No Free Agent Movement for Heat Yet - NBC 6 South Florida

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No Free Agent Movement for Heat Yet



    No Free Agent Movement for Heat Yet
    Miami Heat President Pat Riley speaks with reporters on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

    The Miami Heat entered unrestricted free agency on Tuesday morning with several holes to fill and a decent amount of cap space and exceptions to fill them with. But, three days into free agency, no big name outside of the Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade is believed to have targeted the Heat as a possible destination.

    Point guard Kyle Lowry re-signed with the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night. The Heat appears ready to go into next season right now with a point guard combination of Norris Cole and rookie Shabazz Napier. However, veteran Jameer Nelson may be available at the veteran minimum for the Heat as well.

    Another name that has been mentioned as a point guard possibility is Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings. However, he’s a restricted free agent which could cost more to pry away from the Kings. Last year, he averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game. He’s also only in his third year in the league, which would help with Miami trying to start a youth movement.

    One name that has been consistently mentioned in the same breath as Miami is small forward Luol Deng. The defensive specialist struggled last year in a bad situation in Cleveland, but wants a big pay day as a free agent and should command in excess of $10 million a season, which is believed to be Miami’s maximum cap space.

    Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Deng is “intrigued with [L.A.] Clippers sign-and-trade possibilities.” It’s unknown what the Clippers would give up to acquire Deng in a sign-and-trade.

    At center, Pau Gasol remains the biggest name on the market. Adding Gasol to Miami’s lineup would give the team an instant boost in the weaker Eastern Conference. It would address scoring and rebounding down low and also add an excellent-passing big man to an already talented starting lineup.

    However, Gasol is in high demand from teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, and others. Past Gasol, the pickings are slim for free agency at the center position.

    According to Wojnarowski, Heat president Pat Riley is preparing for a trip to Los Angeles this week where he’s expected to conduct meetings with free agents where he will sell the “promise of rings over Miami’s shrinking cap space.”

    What’s really going to set the market and kick free agency into high gear will be when the big names of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade start choosing their teams and sign their contracts.

    Once Carmelo and LeBron come off the free agent board, teams that had outside hopes of getting them will begin making moves and teams like the Heat may be poised to swing better deals to bring in better players.

    But until then, which will likely be around July 10, all fans and many team executives can do is hurry up and wait.

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