Miami Triangle: 20 Free Agents Who Can Fill the Heat Roster Void
The Heat has their "Miami Triangle" in place. And if you thought Pat Riley might feel the hard part is over, his real task may very well have just begun.
With Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. the Heat has solidified its three core positions. It is expected that Mario Chalmers will be given the task of playing alongside the trio in the starting line-up.
The club also on the verge of adding Mike Miller to a deal. That would give them five good to great players. Not a bad foundation to build on.
Yet still the task is incomplete. Riley must now surround his core with shooters who can keep the floor balanced and afford his stars the best chance at chasing a NBA Title next season. The Heat also need to add a lot of size because Bosh is every bit the perimeter player that Beasley was. He is not the low block, post threat as the Heat are selling him.
The Heat have very minimal cap space at this point. It was believed that they wouldn't have any after the big "triple-play" was signed. They were lucky the three stars agreed to take less money.
After signing Miller the Heat may be stuck with mainly guys no one really wants. They will also be forced to go after low key and unknown shooters and serviceable, at best, big men most likely.
It'll be interesting to see what the Miami Heat put together. Here's a list of who I believe are the most likely to join the Miami Heat next season.
20. Hilton Armstrong - C/PF (26-year-old)
Hilton Armstrong is a young big who is solid defensively and pretty much nothing else.
Being that the Heat is strapped for cash, they need a solid big who would come at a cheap price.
His 6'11-inch and 245-pound frame would be a solid fit alongside James and Bosh in the Heat front court. And with the Heat history of molding big men, it could serve as a complementary venture for both parties.
I doubt Hilton is on the Miami Heat radar, and he may very well have played his way out of the league with his poor play. After all, he is a lottery pick.
19. Wally Szczerbiak - SF/SG (32-year-old)
It was believed that Wally would have retired after having a third knee operation in November of last year.
This wasn't true as Wally confirmed that he was rehabbing the knee after rejecting a contract from the Denver Nuggets.
He would try out for the Knicks later in the season, but that didn't work out too well because his knee wasn't yet strong enough.
It is believed that he is about 90 percent healed and would be 100 percent ready to go come training camp.
If he is, he'd bring one of the best long-range bombs on the market with him. Wally is a career deep shooter with 41 percent. He also has a very solid post game and is a solid team and individual defender.
He's already been a part of playoff basketball and on a team with LeBron James. He competes and spreads the floor extremely well for teammates.
If he can pass a physical. I have no doubt that the Heat would love to have him on their roster.
18. Ronald Dupree - SG/SF (29-year-old)
Athletic swing-man with a five years of NBA experience. Not much a deep shooter, but he does have a career three-point percentage of 41.6.
He stands 6'7" and weighs 220-pounds.
In 73 NBA D-League games, he has a career average of 17.4 points.
Dupree has spent the past two seasons in the D-League and overseas after spending his first five seasons with Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota (2003-2008).
He is regarded mostly as a slasher and decent defender. He's strong at putting the ball on the floor, rebounding and playing above the rim.
He's currently in Germany playing for Telekom Baskets Bonn. The Heat would bode well bringing him to camp.
17. Ricky Davis - SG/SF/PG (30-year-old)
Once regarded as the quickest player from end to end in the game of basketball, Davis has seemingly left his athletic days behind. He seems to be more focused on how he looks than how he plays.
It really is sad, because he had as much skill and talent as any perimeter player over the past 10 years.
Ricky Davis has already been apart of the Heat organization. Unfortunately for him, the Heat won only 15 games that year.
He is regarded as a versatile scorer with a poor shot selection. But at one point in his career, Davis was a legit threat to score 20+ on any given night.
He averaged 15 points per game as a teammate of LeBron James in the 2003-2004 season. The year before James arrived, he averaged a career best of 21 points per game.
He has four years of averaging better than 17 points per game.
Davis has his mood swings bout as often as a toddler needs to be burped. However, in his one season with the Heat, he managed to be a constant professional.
He's coming off his worst statistical season ever and it remains to be seen if he has anything left in the tank.
If he can get himself back into shape and commit to the game once again, The Heat could have a very serviceable back-up to Wade and James.
16. Jack McClinton - PG (25-year-old)
McClinton was drafted 51st in the draft by the San Antonio Spurs in last season's draft.
He stands at 6'1" and 191 pounds of solid muscle.
After he was waived by the San Antonio Spurs, he signed with Aliağa Petkim in the Turkish Basketball League. He averaged 16.1 points on 40.4% shooting and 34.1% from three-point range in 30.7 minutes.
His highest scoring game of the season took place on Dec. 23, 2009, when he made eight three-pointers on his way to 33 points.
Jack McClinton is a lights-out shooter who lives for the big moments. He will be a part of the Chicago Bulls summer league team. The Heat should take notice and bring him to camp if he plays well.
15. Josh Boone - C/PF (26-year-old)
The Heat needs a lot of size and Boone has plenty of that to go around.
He has garnered some respect as a defender and rebounder in his first four seasons in the league. His 6'10" and 260-pound frame would be a nice fit in the Heat front court.
He's still pretty raw offensively, but with Wade, James, Bosh and Miller, he won't need to do anything but defend and rebound.
If the Heat signs him, I expect him to blossom, like so many big men tend to after they come to Miami.
14. Mike James - PG/SG (35-year-old)
Once a member of the Heat, the career NBA journeyman is one of the few available point men who can knock down the deep shot.
He's lost a lot of quickness in his 35-year-old body. But at 6'2" and 195 pounds, he's built like a tank.
He's a nine-year NBA veteran that has been a part of several playoff teams. He'd would have to focus on knocking down shots and nothing else.
He is a career deep shooter of 38 percent from the floor. He has made 632 three-pointers in 528 games. That is amazing when one considers the fact that he has started only 263 of those games.
He has had his agent contact the Heat about signing with Miami, but they have yet to say what they will do. He might be a last resort option if the Heat can't find a young guy to do more.
13. Gerald Green - SG/SF (24-year-old)
Gerald Green is a young guy with unbelievable talent as well as athletic ability. His only problem seems to be himself.
At 6'8" and 200 pounds, his size and unique skill set affords him the ability to play almost three positions seamlessly.
He can knock down the deep shot very effectively and can blow by his man with his quick first step.
His quickness and length give him the parameters to be a lock down defender if he commits to getting stronger and more discipline.
He currently is over-seas starting for Lokomotiv Kuban, a Russian professional team.
He averaged 19 points per contest on 47-percent shooting this past season for them. That was good for first on the club. He also lead the club with 30 minutes per game.
He carried his team to the Russian Cup, where they played two games before being eliminated.
Keep in mind that this was the Russian Power League. That's as good as it gets over there.
It remains to be seen if he'd be willing to part ways with the $8 million a year deal he signed recently to stay with the club.
here's a link to his stats: http://lokobasket.com/club/team/78/
12. Primoz Brezec - C/PF (30-year-old)
Primoz Brezec is a veteran of eight NBA seasons. With his combination of size and outside touch, he's a very intriguing prospect for Miami.
In the two seasons that he has been afforded to play more than 20 minutes per game, he shot better than 51 percent and averaged more than 12 points and 6 rebounds per contest.
At 7'2" and 260 pounds, Brezec is a wall of a man. He does have effort issues and isn't a big factor on the boards. But he would be a very good complement to the players already established in Miami.
11. Tim Thomas - PF/SF/C (32-year-old)
I don't know how well Tim Thomas' body is holding up these days. But I do know that when he's healthy and motivated, he's a very good player.
With his unique blend of size and skill, he can be a key piece to the way the floor is balanced this upcoming season.
At 6'10" and 250 pounds, Thomas has the ability to post as well as step out behind the arc. He's also proven and usually does well on winning clubs.
Even though he's only started in 408 career games, he still has managed to knock down 962 treys while shooting 37 percent. Even more impressive, is the fact that he has had four seasons of shooting better than 40 percent from deep.
The most recent was 2008-2009, when he made 78 three pointers in 64 games.
Thomas has already had his agent contact the Heat. It is believed that Miami is waiting on Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem to make a decision by July 13.
10. Anthony Tolliver - PF/SF/C (25-year-old)
Mostly known as the victim of the Amar'e Stoudemire fast break highlight, Mr. Tolliver quietly put up some very good numbers last season.
He has played 53 NBA D-League games in his young career. He has managed to average 15 points per contest over that duration.
Last season he was called up to the NBA, and it seems to be for good. The Warriors have moved many of their perimeter players and reports are that he wants to re-sign with them.
He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds in 44 games (29 starts). His range even extends to beyond the three-point line, though it isn't one of his greatest strengths just yet.
He even had a 34-point game towards the end of the season. So the talent is there.
If the Heat want him, they may get out bid for the promising young forward.
9. Walter Herrmann - PF/SF (31-year-old)
Walter Herrmann is the perfect complement to Wade, Bosh and James. His entire game just blends so well with star players.
He is a three-year NBA vet and has been a part of a playoff club already. He's also mature enough to understand what the Heat is trying to accomplish now.
He's an above-average defender and knockdown shooter when left open. Also, he does a decent job on the boards and is a energy player who doesn't need touches to be happy.
He stands 6'9" and weighs about 230 pounds. Decent enough athlete and can be counted on in big moments.
The Heat might not even have him on their radar but they should. He's a top 20 free-agent at this moment, in my opinion.
8. Luther Head - PG/SG (27-year-old)
Luther Head is a four-year NBA pro with a deadly outside stroke. He's also regarded as a solid defender.
He stands 6'3"and 189 pounds.
He's been a part of the Heat organization before and some were shocked that they didn't bring him back.
He has a career outside percentage of 39 percent and has made 426 three-pointers with only 26 career starts. He averages about 23 minutes per game in his 312 games played. Talk about being productive.
I expect the Heat to look long and hard at bringing this guy back to Miami. He fits in to well with what they are trying to do. They'd be foolish to not at least consider it.
They better hurry, however, he's rumored to be in discussions on a two- or three-year deal with the Hornets.
7. Von Wafer - SG/SF/PG (25-year-old)
After a promising showing with the Houston Rockets in his third NBA season, Von Wafer became a free agent last summer.
Instead of signing a contract with the Rockets, he bolted over-seas for a $5 million dollar-per-year deal for two seasons.
That didn't work too well, as he was waived in December of last year because of his poor shooting.
He would sign on with another Euroleague club and shoot 50 percent from the floor and average 8 points in 14 minutes of play over 34 games.
The Rockets would extend him another offer to play but he failed his physical upon returning to the States.
Nevertheless, Von Wafer is an extremely young talented player. He excels offensively at shooting the deep ball and attacking the rim. He has good size and with a little effort, can become a very good defender.
His game would serve the Miami bench very well. His size makes him extremely versatile. He's a 6'5" and 215-pound combo guard who can play the small forward position.
Best thing about him, he wants to play in Miami and has had his agent contact the Heat.
But it's believed that Riley is only interested in veteran players who will be more committed to achieving a championship.
Let's just hope that Riley looks past this and take a chance on this young stud.
6. Kwame Brown - C/PF (27-year-old)
If folks can ever get past the fact that Kwame Brown was the first overall pick of his draft class, they would probably see a player who wasn't fairly judged.
Kwame is a top five defensive center or power forward in the NBA when he is healthy and in shape.
He displayed those abilities while anchoring the Lakers as a starting center on a playoff team.
Kwame Brown is only 27 years old, people. That is far from done.
And before you say he's untalented, remember that he has 57 games of +14 points in 217 career starts. 13 of those were +20 point games and he even has a 30-point game under his belt.
The talent is there. He just needs a franchise like the Heat, with it's rich tradition of big-man mentoring to mold him.
With his shot-blocking and rebounding talents, he could be the missing piece to complete the Heat starting line-up.
At 6'11" and 270 pounds, he's more than big enough. And with his athletic back ground, he'd fit in well with the rest of the starting unit.
I hope he's the player they bring in to start. It sure would be a better fit than Shaq.
5. Jarvis Hayes - SF/SG (27-year-old)
Hayes is a seven-year pro. He's versatile in what he can do on the court but has been hampered by injuries.
The Heat could probably land him and his career average of 8.3 points in 23 minutes. He also is a career deep shooter of 35 percent and has made 392 in 427 games.
He can man the shooting guard spot or the small forward position. Going against players like James and Wade in practice will only serve to further his development as a player.
Teams like the Cavs and Spurs are in better situations to accommodate him in dollars and playing time.
It'll be interesting to see if he goes for more money or winning.
4. C.J. Watson - PG/SG (26-year-old)
Watson is a extremely gifted offensive point man who is well balanced in his game. He's increased his scoring for three consecutive seasons.
He's a career deep shooter of 35 percent and has averaged better than 10 points per game the past two seasons as a reserve.
With that said, he's a restricted free-agent who serves to make at least $2 million a year. It's highly unlikely that he would settle for less money to join the Heat.
But maybe the thought of being a household name might strike a chord in the young man that still has time for a major pay day.
Heat fans might want to do a little praying if they want him in Miami. As many as 11 teams are said to be in the hunt for his services.
3. Rasual Butler - SF/SG (31-year-old)
This former second-round pick of the Miami Heat is coming off his eighth season of NBA play. A season that turned out to be a career year, even though he was the fourth option on his team at best.
He has grown from the skinny kid of eight years ago to a polished 6'7", 215-pound man.
Butler has done a lot of expanding to his game over the years. Last year he appeared to put it all together as he became a solid defender and offensive threat.
His season was highlighted by a 33-point effort vs. LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. He also dropped a 31-point bomb on Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
And to finish off the trifecta, he dropped a 27-point performance against Carmelo Anthony and his Denver Nuggets.
Being that Rasual spends a ton of time in Miami and is good friends with Wade and Bosh, I can see him settling for less money to play for a good team.
What remains to be seen is if the Heat has him high on their radar. If they don't, they should. The guy does it all and very well.
A line-up of Bosh, James, Butler, Miller and Wade would be a offensive onslaught!
2. Brad Miller - C/PF (33-year-old)
Miller is proven and has had his fair say in the success in a lot of clubs. He brings his hard hat to work everyday, though he can sometimes be caught crying to the ref and not getting back on defence.
He stands about 6'11" and weighs 250 pounds.
The 10-year NBA pro of five different teams is now in the twilight of his career.
However, that doesn't mean he can't help the right club.
He has the distinction of saying that every franchise he has been a part of has made the playoffs at least once.
Miller is no longer a starter but he can still be the a focal point of a balanced bench. Plus his ability to knock down shots and his tough-minded defensive nature would be the perfect blend with the current and expected players to be a part of the Heat roster.
He should not be expected to block many shots or do a ton of damage on the boards, either.
1. Raja Bell - SG/SF (33-year-old)
Raja is a savvy veteran who has worked hard for everything he's gotten in the NBA. He made his money on being a defensive stopper.
With that reputation firmly solidified, he continued to grow as a player and expanding his game. He's been regarded by most of his teammates as the ultimate teammate and competitor.
At 6'5" and 210 pounds, Bell has the ability to play two positions on the court effectively.
He is arguably the most consistent spot-up shooter available in this year's free agent class. He has six consecutive seasons of shooting 40 percent or better.
And his career 41 percent is the eye candy of this years class when one thinks of his 678 makes.
Bell would be the ultimate back-up to Wade and James because he can take on the task of defending the other team's top perimeter scorer, while being able to spread the floor for either on the offensive end.
He has reached out to the Heat about a job, but they are waiting on Mike Miller to confirm his deal on Monday or Tuesday of this up-coming week.