Jul 17, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT
The Miami Heat are still thinking about how to improve their team to get it over the top (one would have thought bringing in the best free agent class in history would have done it, but one would be wrong), even in a lockout. They have a number of options in mind for upgrades at their small forward spot, an all are predictably veterans who might chase a ring. The Miami Herald lays out a number options on the Heat’s list, including Shane Battier, Grant Hill, and Tayshaun Prince.
The Heat long has admired Battier and fellow free agents Tayshaun Prince and Grant Hill, but the question is if any will take less money to sign here. Hill told The Arizona Republic “it would be nice” to re-sign with Phoenix. Detroit wants to keep Prince.
Of those three, “Battier would be the best fit — when you play Dwyane Wade or LeBron James at the point, you want a three-man who can shoot,” said Kerr, who likes Jones in that role. Battier made 102 three-pointers last season (38.2 percent), compared with 45 for Hill (39.5 percent) and 34 for Prince (34.7 percent). If the Heat signs Battier, Prince or Hill, it could create playing time by having Wade or James assume more ball-handling duties when Mario Chalmers is out of the game.
Battier may make the most sense from a perimeter offensive weapon perspective, but he’s also an odd fit because of his inability to create offense from anywhere else. Prince or Hill, comparatively, both can create off the dribble more effectively, and while Battier’s defense is still All-Defensive-Team level (if the voting were accurate), Prince has the length and Hill the experience to work decently inside the Heat’s system. The bigger question is if Hill or Prince would be accepting of a bench role, and if Battier would be receptive to joining a team as “Hollywood” as the Heat. Battier’s a pretty down to earth guy, and doesn’t have much time for nonsense. On the other hand, he may consider joining the Heat the simple tactically superior decision, based around the decision to join the Heat so he doesn’t have to guard either Dwyane Wade or LeBron James two-to-three times a year.
Always thinking, that Battier.
The Herald also reports that the Heat are still interested in, yes, Eddy Curry, if the big man (no pun intended) loses 40 lbs.. That’s right. 40 lbs.. So if he loses a moderately sized canine from his belly, he can play for the Heat. The Heat will pay him some sum of money, probably in the millions, as long as this notoriously overweight bust loses the same amount of weight as my border collie.
In unrelated news, the lockout continues over the owners’ insistence that it is not their decision making that is at fault for their financial hardship, but instead the overall salary structure of the players.
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