MIAMI, FL - APRIL 22: Marcus Camby #29 of the Houston Rockets and Dexter Pittman #45 of the Miami Heat fight for a loose ball during a game at American Airlines Arena on April 22, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
UPDATE: Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix tweeted that Miami isn't interested in trading Norris Cole or Joel Anthony in a sign-and-trade deal for Marcus Camby, making a Camby/Heat pairing unlikely. Mannix added that Rashard Lewis stands atop Miami's free agent list. END OF UPDATE.
Pat Riley and the rest of the Miami Heat contingent convinced Ray Allen to pass up on a more lucrative contract offer from the Boston Celtics and join the defending champions. But Riley may have to persuade another free agent to take a pay-cut if he wants to upgrade his team's frontline.
Center Marcus Camby wants a $3 million-per-year contract, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. But as a team in the luxury tax, the Miami Heat now only have minimum-level salaries to offer free agents after Allen agreed to sign with the Heat for the mini mid-level exception, which has a starting salary of $3 million. Miami could agree to a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets, Camby's previous team, but Windhorst reported that the Rockets aren't interested in a sign-and-trade with the Heat. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey prefers the Knicks' potential sign-and-trade deal for Camby, Windhorst said.
As a result, Camby's scheduled Saturday visit to Miami was postponed. The Miami Herald reported that Houston has interest in Norris Cole, but reiterated Windhorst's claim that the Rockets have much more interest in New York's trade assets.
What should Riley do now? Perhaps his sales pitch will cajole Camby into accepting a minimum-salary deal. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski cited a source saying that Riley's presentation to Allen was "incredible." Riley could say that in New York, Camby would back up Tyson Chandler. But in Miami, Camby would play big minutes in the regular season to relieve Bosh of having to play the five for 82 games. Even in the playoffs, Camby's defensive presence could be valuable if the Los Angeles Lakers make it to the Finals.
Another option Riley could have is the disabled player exception. If Mike Miller retires, the Heat can file a request for this exception and have an NBA-designated physician confirm that Miller will likely not be able to play basketball professionally. If the exception is granted, the Heat could sign Camby - or another free agent - to half of Miller's salary, about $2.9 million. Miller hasn't announced a decision regarding possible retirement, though. Previously, the NBA granted the Heat disabled player exceptions in 2010 (Udonis Haslem's foot injury) and 2000 (Alonzo Mourning's kidney ailment).
But if Miller decides to come back and Camby doesn't budge on his desire for a $3 million salary, the 16-year veteran will likely go to the Knicks. In that case, the Heat may have to move on to other free agents to bolster Miami's frontline, like Nazr Mohammed or Ronny Turiaf. Only time will tell.