The level of discourse surrounding the Miami Heat this offseason is somewhat astounding considering the fact that they are fresh off of their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
Yes, the San Antonio Spurs dismantled LeBron James and company and made them look old in the process, but there seems to be a line of thought that Miami is done competing for titles if it doesn’t add a significant piece or two. But simply bringing back James in a watered-down Eastern Conference would make the Heat one of the favorites heading into the 2014-15 campaign.
Still, the Heat have reason for concern if that Finals performance was any indication of what the future holds. A successful offseason would make fans feel much better about Miami’s chances going forward.
With that in mind, let’s dig into a few of the latest rumors regarding the Heat.
Latest On Mr. James
Chris Broussard of ESPN provided some of the latest rumors regarding James, and it should at least have Miami fans a bit concerned:
Sources: Suns owner Robert Sarver was n Cleveland yesterday & met with LeBron's agent, Rich Paul. Teaming LJ/Melo or LJ/Bosh n Phx discussed— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2014
That’s not to suggest that James is on his way out and his days with the Heat are behind him, but the fact that other teams are taking the time to meet with his agent means there could at least be some mutual interest from the King.
Where should James go next season?
There are some intriguing reasons why James would at least consider those teams, including a potential homecoming with Cleveland and a potentially terrifying trio of James, Dwight Howard and James Harden in Houston. Throw in the possibility of teaming up with Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh in Phoenix with a young and talented roster, and there is at least something to look at here.
James still has a desirable situation in Miami, and the guess here is that he ultimately returns to South Beach. He has a chance to take that franchise to a ridiculous five Finals in a row and play alongside his superstar teammates and friends who he has developed a rapport with over the years.
Still, any time James’ name is mentioned this offseason, it is sure to perk up some ears.
Isaiah Thomas Miami-Bound?
With all the talk surrounding Kyle Lowry and some of the point guards in the loaded 2014 NBA draft, Isaiah Thomas is being overlooked this offseason. Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News pointed out that the underrated Thomas may be interested in playing in Miami:
Hearing Isaiah Thomas' preferred teams (in order): Lakers, Heat, Pistons— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 3, 2014
Thomas posted 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last year in Sacramento behind 35 percent shooting from behind the three-point line and 85 percent shooting from the free-throw stripe. He’s also only 25 years old.
Those are All-Star types of numbers, and he likely would have received more attention last season if he played for a team more competitive than the Kings.
If the NBA Finals proved anything, it was that the Heat have a need at point guard. Shabazz Napier was a solid draft pick, but he may need a season or two to get his footing at the professional level.
Landing Thomas would immediately bolster Miami’s title hopes. It would provide more depth on the perimeter in case Dwyane Wade gets hurt or needs rest this year and help solve a glaring weakness.
Interest In Anthony Morrow
Marc Stein of ESPN provided the latest on Miami’s potential interest in sharpshooter Anthony Morrow:
Name of one target Miami is trying to secure for LeBron has emerged: Sources say Heat making push for perimeter specialist Anthony Morrow— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
Word is both Heat and OKC Thunder are chasing Morrow. As was Orlando, I'm told, until Magic secured their deal with Ben Gordon as well— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
Haters are likely to snicker at this rumor considering Miami had visions of Carmelo Anthony or possibly even Lowry entering the offseason, but Morrow is a lethal three-point shooter who would fit in perfectly in the Miami system around James.
Morrow averaged 8.4 points a game and finished fourth in the league in three-point percentage at 45.1 percent. When opposing defenses collapse on James’ penetration, especially late in games, he loves to kick it out to open perimeter shooters who can knock it down. Morrow would be a tremendous upgrade over someone like Shane Battier in that department.
Anthony Davis played with Morrow in New Orleans, and he recognizes the value of the shooter, via John Reid of The Times Picayune: “I think he's a great shooter and spreads the floor for us. I like him and the team likes him. I'm not sure what they're doing, but I think they (front office) have the best interest for the team.”
Those same people who laugh at Morrow’s name now may be cursing him when he drains a few three-pointers in the playoffs next season.
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