The abandoning of the Miami Heat ship that has been taking place over the past two days (TWO. DAYS.) has forced me to come out of retirement.
Because people are in awe that Marcin Gortat and Kyle Lowry would chase money for the first, last, and only time of their careers, temporary supporters of this team want to burn down the Triple A.
And are we really going to be surprised when Trevor Ariza does the same? These guys aren’t in the Shane Battier, Ray Allen-stages of their career. They haven’t made as much money as they can, yet.
Don’t worry. A spot on the Heat bench will be waiting for them once their insane contracts run out.
And who has signed that we were so determined to obtain anyways? Gortat was a pipe dream from the start, and Lowry’s in the same boat. I’m not sure who wanted Ben Gordon or CJ Miles that badly, but you’re on your own.
There are plenty of quality players out there that can fill out the Heat roster at a reasonable cost.
So while everybody was panicking and lighting a Pat Riley effigy, I found 32 free agents that are within the Heat’s spending capacity and can help fill a void, which is everywhere at the moment because there’s nobody on the team.
Chauncey Billups: Has led you to believe he hasn’t been in the NBA since the Big Three was formed, but is said to be as healthy as he’s been since a torn ACL with the Clippers derailed the twilight of his career. Anything more than the veteran’s minimum is too much. 39% career three-point shooter worth a look.
Jameer Nelson: Turns 33 midway through next season, great long-range threat that can run an offense very well. Averaged 7 assists per on bad Orlando team, and shot 60% at the rim. Can’t defend. At all.
Steve Blake: 34-year-old that averaged 7.6 assists in 27 games as a Laker starter last year. 39% career three-point shooter that shot as much as 42% in 2012. Solid defender.
Thabo Sefolosha (SIGNED WITH ATLANTA): Three-point shooting dropped off heavily after two straight years shooting above 42% on threes. Would be nice to have open in a corner on one end, his length and athleticism on the other.
Jimmer Fredette: Bad at everything, except shooting. Shot 48% on 84 attempts last year, 42% on 156 year prior, and those numbers came on some bad Sacramento teams.
Kirk Hinrich: Why not bring in the whole ’03 class? Even if it is someone we grew up despising. Can still defend at 33-years-old and has shot 37 percent from for his career.
Anthony Morrow: A 43% career three-point shooter that has shot better than 45% three times in his six-year career. Can’t do much on drives and isn’t the best perimeter defender, but ability to hit everything when left open makes him a favorite.
Luke Ridnour: Not the best shooter, but can run an offense. Has averaged as much as seven assists and has shot as well as 44% from three. Should come cheap after bad year in Milwaukee and Charlotte.
Ramon Sessions: One of the league’s most underrated drivers with an uncanny ability to get to the foul line. Averaged 16-5-3 in 28 games with Charlotte to end the season.
Brandon Rush: Past two years have been incessantly plagued by injuries and has played in 40 games since the end of the 2011-12 season. Great perimeter defender when healthy. 41% career three-point shooter.
Rodney Stuckey: Shot-chucker that doesn’t have range beyond the perimeter. Would be good source of scoring off bench that can create on his own, but at what cost?
Forwards and Centers
Luol Deng: Mutual interest, but price isn’t right. Has struggled significantly from three past two years, and is only 33% for his career. Hard worker, solid from mid-range, can create on his own, great perimeter defender. Wants to win.
Al-Farouq Aminu: Good perimeter defender, great rebounder for his position; averaged 10.2 boards per 36 two years ago. Can’t shoot from three, 29% for his career.
Jordan Hill: Great hustle player that shot 39% on 59 attempts in the 16-25 foot range last year. Averaging 11.6 boards per 36 minutes over his career. Might be out of price range.
Trevor Ariza: Most likely to be overpaid, but Heat interested nevertheless. Great perimeter defender that would take a lot of the burden off LeBron. Shot 41% on 6 three-point attempts per game last year, but is a 35% career shooter.
DeJuan Blair: Shooting range doesn’t extend beyond 15 feet, but is excellent around the rim. Averaging 11 rebounds per 36 over his career.
Elton Brand: On last legs, but just shot career-high 54% last year, albeit on a career-low in field-goal attempts. Counter intuitive to what Heat should want, but worth a look for the vets minimum.
Vince Carter: Have to wonder how much he has left in him. Was excellent off Dallas’s bench last year. Shot 39% from three last year, 41% year prior. Still somehow athletic.
Caron Butler: Scorned Heat last year for minutes in OKC. Could have played similar minutes if he went to Miami. Shot 44% in 22 games with Thunder, fell to 36% in playoffs. Still someone you can rely on on both ends of the floor.
Ed Davis: Shot 44% on 54 attempts from 16-25 feet last year, 32% from 3-10 feet, 67% at the rim. Shooting 54% for his career, averaging 5.9 rebounds for his career. Would be nice fit at PF vacancy.
Boris Diaw (SIGNED WITH SAN ANTONIO): Hard to see him leaving San Antonio if they want him. Has been excellent shooting from three past two years. Versatility would make him an asset on offense.
Pau Gasol: Criticized for defense, but averaged 1.5 blocks per game as 33-year-old last year. Averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds. Struggled in 2012-13. Contract year stats?
Spencer Hawes (SIGNED WITH LA Clippers): Shot 45% from three in 27 games with Cleveland. Solid rebounder, big body, shooting ability would make Miami offense borderline unstoppable.
Kris Humphries: Shot 48% on 169 attempts in the 16-25 foot range. Inept touch finishing around the rim, but can get after rebounds well. Averaging 11 boards per 36 over career.
Wesley Johnson: Great athlete whose career has yet to get off the ground. Has played on three teams in first four years. Will be 27 years old in July, shot 37% from three after sub-33% previous two seasons.
Josh McRoberts (NAILED IT): Averaged career-high 4.3 assists per last year. Excellent passer at 6-10, only 27 years-old, stellar athlete, can shoot from beyond the perimeter. Subpar defender.
Shawn Marion: How much is left in the tank? 36% he shot from three last year was best since 2003, but is a career 33% three-point shooter. Can still score reasonably well, can still get up for rebounds. Averaged 10-6 last year.
Emeka Okafor: Didn’t play all of last year, played only 27 games two years ago. Injuries scaring teams away makes him cheap for Miami. Will be 32 at start of 2013-14 season. Averaging 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.7 blocks for career. Can shoot from mid-range.
Jason Smith: Injuries have limited him past three seasons. 7-footer with great touch in the 16-25 foot range, shot 47% on 173 attempts last year. Struggles playing around the rim on both sides of the ball.
Anthony Tolliver: Has played on 6 teams since joining the league in 2008. Shot 41% on 247 three-point attempts last year. Can stretch the floor as a power forward, solid perimeter defender as small.
Ekpe Udoh: Good athlete, good defender at 6-10, but can’t finish around the rim or anywhere else for that matter.
Marvin Williams: Has shot well from three, by Marvin Williams standards, in two of past three years, 36% last year. Solid athlete and defender. Recently turned 28.