Nov 29, 2011, 9:17 AM EST
There are a lot of reasons NBA players like Miami. And right now, the upcoming crop of free agents seems to like them a lot.
A lot of key free agents that could help the Heat are saying they are interested, reports Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.
Still more than a week from the Dec. 9 post-lockout start of the NBA free-agency period, the Heat already have words of interest from Samuel Dalembert, expressions of interest from Shane Battier, and an open dialogue with Caron Butler, three of the more intriguing free-agent prospects in the Heat’s spending range….
The Heat’s focus at the start of free agency figures to be at center, thus the intrigue with Dalembert.
Guys are going to have to take a little less to play for the Heat, who likely will only have the $5 million mid-level exception to offer players. That likely will be less money than another team offers Dalembert. Battier would be a financial fit but he really plays the same wing spot as LeBron, something also true of Butler.
Three other names are guys who could be let go via the amnesty clause — Brandon Roy, Brendan Haywood and Baron Davis. The Heat would like another point guard to go with Mario Chalmers and either Davis or Roy would be an upgrade and likely come for a reduced salary the Heat could afford. If Dallas can re-sign Tyson Chandler they may waive Haywood, who certainly would be a solid upgrade at the five spot in Miami and likely play for what they can offer.
Pat Riley is going to have options.
All of which is to say, the Heat should be better this year. And if they get a real inside defensive presence like Daembert, they become a lot better.
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