Heat and UM notes on a Saturday:
Unlike past years, the Heat won’t be aggressively pursuing players when free agency starts Monday, aside from trying to lure Chris Andersen back. As we’ve noted previously, the Heat can pay Andersen either $1.7 million next season (the veteran’s minimum plus a 20 percent raise) or the $3.183 taxpayer’s midlevel exception.
The Heat prefers to re-sign Andersen at the minimum. Offering the mid-level, instead of the minimum, would significantly increase the Heat’s luxury tax burden.
If Andersen re-signs, the Heat will have either two or three open roster spots – two if it doesn’t use the amnesty provision on Mike Miller or Joel Anthony between July 11 and 17. (Pat Riley has said he prefers not to use it on Miller, unless he’s instructed to do so by ownership.)
Those two roster spots were filled, at the end of this past season, by unrestricted free agent Juwan Howard and center Jarvis Varnado, whose $789,000 contract becomes partially guaranteed if he's on the opening night roster.
The Heat figures to sign at least one young veteran to a non-guaranteed contract, as it did with Josh Harrellson last September, and will wait to see what players shake free later in the summer.
Here’s a look at the unrestricted free agents; a few names will be added over the next two days and during the amnesty period.
### Centers or forward/centers: Chris Andersen, Greg Oden, Marreese Speights, Cole Aldrich, DeJuan Blair, Andrew Bynum, Jason Collins, Sam Dalembert, DeSagana Diop, Ryan Hollins, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Chris Kaman, Nzar Mohammed, Jermaine O’Neal, Earl Barron, Andray Blatche, J.J. Hickson, Byron Mullens, Zaza Pachulia, Chris Wilcox, Brandan Wright, Johan Petro, Joel Pryzbilla, Ronnie Turiaf.
Comment: Riley said the Heat plans to explore signing Oden if he’s healthy enough. Oden isn’t ready for contact drills but might work out for Miami in the next month or so.
If the Heat can’t re-sign Birdman, there aren’t many appealing affordable options, unless Chris Kaman surprisingly settles for a mid-level exception.
Don’t expect a reunion with O’Neal. Sam Dalembert said he would welcome Heat interest, but he wasn’t always happy in two recent stops, and the Heat won’t add anyone that it fears would complain about playing time. The Heat already has passed once on Blatche, who revived his career with the Nets last season. If Anthony is amnestied, several veterans – such as Hollins or Blair – will become possibilities.
### Forwards: Aminu Al-Farouq, Lou Amundson, Luke Babbitt, Matt Barnes, Corey Brewer, Ronnie Brewer, Chase Budinger, DeMarre Carroll, Earl Clark, Marquis Daniels, Mike Dunleavy, Juwan Howard, Antwan Jamison, Wesley Johnson, Dahntay Jones, Carl Landry, Corey Maggette, Cartier Martin, Kenyon Martin, Jason Maxiell, Josh McRoberts, Paul Milsapp, Lamar Odom, Mickael Pietrus, Vladimir Radmanovic, Quentin Richardson, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse, Anthony Tolliver, Charlie Villanueva, Luke Walton, David West.
Comment: There are some intriguing young players on this list, including Al-Farouq, Clark and Johnson, the fourth overall pick in 2010. Most of them, including Clark, will command more than what Miami can offer. The Heat will peruse what’s left of this list in August and September and could add a young player that slips through the cracks.
But there won’t be a necessity to add one, especially if a forward – such as second-rounder James Ennis – emerges during the Heat’s summer program.
### Swingmen: Tony Allen, Allan Anderson, Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver, Tracy McGrady, Martell Webster, Damien Wilkins, Dorell Wright, Nick Young, Sam Young, James White.
Comment: Simply not a need, with Miller, Ray Allen, Shane Battier and James Jones all available off the Heat’s bench.
### Natural guards: DJ Augustin, Leandro Barbosa, Chauncey Billups, Marco Bellinelli, Will Bynum, Jose Calderon, Deaquan Cook, Keyon Dooling, Monta Ellis, Derek Fisher, Randy Foye, Daniel Gibson, Manu Ginobili, Devin Harris, Xavier Henry, Royal Ivey, Jarrett Jack, Mike James, Shaun Livingston, John Lucas III, Kevin Martin, Roger Mason Jr., Anthony Morrow, Jannero Pargo, Chris Paul, A.J. Price, J.J. Redick, Nate Robinson, Nolan Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Jamaal Tinsley, Beno Udrih, Earl Watson, Elliot Williams, Reggie Williams.
Comment: Riley has shown no interest in adding a veteran No. 3 point guard, and that will continue to be the case. The Heat will audition several young guards in summer league, including Texas’ Myck Kabongo and UNLV’s Anthony Marshall.
UM SCHEDULE UPDATE
With UM finalizing a home and home series with Arkansas State on Friday, here’s an updated look at future UM non-conference schedules:
### For the 2014 season, UM will play at Nebraska and home against Florida A&M and Arkansas State and hopes to finalize a home game against Southern Mississippi as part of a home-and-home.
### Also booked: For 2015: Nebraska, at FAU… 2016: at Notre Dame, FAU, and Florida A&M… 2017: Notre Dame and at Arkansas State… 2018 and 2019: home-and-home with Rutgers… Also, UM will play a home-and-home with Toledo between 2015 and ’18… 2020 and 2021: home-and-home with Michigan State. Many games will be added, with advanced talks progressing on a home-and-home with Penn State.