We'll get to the Sunday buzz column below, but first, a quick Heat update:
1) The Heat lost out in its pursuit of Marcus Camby Monday evening, when the Knicks and Rockets finalized a deal that will send Camby to New York. The Rockets will get Toney Douglas, Josh Harrelson, Jerome Jordan and two second-round picks --- a package more appealing than anything the Heat was willing to offer. Camby will get a three-year, $13 million deal from New York.
If the Heat adds a veteran big man in free agency, it likely will have to be someone willing to take the minimum. Chris Kaman will get far more than that, and Kwame Brown probably will get more, too.
2) Rashard Lewis ended his meeting with the Heat on Sunday night without giving Miami a decision. "It went well," his agent, Tony Dutt, told us. "We're talking to a couple more teams and will make a decision later in the week."
Lewis is expected to speak with the Hawks (who can offer more money than the Heat) and the Knicks (who potentially could, depending on what means they use to acquire Jason Kidd, who has said he is joining New York).
Dutt denied an ESPN report that Lewis has a meeting planned with Boston.
3) The Heat has inquired about several other free agents in recent days, including Courtney Lee (Miami cannot afford him) and John Lucas III. There has been no offer to Lucas and no visit is planned, but the Heat might speak to his representation later this week.
Lucas, a 5-11 point guard, averaged 7.5 points in 49 games for the Bulls last season and is a skilled three-point shooter. But keep in mind that the Heat felt no need to add a third point guard last season, because they know LeBron James or Dwyane Wade could handle point guard duties if neither Mario Chalmers nor Norris Cole is in the game.
4) The Knicks are trying to get Kidd and Camby $3 million salaries by doing a sign-and-trade for one and giving the $3.1 million mini midlevel to the other. So could the Heat do a sign-and-trade for Allen, thus preserving its mini mid-level to use on another player?
"I doubt it," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told the Boston Globe. "I don't know if they have anything to give us. I doubt it." So with Allen taking the mid-level, the Heat is operating under the assumption that all it has left is minimum contracts, maxing out at $1.3 million.
5) Wade will undergo knee surgery in the next couple days, as expected.
# # #
SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Lots of Dolphins quarterback chatter:
### Nothing will be determined until training camp, but this is the expectation that has emerged inside the Dolphins: Look for a tight competition between David Garrard and Matt Moore for the starting job, with Ryan Tannehill likely to begin the season on the bench.
“I would probably agree with you on that,” Reggie Bush told me. “Ryan can watch the veterans and learn. When he gets the call, he’ll be ready.”
Judging from offseason practices open to the media and feedback from multiple people, including players, Garrard has been the most impressive of the three, but not by a wide margin over Moore, who rallied the final two days of minicamp.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and in-the-loop agent Drew Rosenhaus (on his WSVN-7 segment) named Garrard the favorite, though Rosenhaus notes it’s too close to call. Remember, August performance is paramount over anything so far. “Close” is how coach Joe Philbin describes the Garrard/Moore competition.
Garrard said he and Moore shared first-team snaps evenly all season. But Garrard joined the starters on the first day of the final minicamp.
### Tannehill isn’t completely out of the running and could play at some point this season. But he got by far the fewest first-team snaps and it was an issue to the point that he went to Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman to discuss it in mid-June. (Tannehill confirmed those discussions.)
“I would like some more, for sure,” he said the day before he got by far his most first-team snaps of the offseason (the final day of the offseason program). “They are planning to slowly get me more first-team reps.”
But how exactly? With Tannehill running third, can the Dolphins afford to give him a lot of first-team work in training camp?
“I don’t know of any team that has had three compete for a starting job,” CBS’ Phil Simms said, off the air, regarding the Dolphins. “It’s impossible to give three the same number of snaps. If you do, you’re doing a disservice to your team.”
### Here’s what’s encouraging from offseason practices: Garrard, 34, and Moore, 27, displayed generally quick decision-making, nimble feet, strong arms, ability to throw on the run and the acumen to run a West Coast offense.
One difference: Moore tends to run more hot-and-cold in practices. He has never been a great practice player, and remember, Philbin wasn’t around to watch his good work in Miami’s 6-3 finish to the season.
### Philbin speaks well of Moore, but his praise of Garrard has been more extensive and effusive the past three months.
“Garrard’s impressive,” Philbin said. “He looks you in the eye, shakes your hand and you feel good about the guy. He can still move well. He throws the ball with a lot of velocity and his accuracy has been good. His command of the offense is good.”
What about Moore? “I like the way he caught onto the system,” Philbin said. “He’s doing well.”
### Garrard’s back, surgically repaired last fall, hasn’t caused problems, but he admits the true test won’t come until he’s hit in August.
### Tannehill has made a bunch of sharp throws, and Dolphins players rave about his arm. But the speed of the game has been problematic; he holds onto the ball too long at times. Timing issues – throwing too early or late – have contributed to interceptions and a bunch of the drops that seem to plague him. Tannehill was sacked only seven times at Texas A&M in 2011 but has taken a lot of would-be sacks here.
### Garrard’s rise to slight front-runner would surprise many. One AFC head coach told me at the March owners meetings he would definitely start Moore over Garrard; an NFC head coach insisted Moore’s talent is underestimated; and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski called Garrard’s addition “underwhelming,” noting he’s "solid" but “not a guy that will elevate a team.”
CBS’ Rich Gannon said “Garrard has to re-dedicate himself, study, be more of a vocal leader. He’s got a ways to go, and that’s unusual for a guy with as many starts as he has.” A Jaguars source said Garrard got fat and happy after Jacksonville gave him a big contract in 2008. But Garrard has impressed the Dolphins with his performance and professionalism.
### We did a statistical analysis of Moore’s 2011 and Garrard’s most recent NFL season (2010 with Jacksonville), and a few numbers stood out.
Their ratings were similar – Moore 12th among all quarterbacks, Garrard 13th - but Garrard had the better completion percentage (64.5 to 60.5), critical in a West Coast offense.
### Moore was the better quarterback in the first through third quarters. But Garrard was far better in the fourth. Garrard's 108.3 fourth quarter rating in 2010 was second in the NFL behind only Ben Roethlisberger, with seven touchdowns and one pick. Moore was 34th last year with a 68.8 fourth-quarter rating (three touchdowns, four picks).
What about Tannehill's fourth quarter performance at A&M last season? He wasn't extraordinary but pretty good (five touchdowns, three picks and a 59.4 completion percentage, a number diminished by receiver drops.) Several A&M losses resulted from defensive meltdowns.
### This might surprise you: Factoring in defensive penalties, ESPN’s KC Joyner tells us Garrard had the best deep ball percentage of any NFL quarterback in 2010 (20 completions, five defensive penalties in 46 passes of 20 yards or more). Conversely, Moore completed 23 of 59 such throws last season (38.9 percent), and Tannehill was 16 for 58 (27.6 percent).
### The Dolphins worry about Moore’s penchant for fumbling – 14 last season, six lost.
### So who, besides Ray Allen, were the handful of players the Heat had atop their free-agent wish list? Agent Bill Duffy tells us Pat Riley called Steve Nash just after the midnight start of free agency July 1. “He expressed interest and told him he admired him,” said Duffy, who told Riley the Heat’s $3.1 million mini mid-level exception would not be enough.
The Heat knew it would need to do a sign-and-trade with Phoenix but determined it didn’t have the pieces. But Duffy said Nash would have been interested in Miami (as well as the Lakers and Knicks) if the Heat could have done a sign-and-trade.
NBA officials say Miami also planned to make a strong (though long-shot) pitch to Kevin Garnett had he not re-signed with Boston (for three years, $34 million) and to Lamar Odom had the Clippers not traded for him June 30. But Allen was always Miami's first choice, and the Heat's thrilled to get him.
### Some of the Heat/Allen reaction: Michael Vick tweeted of the Heat: "Loaded. Final Piece. Notfair. LOL."... Suns forward Jared Dudley: "The rich get richer."
### Celtics coach Doc Rivers told The Boston Globe Saturday night that he is "disappointed" about Allen leaving the Celtics. "He should have stayed," Rivers said. "We recruited him just as hard [as Miami]. I respect him for all he did for us, but I thought he should have stayed with us."
Rivers said he spoke to Allen after he made his decision and suggested that Allen might have been irritated by Boston making Garnett its off-season priority.
"I think emotionally, he probably got bent sideways a little bit by us courting Kevin for some reason," Rivers said. ".... Garnett was our focal point and should have been. If that got anyone ruffled, then that's probably too bad." Asked if he agrees with Allen's reasons for leaving, Rivers said, "No. But that doesn't matter."
### Please see our last post for news of Marcus Camby postponing his visit with the Heat, and the sign-and-trades discussions between the Heat and Rockets.
### Though Larry Bird told ESPN he’s bothered by players taking less money to join the Heat for one year, he said of LeBron James’ playoffs: “Has anyone ever had a better run? It would seem like you’d have a bad game once in a while. He never had a bad game. Maybe he can get close to [Michael] Jordan.”
### A UM official said Ray-Ray Armstrong is expected to speak to the NCAA in the wake of allegations of interaction with a booster. But UM is optimistic it's not serious.... Though UM has declined to publicly address the status of embattled baseball coach Jim Morris, a UM administrator said his job is safe for 2013.
### During a front-office summit a couple weeks ago, one Marlins official talked about this season simply not working out and suggested Miami play the season out without making trade.
Then Jeffrey Loria, who was on the phone, said absolutely not, that this team can compete with anyone and he isn’t giving up. That’s why the Carlos Lee trade followed a week later, even though factions of the front office initially opposed the idea, because of Lee's subpar defense and the fact the Marlins believe Logan Morrison would be better at first base than left field.