Best Potential Veteran Minimum Free-Agent Options for Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have already put together their core for the 2014-15 season; however, there is still work for Pat Riley and Co. to do.
Unfortunately for them, Miami's financial flexibility is basically non-existent at this juncture. The Heat have just three remaining roster spots to fill and will have to do so using veteran's minimum contracts.
We're going to take a look at the top remaining free agents that Miami should target with its limited funds.
Francisco Garcia, SF
Garcia isn't a lights-out shooter at this point, but he's good enough. Plus, the market is drying up, so the Heat don't have a ton of choices.
Garcia shot 35.8 percent from outside en route to averaging 5.7 points as a rotation player this past season with the Houston Rockets.
As a low-minute shooter off the bench, Garcia makes sense on this team.
MarShon Brooks, SG
MarShon Brooks' inclusion on this list is largely a byproduct of the lack of shooting guard options remaining.
Since his selection in the 2010 NBA draft's first round, Brooks has struggled to make his mark on the NBA game. He played for three teams this past season and appeared in just 35 games.
Still, Brooks experienced moderate success with the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 6.4 points (48.9 percent shooting from the floor) in 12 games.
Although Brooks is a carer 32.6 percent three-point shooter, he was excellent for L.A. from downtown (57.9 3P%), showing that his shot his potential.
Brooks is also just 25 and has intriguing athleticism. He could represent a solid "project player" for Miami.
Greg Oden, C
In a way, Greg Oden's first season with the Heat can be looked at as a success. He stayed relatively healthy and never suffered a major setback health-wise.
In another way, Oden's time with Miami could be looked at as a failure. When he decided to come to the Heat, many dubbed him the "Roy Hibbert stopper." Ultimately, Oden wasn't able to stop Hibbert or able to carve out legitimate playing time, averaging just 9.2 minutes in 23 contests. (He averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.)
Oden's lack of on-court success in 2013-14 is obviously a turn-off; however, his ability to stay healthy in 2013-14 and potential make him a worthwhile pick-up at this point.
Oden will never be the player he was in 2009 with the Portland Trail Blazers, but he's still just 26 and the chance at him being a contributing player shouldn't be written off.
Another year with the Heat's coaching staff would be productive for Oden and the team.
Andray Blatche, PF/C
Getting Andray Blatche to agree for the minimum won't be easy, but don't put it past Riley.
While Blatche has the reputation of being somewhat of a knucklehead, there's no denying his talent.
Blatche averaged 11.2 points (47.6 percent shooting from the floor), 5.3 rebounds and one steal per game last season with the Brooklyn Nets.
As someone that can score inside and shoot from mid-range, Blatche certainly qualifies as a versatile scorer. He does need to say goodbye to his three-point shot (27.8 3P% in 2013-14), though.
Blatche could be a nice piece for Miami as an offensive spark off the bench, and he would give Erik Spoelstra another big man that can be played at the 4 or 5.
Gambling on Blatche's talent is a smart move on a cheap, veteran's minimum deal.
Shawn Marion, SF
Shawn Marion's another guy who would likely require some serious convincing to play for such an inexpensive contract. Still, that shouldn't stop the Heat from making a run at him.
Marion's career might be nearing the end, but the 36-year-old can still produce at a relatively high level. He averaged 10.4 points (48.2 percent shooting from the floor and 35.8 percent shooting from three) and 6.5 rebounds this past season with the Dallas Mavericks.
His length and defensive instincts would also make him an asset in Erik Spoelstra's defensive scheme.
Marion's the best overall talent on the board that could potentially fit within the Heat's price range.