Seven days have passed since the official start of the 2014 NBA free agency period and it has been one filled with great deals and surprises. I expect to see more interesting drama to come before it’s all said and done.
As for the Miami Heat, the “Big Three” era could possibly be coming to an end. Meaning, Heat owner Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra could possibly have to rebuild and restructure the entire Miami Heat team. However, in a sense, the two already have to rebuild the team practically from the bottom with Norris Cole as the only player right now under a guaranteed contract.
According to ESPN sports writer Chris Broussard, he tweeted “ Cleveland has replaced the Miami Heat as his frontrunner to land LeBron James”. Broussard also mentioned via Twitter saying “ I’m not saying LJ to the Cavs is a done deal or I know 4 a fact; just my gut feeling based on many conversations”.
Not to mention, Chris Bosh is currently sitting in front of a good offer from the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN NBA writers Mark Stein and Ramona Shelburne.
Like Bosh, Dwyane Wade is weighing out his options in free agency, according to ESPN writer Mike Wallace. Considering the “Big Three”, their pursuits by other teams and with much to come in the coming days, bringing in quality players who can play alongside the “Big Three” or even without them will be very important for the franchise going into what could be a new phase for the organization.
Notable and strong targets for the Miami Heat in free agency include Luol Deng, Anthony Morrow, Pau Gasol, Trevor Ariza, Shawn Marion, Jordan Hill and Vince Carter. Ideally, Miami is in dire need of another scorer to help offset all the scoring duties from the Big Three, someone who could be a great role player. In addition to a scorer, the Heat need a big man. Pau Gasol or Jordan Hill would be great additions to a team with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, if all return to Miami next season.
Hill is a great shot blocker, strong rebounder and plays with a lot of energy, which are attributes the Heat can use in the interior. Not to mention, he made between $2.5 million to 3.5 million in his first five seasons with the Lakers. Thus, he fits perfectly in the Heat salary cap of players to bring on the team to help James and the others.
Morrow lacks in the defensive category. However, he can shoot the three ball with the best of the best, shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc last season. He can bring instant points off the bench for the Heat and could also help Ray Allen with these duties, putting the Heat as a double threat for opposing teams from the three point line.
Marion has the ability to score and defend multiple positions while Gasol could be a huge free agent change for the Heat as well. However, he is looking or anywhere between 10 to 12 million dollars in his contract. Thus, limiting the chances the Heat could take him with the thought of giving LeBron James a max contract and pay Wade and Bosh. Deng would definitely be a great pickup in terms of scoring production and defense. Nevertheless, unless he takes a salary cut, I don’t see him in a Miami uniform.
Any of these free agents would be great players for the Heat. The next few days will be interesting. If Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra can somehow pick up some noteworthy free agents within the organization salary cap with strong consideration in giving the “Big Three” satisfying salaries, I believe LeBron James Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will return.
However, it will be difficult as teams will continue to put pressure on the Heat organization in the coming days. NBA free agents can officially sign contracts with new teams when the league’s moratorium ends on July 10.