I think yesterday was the first day that there were no new signings to report by the Heat. A day after Zydrunas Ilgauskas joined up (though no official signing has been made) the talk was more about getting things finalized. Michael Beasley is still holding things up, though its no fault of his. The trade is just about finalized, and will be done sometime later today.
Once that is finished, then things will start happening quickly for Miami. Mike Miller will be able to sign, with that move putting the Heat right at the salary cap. When the team reaches that point they can start signing the minimum salary guys, which includes Zydrunas, Juwan Howard and any other veteran players looking to make less in order to win big.
The Heat still has the qualifying offer out to Joel Anthony as well ($1.1 mil). He is the only Heat player that falls under the Larry Bird rule, which means the Heat can sign him even if they are at or over the salary cap. Those moves are all likely to happen in the next couple days.
At that point there will be the equivalent of a feeding frenzy for players to take the final roster spots on the Heat. The spots that just a week ago many of us assumed would belong to a bunch of draft picks are likely going to some NBA veterans who still have some gas left in the tank for that last push at an NBA title.
Among names already floated with potential interest in the Heat are Tracy McGrady, Jerry Stackhouse, Eddie House, Keyon Dooling, Jason Williams and Rasaul Butler, and that does not even include members of the 2009-10 Heat who could be called back for encores, such as James Jones, Carlos Arroyo and Jamaal Magloire.
When looking at that list of players, keep in mind you are looking at guys who will be playing around 20 minutes a game, if that. Well, that number could be different because of one thing. I'm guessing that about 25% of the Heat's games next season will be against the better teams in the NBA. The other 75% will be against teams the Heat should handle pretty easily.
In those 'less difficult' games, we might see our ‘end of the bench' guys playing most of the 4th quarter, so their minutes could be misleading. I realize that's a pretty optimistic view, but would anybody argue that is isn't realistic as well?
At this point, it's not about finding guys just to fill out our lineup cards. The Heat are going to be fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose the guys they want to fill out their final, coveted roster spots.
Before I get to the Summer League stuff, here are some comments Mike Miller made to WHBQ in Memphis on Wednesday afternoon. This was after he joined some Heat teammates on the practice floor inside the AAA. Said Miller:
"Obviously, you're looking at three of the most dynamic players in the league. And you need to surround that with shooters. And hopefully I can go in there and do that for these guys. I've never had an opportunity to really lace them up in June. This one gives me an opportunity."
And on the pending deal...
"We're waiting on one thing. We'll have it done."
SUMMER LEAGUE UPDATE
The Heat improved their Summer League record to 2-1 last night when they beat the Detroit Pistons 92-83 without several of the guys we need to see out there. Jon Scheyer, who left Tuesday nights game with a sever cut on his right eyelid, received 5 stitches and was sent home by the Heat.
Dexter Pittman (toe) and Patrick Beverly (leg) both got the night off, but should be able to play in the Heat's final two games in Vegas this week.
Kenny Hasbrouck was out there but couldn't keep the ‘good game' streak alive. He hit just 2-of-8 from the field, scoring 8 points with 3 boards and 4 assists.
After having a strong game on Tuesday against Golden State, rookie center Garret Siler got the start against the Pistons and continued to show progress. He scored 15 points on just 6-of-8 shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds and blocking 2 shots. He's shown some great moves in the low post, especially for such a big guy (listed at 6'11" 304lbs).
The Heat get the night off tomorrow before finishing up their Summer League schedule on back-to-back days. Friday they play Milwaukee at 10:30, then Saturday they wrap things up against Cleveland at 6pm. That game will be shown live on NBA TV, but don't expect the same drama that you'll get when the Heat and Cavs get together in the fall.