Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reported Wednesday that the Miami Heat is one of several teams interested in acquiring center Darko Milicic, whom the Minnesota Timberwolves released via the amnesty program. Milicic subsequently cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent. Spears listed the Los Angeles Clippers, Bulls and Nets as other teams interested in the services of the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Milicic's agent, Marc Cornstein, said that he has had "preliminary conversations" with Miami. He also added that the Heat's standing as defending champions intrigues Milicic, and that money is a "smaller factor" because Milicic will still receive his $5.23 million salary for this season under the amnesty provision. Miami can only offer the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million to Milicic.
Mike Miller announced that he won't retire, so the Heat already have 13 roster spots filled. And although Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra appear intent on playing unconventional lineups with versatility, it may be wise to save one of those open spots for a center. The Heat will utilize Chris Bosh as a center and LeBron James as a power forward in the playoffs, but simply need to throw out bodies during the regular season to prevent the stars from wearing down. Milicic is taller and heavier than Joel Anthony and more skilled than Dexter Pittman. The Serbian 7-footer certainly didn't deserve to get drafted ahead of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh (among others), but he's a serviceable player.