Monday, July 7, 2008

Early July Heat Tidbits

* It wasn't quite that big a scare after all. After being accidentally elbowed in the chest during his first Heat practice, Michael Beasley received a diagnosis of a fractured sternum, but doctors say that he will be able to play all of the summer league games this week in Orlando, the first spotlighting a matchup of #1 (Derrick Rose) and #2 (Beasley) as the Bulls take on the Heat on Monday. Beasley will wear a protective vest underneath his Heat summer league jersey and said, with characteristic bravado, "I'm going to play until my chest caves in." I like him already.

* Everyone is eagerly awaiting 2010, not because there's a temporary moratorium on estate taxes (well, maybe for some tax law geeks and the soon-to-inherit), but because that's when Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and a host of other gems become available free agents. The Heat appears to be saving for that year as well - they obviously want to be in a position to retain Flash. So as far as the Heat's free agent options are concerned, then, they're just looking to use as much of the $6 million mid-level exception as they can.

* Some names being thrown out as options - Portland forward James Jones (former Miami Hurricane sharp-shooter and shot-blocker extraordinaire), Pacers center David Harrison, former #1 pick and current bust Kwame Brown, Nets center Nenad Kristic, and Golden State center Patrick O'Bryant. Color me unimpressed with the viable options.

* One intriguing option is Golden State guard Monta Ellis. Ellis appears interested in becoming a member of the Heat, and the Heat seem to be reciprocating. Two problems with that scenario, however: (1) the Warriors are desperate to keep Ellis, especially after Baron Davis departed so unceremoniously to the Clippers and (2) Ellis comes with a price tag, and he isn't even a true point guard, the real "need" position for the Heat.

* Summer league notes: St. Joe's rookie forward Pat Calathes has had a few strong days of scrimmaging, and there's speculation he may make the Heat regular season roster as a 3-point specialist; former Miami Hurricane center Anthony King (projected to be a power forward at the next level) has earned himself a place among the Heat summer leaguers in Orlando. King is an extreme longshot to make the Heat roster, given the logjam at power forward and his limited offensive skill set.

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