one of the four roster spots that are currently open.
Since we're all so antsy to get to the start of the regular season already, let's take a look at five players that are worthy of some consideration by the Heat front office.