Will Shaquille O'Neal Or Penny Hardaway Be On the Miami Heat Roster?
One by one, the pieces of the Miami Heat roster are falling into piece.As it turns out, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are going to have more than a D-League roster around them.
Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Udonis Haslem have already signed for less money to join the South Beach Boys.
There are more roster spots to be had, but the salary cap space is dwindling.Lucky for us, the rumors haven’t come close to dying down.
Some players are being talked about, others want us to talk about them, and still others are supposed locks but haven’t signed ink yet. Jamaal Magloire, Joel Anthony, and Carlos Arroyo all want to come back.
We’ll take them out of the conversation. It’s time to break down who is going to be vying for role player minutes in Miami this fall.
Penny Hardaway (100-1)
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Come on, man. Do you remember the 38-year-old Penny Hardaway? He wants you to.
"Mentally I was retired and physically I was retired. I was playing recreational ball," Hardaway said on the “Bottom Line Sports Show” Thursday. "But when the decision happened with Chris Bosh and LeBron, I felt like I could really be good in that system."
I can understand where Michael Jordan was coming from coming out of retirement a couple times, I can understand where Brett Favre is right now," Hardaway said. "When you still have something in the tank it's really hard to let it go."
He’s played 57 games since 2004. Five years ago, this would have been a solid consideration. Now, it’s a pipe dream for Hardaway.
Allen Iverson (50-1)
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He hasn’t signed anywhere. He wants to be back in the league.
He may not be the center of attention, but this team is going to be in the spotlight all year. Even better, The Three Kings are going to be the quotes every night.
He can just contribute. The jumper and the slashing are still there. He just needs to show that his head’s on straight and that he’s not going to be a distraction.
If he truly does have his head on right, he'd know a title would put a fresh coat of paint on his last act.
Shaquille O'Neal (40-1)
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I don’t understand where this talk comes from. The only thing that I can think of is that Shaq’s people are trying to create leverage or any kind of buzz.
Do we not remember all the bridges burnt on his way out of Miami?
Beyond that, the team is close to re-signing center Joel Anthony and the Big Z is signed.
They don’t need him. They don’t want him. His options are fading and Miami isn’t one of them.
Tracy McGrady (35-1)
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This comes down to whether T-Mac believes his starring days are over.
There’s more interest in him than I thought there would be. The slashing guy off the bench would go well with the mix that's being built.
If I’m McGrady, I want to rewrite the ending of my career script. It’s been a rather speedy fall from grace.
If he could take a little less to go to South Beach and win a couple titles, all of a sudden, we put a completely different spin on his career.
Still don’t think it’s going to happen.
Tim Thomas (20-1)
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This would be highly ironic, since Thomas was part of the roster clearing that Donnie Walsh did so the Knicks could have enough money to sign LeBron.
Thomas does not play like a 6'10" big man. He’s not a post-up, grab-his-own-rebound kind of player.
He’s a very tall wing man. His rebound numbers have just never fit his size (2.3 rpg last year in 18 games with Dallas, 4.1 rpg for his career).
The 33-year-old has played sparingly over the last couple years. If he could stay healthy, he’s got the experience and the skills to actually add something to the mix the Heat are building.
Theo Ratliff (20-1)
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He’s 37, but he’s still willing to bang it up down low.
Ratliff is one of those grizzled veterans that I think would fit in well with the young'ns in Miami.
The Knicks brought him in to work him out but passed in favor of a Russian import.
He’s the type of guy that still has value and is available for less than $1 million.
Earl Boykins (15-1)
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It all depends on how veteran this team wants to get.
Boykins is a point guard who just lingers. He’s 34, he’s played on nine different teams, and has always contributed.
The problem is his assist numbers have never really been there. You’re not going to get rebounds. He likes to slash and shoot. He’s a 30-percent trey shooter.
Most of all, he’s been around enough that he knows how to fit into any kind of talent mix.
Larry Hughes (12-1)
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He’s only 31 and he’s got plenty of talent.
He only made $160,000 last season, so money’s not the issue here.
He played key minutes for the Bobcats down the stretch and is a 20-minute, nine-point guy that would be perfect coming off the bench.
He’s been talking all week about how he and LeBron talk all the time.
The only question is how many FOKs (Friends of The King) do the Heat want to bring in?
Matt Barnes (10-1)
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I threw it out there a couple weeks back and people laughed at me. How do you like me now, peeps?
Why wouldn’t it make sense? He’s the perfect gutsy veteran with an ego in check to go with this group.
To me, it’s only a question of how little he’s willing to take. But there’s talk that he’s in the $2.5 million per range and that is certainly doable.
Juwan Howard (2-1)
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Just a matter of crossing some T’s. Hardaway’s only one year older than Howard.
The difference is the league still sees Howard as productive. He’s a low-key guy, doesn’t make trouble, and gives you nothing but upside for a small paycheck.
He made his $100 million from the Wizards. He just wants a ring now.