After what feels like weeks of waiting (really it was just a few days), the Heat finally was able to officially sign forward Mike Miller to a 5-year contract on Thursday. A roster that was very recently considered/assumed to be ‘3 guys and a bunch of scrubs' has quickly evolved into a very formidable and downright scary group of basketball players.
With Miller now locked up, the Heat has reached the $58 million salary cap. That means they can start signing free agents willing to play for the minimum, some of which have already began lining up. Zydrunas ‘The Igloo' Ilgauskas and Juwan Howard are both practically on the team, but we've done that dance with Howard before. Still, both could be members of the Heat by the end of the weekend.
Past that, there are still some options for the Heat to explore. Judging by the members of this site, Jason Williams should absolutely be the next guy to sign on the dotted line. As a player, I am all for this move. Experienced and smart, he showed us last season in Orlando that there are still a lot of shots in his arsenal.
It will be interesting to see if/how J-Will responds to the comments he made earlier this year about the 06 Heat team, but from a basketball standpoint this move makes a ton of sense. Regardless of what kind of offense they primarily run, the Heat will need some kind of true point guard on their roster. It's ironic that Jason Williams could be brought in to do for Mario Chalmers what Gary Payton was brought in to do for Jason Williams back in 2006; provide leadership, a veterans presence and (to some extent) defense...though Payton was one of the best defenders at that position, ever.
Another guy I'd like to bring south from Orlando is Matt Barnes. He is a great defender who can shoot and score; a perfect fit to come off of this teams bench. The question would be though, where does he fit in? Barnes is a forward, and the Heat already has Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Udonis Haslem and now Mike Miller. There are always ways to make it work, but that could come into consideration when Barnes weighs his options.
Miami and Boston seem to be his final two choices, though other teams are said to be in the running. This all stems from Barnes being upset with Orlando for not offering him a contract to come back and then signing Quentin Richardson. The Magic has also apparently matched the Bulls offer sheet with J.J. Redick, which puts them at the cap.
Barnes offered this message on his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon "2maro is the day. I will let my fans know where I'm going to sign. Its gonna SURPRISE you!!!! Keep it locked." Whether or not that means Miami is something we'll have to wait a few more hours to find out.
The option to bring back James Jones could be lessening because it seems the Spurs have him in their sights. San Antonio has about $2.3 million left in cap space to spend, and Jones is towards the top of their want list. Miami can now only offer players the veteran's minimum, which for Jones wouldn't be close to that $2.3
Moving on, now that the Michael Beasley trade has finally been processed, he can speak about his former team. I wasn't sure what to expect because while I never thought Super Cool was the smartest guy, he always had a sense of swag to him. Here is what Beasley had to say on Wednesday:
"I don't want to say anything I'm going to regret. Miami had to do what they needed to do to accomplish their goals over the summer. They wanted one big free agent or two, they got all the free agents. You've got to clear some small things to get the big things in. And I'm OK with that."
"Coach Riley sat me down and told me, 'If this happens . . . ' At the time we all thought the Big Three was just a myth. So never in a million years did I think it was going to happen. Coach Riley let me know if he had a chance to get LeBron James or Chris Bosh, it could happen. So I was sort of prepared for it. It happened and I'm a Timberwolve now."
Some very mature words from the former 2nd overall pick. I can honestly say I wish Beasley nothing but the best up in Minnesota. Leaving here with class puts a nice bow on Super Cool's Miami Adventure.
Finally...for all you J-Will lovers out there, here is probably my best memory (game-wise) for Williams. Enjoy!