Highlights from Heat vice president/player personnel Chet Kammerer's draft news conference Wednesday:
### Kammerer suggested it's unlikely Miami will pick a big man at 27. He indicated he has a high regard for Syracuse center Fab Melo, but believes he will be gone before Miami's pick at 27, and also believes he's a year or two from contributing.
"Mock drafts have him in the teens, early 20s. That's probably pretty accurate," Kammerer said. "There's a player that has a lot of upside. He's played only four organized years of basketball. He's very raw but a pretty interesting player because of his length and athleticism. He's a hard working big man. I think his future is bright. He could be a pretty significant player in the league."
As a result, Kammerer said "it will be difficult for us to find a big man at 27 that will totally excite us." But that doesn't exclude power forwards - which he said is the deepest position in the draft.
### Kammerer revealed the Heat "more than likely will stay at 27" and likely won't trade for a second-round pick.
### He said the goal is to "find someone who will complement the key guys that are part of the Heat roster." He added the player "may not be a rotation'' player but hopefully will contribute next year.
### Kammerer, Riley and other Heat officials spoke this week about the Heat using smaller lineups in the postseason. "We found playing smaller turned out to be pretty good," he said. "That's part of our thinking. We would look at a perimeter more now than [a few weeks] ago. If we can find a player that's versatile and can switch and create mismatches, that's pretty important."
### He said "every year, Pat Riley asks: Is there a good big? I don't think that has changed." Kammerer said he advocates taking the best available player.
One intriguing power forward, if he surprisingly slips to 27, would be St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, an excellent shooter who averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds. Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie would be an option if he slips.
ESPN's Jay Bilas said Melo “has improved a great deal. He’s not an offensive player but a pretty good rebounder and has done better blocking shots. His fitness level improved, so he's able to run better. He's more mobile. But he was anchored in the middle of that zone. You put him in the NBA and he will be put in a lot of pick-and-roll situations and asked to move around the floor. That’s not a strength of his.”
Among perimeter players projected for Miami’s range: Vanderbilt 6-4 shooting guard John Jenkins (probably the best shooter in the draft but “doesn’t do much else and not an elite defender,” Bilas said); Vanderbilt 6-7 small forward Jeff Taylor (“excels at getting to the rim; terrific defender; made major strides as a shooter,” according to ESPN draftnik Chad Ford) and Memphis 6-6 shooting guard Will Barton (Bilas expects he will be gone by 27).
Also in that group: Kentucky shooting guard Doron Lamb (sharp-shooting combo guard; shot 47 percent on threes); Baylor 6-10 small forward Quincy Miller (concerns about knee, but big upside and can knock down open shots); French guard Evan Fournier (compared to Thabo Sefolosha); plus Texas A&M small forward Khris Middleton (14.3 ppg), Kansas swing guard Tyshawn Taylor (a 48 percent shooter, 16.6 ppg) and Oregon State shooting guard Jared Cunningham, an athletic slasher with a quick first step.
Ford, meanwhile, has Miami taking 6-8 Michigan State forward Draymond Green, a solid mid-range shooter and excellent rebounder who “can be a point forward type who does a little bit of everything Think of him as a better passing Udonis Haslem.
### The Heat has no second-round pick (which was dealt to New Jersey in 2010 as part of a cap-clearing Chris Quinn deal), but Miami has auditioned several potential second-rounders, including Duke center Miles Plumlee, Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson, Gonzaga center Robert Sacre and Purdue forward Robbie Hummel.
### Please see the bottom of this post for an update on LeBron James' comments on The View Wednesday morning - including his comments about his marriage proposal.... The Heat has a good chance of getting a $2.9 million disabled player’s exception this summer if the NBA determines that Mike Miller’s back injury will keep him out all next season…. James Jones said he has decided not to retire.
### The Dolphins, who don’t want excessive celebration penalties, hope wise-cracking Chad Ochocinco was kidding when he tweeted this to Commissioner Roger Goodell this week: “I love you but I will be a problem this year. All fine money this year can be collected from @Miami Dolphins management.” Said David Garrard: “Hopefully, he can get back to the old Chad without being fined all the time.”
Ochocino and fiancee Evelyn Lozada spent Tuesday filming their reality show at The Catalina Hotel on Miami Beach. He also sent an obscene tweet to ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, who trashed him for his tweet to Goodell.
### Chris Clemons has emerged as the front-runner to start at safety alongside heavy favorite Reshad Jones; former cornerback Jimmy Wilson has come on strong, while free agent pickup Tyrell Johnson has disappointed… Classless move this week by Brandon Marshall to claim he hasn’t had a good receivers coach since coming to the NFL. He was a pain in the neck here for Karl Dorrell, who had to be moved to quarterback coach by Tony Sparano because Marshall was so difficult to work with, according to a person in regular contact with the former coaching staff.
### The Panthers are interested in re-acquiring Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, who would waive his no-trade clause to come here, and the teams have discussed it. But the Panthers are reluctant to yield top prospects for Luongo, 33, who has 10 years left on his contract and an annual $5.3 million cap hit. For the deal to get done, the Canucks might need to settle for mid-range prospects and a contract Florida would gladly dump, such as Scottie Upshall's (three years, $10.5 million left).
Loungo’s .919 save percentage was nearly identical to Jose Theodore’s .917. Theodore has one year left at $1.5 million. The Panthers, who want to keep prospect Jacob Markstrom in the minors one more year, will resume talks this week with impending free agent goalie Scott Clemmensen, whose agent has exchanged offers with the team.
### Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen hasn’t erupted at his underachieving team once this season, but “I will pretty soon,” he said Tuesday. “I have to be careful how I treat these kids. I don't have a veteran team. I try to be positive. We need that.” The Marlins fell to 34-40 after Tuesday's loss.
### Guillen added: “I’m very disappointed, very sad, embarrassed, down in myself. It’s confusing because we went from the best team to the worst.” But “I’m not going to show them weakness.”
### Tampa’s Travis Johnson, Rivals.com’s 50th ranked receiver, became UM’s eighth 2013 oral commitment, turning down Oklahoma, Notre Dame and others… Butch Davis’ son Drew, who spoke to UM about walking on at quarterback, opted for North Carolina. But UM added Connecticut-based Grant Heyman, the Toronto Blue Jays’ 11th-round pick, who will play baseball here (outfield) and walk on at quarterback.
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College football is implementing a four-team playoff beginning in 2014, and the Orange Bowl is expected to be one of six bowls that will share the national semifinal games in a rotation, according to a source. The means the OB and Sun Life Stadium would get a national semifinal once every three years or four times over the length of the 12-year deal.
The OB will solidify its spot in the national semifinal game rotation by agreeing to continue its longterm tie-in with the ACC. The extension of the OB's allliance with the ACC will run through 2025 and is expected to be announced shortly.
On years when the OB plays host to a national semifinal, that game would serve as the Orange Bowl and the ACC champ would play elsewhere if it's not one of the four playoff teams.
During years the Orange Bowl does not host a national semifinal, it will pit the ACC champ against an at-large team, provided the ACC champ is not one of the four playoff teams.
The OB also plans to bid to be part of the rotation for the national championship game, though even if the OB and Sun Life get a piece of that, it's unlikely to be awarded that game on years it hosts a semifinal.
The OB will host its 20th national championship game on Jan. 7, 2013, in the next to last year of the current BCS system. The OB game will be Jan. 1.
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James said on The View on Wednesday morning that Wade was holding his ring before he proposed to his longtime girlfriend on New Year's Eve. Just after midnight, James turned to Wade and said: "I'm ready." Wade said: "You sure?" James said: "If you don't give me my ring now, I'm not going to do it."
James was asked on The View if he wants to say anything to the haters. "This trophy speaks for itself," he said. James said: "We knew it was going to be tough - not quite this tough." What did he think as the final seconds elapsed during Game 5? "It was a relief - like a weight off my back."
Click on our last post for a transcript of James' conversation with David Letterman.