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Affordable free agents that the Miami Heat should pursue

We interrupt the endless coverage of max free agents to bring you (and hopefully the Heat) a list of reasonably priced but high-value players who the Heat should target to round out their roster regardless of whether or not they can rope in Lebron James, Chris Bosh or Amaré Stoudemire. With basically the entire team off the books this summer the Heat would be wise to snap these players up while other teams waste their time courting players like Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer only to sign these players to gargantuan contracts that they’ll regret within a few years time. Fabricio Oberto, Washington Wizards The 6-10 Argentine center has spent a year in purgatory but had previously spent his entire NBA career playing for a winner in the Spurs and winning championships with his fellow countryman Manu Ginobili in the NBA and international competitions. The big man possesses excellent passing skills, is a good rebounder, tough defender and has a tremendous basketball IQ. Oberto will always give maximum effort and that’s a requirement for Riley. What more do you want from someone who only made a couple of million last year? Although his weakness may be his offensive game, that won’t be a problem on a team with Dwyane Wade who can give him easy looks at the basket and can provide offensive rebounds and putbacks. Randy Foye, Washington Wizards The Wizards already had a logjam at point guard with Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton and Shaun Livingston (also available) this season and that was before they won the lottery and the right to draft John Wall. Foye only has been in the league for 3 years so he’s moldable and can be rehabbed from years of playing for crummy teams like the Wiz and Timberwolves. The catch is that he’s a restricted free agent but given that Arenas is untradeable the Heat could pounce on him and he’d shake free with a reasonable contract. Even if the Heat should acquire another point guard through a trade or free agency or elect to keep Chalmers, Foye would still be a big upgrade over Carlos Arroyo. Kyle Korver, Utah Jazz The sharpshooting Ashton Kutcher look-alike made 5 million dollars last season for the Jazz and would be a nice upgrade over Daequan Cook for an important role off the bench to stretch the defense with his career 41% 3-point FG accuracy. Korver actually went .536 for 3-pointers last year and with Wade around would have limitless open looks at the basket. If he could be convinced to take slightly less in this crowded free agency market on a one or two year deal it would go a long way to shoring up the bench. Louis Amundson, Phoenix Suns Another big guy who’s stock has risen during the Suns deep playoff but not to the extent of Marcin Gortat’s level last year which is a good thing for a Heat team that should resist overpaying for bench players. Amundson would be a nice spark off the bench and can provide the energy and hustle that don’t show up on the box score and was missing from the Heat for long stretches of the season. He’s not afraid to hit the floor to grab a loose ball and could be a fan favorite. He’s not going to be the next star for the Heat but he made less than a million bucks last year and would slide in nicely if Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire bid their adieus. Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns Hill is entering the twilight of his career and if the Heat can lure a max free agent to compliment Wade then he would be wise to hitch his wagon to Miami all the way to the Finals because the Lakers will always stop him out in the Wild West. Hill could also erase the bad memories of playing in the Sunshine State with his injury history as a member of the Orlando Magic. Hill may be old but has been healthy and active with the Suns precisely because he has low mileage for being in the league for 14 years. For all he does for the Suns it’s almost criminal that he’s only been paid 3 million for his services this year. A slight pay raise here in Miami could be offered for the services of a leader and solid guy to have in the locker room. Steve Blake/Rasual Butler, Los Angeles Clippers Both players have South Florida connections with Blake a former teammate of Udonis Haslem at Miami High School and Butler drafted by the Heat eight years ago. Both made a few million each last year playing for the lowly Clippers and would presumably be agreeable to returning back to Miami and play meaningful minutes towards a deep playoff run. Their teammate Travis Outlaw could also be a great option for the Heat and also had a comparable contract last year with Blake and Butler. If the Heat doesn’t want to add more salary to the cap then perhaps a sign-and-trade with the Clippers in exchange for Cook and one of the Heat’s second round picks might be enough to shake one of them away from Donald Sterling. Roger Mason, San Antonio Spurs Mason also comes from a winning program in the Spurs with plenty of playoff experience. At 6-5 he primarily plays SG but could slide in easily at SF where he could get plenty of minutes and possibly a starting role for the Heat if most of the cap space is tied up with two max free agents. Minutes have been hard to come by for him since the arrival of Richard Jefferson and the emergence of George Hill and since he made almost 4 million this season a comparable contract would be a good value for the Heat. Kurt Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks Thomas is another player the Heat could hope to get a hometown discount as he was drafted by the Heat in June of 1995 in one of the final acts by the franchise before hiring Riley in October (Spoelstra was also hired by the Heat that year in June). At 37 he might be open to ending his career in the same place he started and the Heat could use his toughness and rebounding prowess in the playoffs next year. There may be other suitors so perhaps the veteran minimum might be a stretch but there’s no harm in trying.