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6 p.m. update: Oden in uniform; Heat trade and ramifications; Fins' new OC; Analysis on UM's recruits on offense

6 p.m. update: Center Greg Oden --- who hasn't played in a regular-season game in four years and one month --- will be uniform for the Heat tonight for the first time during the regular season, Pat Riley announced tonight. The Heat plays the Wizards at 7 p.m., and it's unclear if Oden will actually play tonight.

Oden appeared in one preseason game but hadn't play since, as the Heat continued to try to build the strength in his surgically-repaired knees, while also working on his conditioning.

Joel Anthony, traded by the Heat today, said Oden has looked good in 2-on-2 workouts against him. (The Heat hasn't done much 5-on-5 work in recent weeks.)

Oden's agent, Mike Conley Sr., told me last week that Oden was "antsy" to play and thought he could get the go-ahead "at any time."

"At some point, we need to find out," Riley said of Oden.

Riley, speaking to reporters at Verizon Center, said nothing is going on, at the moment, regarding free agent Andrew Bynum, per Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick. But Bynum would be an option if the Heat doesn't like what it sees from Oden, or if he has a setback.

"We've got six weeks until the trade deadline to try to figure this thing out," Riley said of the flexibility created by today's trade of Joel Anthony for Toney Douglas.

### Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen are out for tonight's game. Shane Battier is back.


Noon update: As Yahoo! just reported, that Heat is sending center Joel Anthony to Boston, with veteran point guard Toney Douglas coming to the Heat and Miami relinquishing a lottery-protected first-round pick that it previously acquired from Philadelphia. (That first-rounder becomes two second rounders if the 76ers miss the playoffs this season and next season.)

It's a big win for the Heat from a salary cap/luxury tax standpoint because Miami is purging Anthony's $3.8 million from its books next season. Douglas, the player being acquired, is making $1.6 million this season but will be a free agent after this season.

Anthony's $3.8 million salary next year could have translated into a tax penalty of more than $10 million, potentially more, for the Heat next year under the league's punitive tax system. And that's in addition to Anthony's salary! By eliminating that tax burden, the Heat could feel more comfortable giving a new contract to Mario Chalmers (see our note on that toward the bottom of the column.)

Miami also saves more than $8 million in tax payments this season. 

The deal likely will not open salary cap space for the Heat next summer, presuming Miami can keep the Big Three, but will lower the tax burden, making Miami more willing to use its salary cap exception and perhaps re-sign Chalmers.

Anthony's departure leaves Norris Cole as the only player who has a 2014-15 contract WITHOUT any opt-out clause (at $2.15 million). But realistically, Udonis Haslem likely will exercise the $4.6 million player option on his contract for 2014-15, and Chris Andersen also has a player option for $1.448 million for next season.

Additionally, the Heat's Big Three all have opt out clauses after this season. LeBron James and Chris Bosh would make $20.59 million if they decide not to become free agents next summer, and Dwyane Wade would make $20.04 million.

Douglas, 27, is averaging 3.7 points on 37.2 percent shooting while playing 11 minutes per game for Golden State. In his 4 1/2 NBA seasons, Douglas, 6-2, has averaged 8.1 points and drained 339 three-pointers (on 35.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc). He would figure to become the Heat's third point guard and provide more depth at shooting guard unless Miami releases him to open up a roster spot.

If Miami releases Douglas, free agent center Andrew Bynum would become an option. His agent said last week that the Heat had shown no interest in Bynum. He declined to say today whether that has changed.

A Heat official last week said Miami wasn't pursuing Bynum at the time but would not rule it out. And now, with one big man purged from the roster, it's an issue that could be re-addressed.

By the way, Golden State gets Boston's Marshon Brooks and Jordan Crawford in the three-team trade with the Heat and Celtics.


11 a.m. update: The Dolphins have hired Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor as offensive coordinator. The story was first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, a day after ESPN's Ed Werder reported he would be named the Lions' offensive coordinator.

Lazor, 41, has served as an offensive coordinator only twice before, and both times in college: at Buffalo in 2001-02 and at Virginia in 2010-12. The Cavaliers were last in the ACC in offense the year before he arrived and rose to third in his first season on the job.

Last season was his only one in Philadelphia, and Lazor was praised for his work with Nick Foles, who blossomed under his tutelage. 

Lazor's first NFL job was an offensive quality control coach for the Falcons in 2003. He worked four years for the Redsksins, including two as quarterback coach (2006-07). He was Seattle's quarterback coach in 2008 and 2009 before taking the Virginia job.

Lazor -- who likes running the West Coast offense -- played quarterback for Cornell, where he began his coaching career, and was a three-year starter. He's a native of Scranton, Penn.



The Hurricanes’ offensive recruiting class includes a 10-top quarterback, a top-10 running back, an offensive line class that ranks among the best in the country, pretty good receivers –-- but none considered on the level of Stacy Coley --- and no elite tight end.

Chatter on UM’s 12-member offensive class, three weeks from National Signing Day Feb. 5:

### Quarterback: It’s critical that UM hold on to Brad Kaaya, the West Hills (Cal.) prospect who is rated the No. 10 quarterback by Rivals.com and the No. 128 overall prospect by ESPN.

Ed Croson, his coach at Chaminade High, told me Tuesday that he spoke to Kaaya this week “and I think he’s coming to Miami. I think he’s really excited about the coaches there.” But he said UCLA and Boise State still “have a shot at him. It will heat up at the end.”

Will he be surprised if Kaaya doesn't come to UM? "I don't know," Croson said. "Not much surprises me."

Kaaya, who has a very good relationship with UM offensive coordinator James Coley, did not respond to text messages this week about whether he definitely will attend UM and wouldn’t rule out the Bruins in a late December interview with Canesport.com, saying: “I don’t know… Right now, I’m committed to Miami.”

But around the same time, he told another Rivals.com reporter that he plans to stick with Miami, and it was encouraging that he flew from Los Angeles to Orlando merely to watch a UM bowl practice.

Kaaya --- who threw for 3113 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions and completed 62.5 percent of his passes --- said Coley told him that he “has a chance to start right way” if he beats out front-runner Ryan Williams and Kevin Olsen.

ESPN’s Tom Luginbill said Kaaya is similar in some ways to Stephen Morris but “has been blessed with better size [6-4 to 6-2] for the position and has a higher ceiling.”

UM loves his physical tools, decision making and intelligence. Coley --– speaking in general, not about anyone in particular --– has said in the past that he likes tall quarterbacks.

Local recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein, who has watched Kaaya, said he’s “the most talented of any quarterback they’ve brought there since Kyle Wright. He's the NFL style-type quarterback they haven’t had in a while. Big, strong arm. James Coley got on him before anybody else did.”

CBS Sports’ Tom Lemming said “Kaaya wasn’t heavily recruited a few months ago but had a great year. Best quarterback in California.”

UM’s other oral pledge at the position, Mobile (Ala.) Faith Baptist’s Malik Rosier, told Canesport.com that he is 100 percent committed to UM. He completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,798 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions and ran for 1275 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Rosier, who runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash but needs to shorten his release, told Canesport.com’s Matt Shodell that he expects to have an immediate role because “I can run. That’s what I bring to the table. Even if I don’t win [the job], I can play on third-and-short in a zone read package to get four or five yards. Coach Coley’s talked to me about that.”

Rosier is ranked the No. 24 dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com. UM recently offered Booker T. Washington’s four-star Treon Harris, rated the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback, and his father, Booker T. coach Tim Harris, told me this week that Treon will visit UM and “the interest is there” from both parties. But… “FSU has the [leg] up on everything because they’ve been through the process the longest.”

UM had offered Harris a scholarship as "an athlete" in the past, but the difference in the new offer is that UM would be willing to allow him to play quarterback, which is his preference. He also would be a quarterback at FSU.

Harris threw for 2159 yards and 28 touchdowns, and ran for 575 yards and nine more scores, in leading Booker T. to a state championship and the No. 1 ranking in USA Today's national high-school football poll.

### Running back: Only one committed, but he's a very good one and he's already enrolled. Miami Central’s Joseph Yearby ran for 1700 yards on 9.6 per carry this past season and “he’s right there with Duke Johnson as a prospect,” recruiting analyst Larry Blustein said. “Speedy, quick, tough to bring down.” Yearby is rated by Rivals.com as the nation's seventh-best running back and 54th best player overall.

Lemming said Yearby isn’t as good as his teammate, FSU-bound Dalvin Cook: “Not as physical, not as good vision as Cook.”

UM lost Brandon Powell to UF, but UM coaches this week “said they were through [recruiting] at that position,” said All Saints Episcopal (Tx.) coach Aaron Beck, whose three-star back, Daniel Gresham, has interest in Miami after Louisville parted ways with him Sunday.

Still, there are mixed messages on that front; earlier this week, Salinas (Cal.) JC running back Deandre Mann, who backed up Lamar Miller at Killian, was led to believe Miami would offer him.

### Offensive line: Lemming said the quartet of Palm Beach Central tackle K.C. McDermott (rated 44th among all prospects by ESPN), Central tackle Trevor Darling (No. 115), St. Petersburg tackle Reilly Gibbons (No. 246) and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Nick Linder (rated the 14th-best center by Rivals.com) is the best 2014 offensive line class in the country: “McDermott dominates almost every play, and Darling might have as much potential.” Linder, a center, can also play guard.

Blustein said Darling “is not on Ereck Flowers’ level yet but has a chance to be.” Darling and McDermott are enrolling this month. Darling and McDermott are already enrolled.

### Tight end: Only one in the group, Norcross (Ga.’s) Christopher Herndon, who is rated the nation’s No. 19 tight end by Rivals. UM projects him as an H-back but Herndon expects to be a receiver (which he played last season) or tight end here. Herndon, 6-4, helped lead his team to the Georgia 6A title with 33 receptions for 543 yards and six touchdowns.

### Receivers: UM has one four-star prospect (Raleigh, N.C.’s Braxton Berrios, rated No. 43 among receivers by Rivals.com) and three three-star prospects: South Dade’s Tyre Brady, Lantana Salaluces’ Darrell Langham and Carol City’s Trayone Gray).

But Miami couldn’t land any of the top-20 receivers it targeted: Homestead’s Ermon Lane, West Palm Beach Dwyer’s Johnnie Dixon or Palm Beach Cardinal Newman’s Travis Rudolph.

Berrios --- a quick, shifty slot receiver who’s already enrolled --- will miss spring ball with a torn ACL. UM sees similarities between Berrios and former Miami Gulliver and ex-Duke standout Conner Vernon, who had 85 catches as a senior in 2012 and is now on Cleveland’s practice squad.

“Braxton reminds me of Wes Welker,” Lemming said. “He runs a legit 4.48, was a straight-A student, all-state as a senior.”

UM loves Brady (38 catches, 575 yards, nine touchdowns this past season) and believes he can become a faster version of Allen Hurns.

Gray, who played quarterback this past season, was a receiver in 2012 and can beat opponents deep. But Blustein said: “I predict he will be in the Super Bowl someday as a running back. He’s Chris Johnson all over again.”

Gray ran for 1221 yards and averaged 9.0 per carry in 2013. But Carol City coach and former UM assistant Aubrey Hill said Tuesday that "every indication I have is they want him at receiver. He can be very good" as a college receiver.

UM believes Langham, 6-5, can become a red zone target, a role that UM hoped D’Mauri Jones would fill but hasn’t. He had 35 catches for 458 yards and seven touchdowns this past season. “Has good, not great, speed --– a possession-type receiver,” Blustein said.

Four-star receiver Derrick Griffin, who had hoped to enroll at UM this past August and play both football and basketball, again failed to qualify and tweeted that he will enroll at junior college, before deleting the tweet.

New Jersey’s three-star David Njoku, ranked the nation’s No. 100 receiver by Rivals, liked his UM visit and Miami has a decent chance to get him. Alabama and Ohio State reportedly want to make him a tight end. 


### Though Dolphins owner Stephen Ross really likes Eagles personnel executive Tom Gamble and wants to interview him for the general manager job, some associates will be surprised if he leaves Philadelphia, where he likes his job, to come to Miami.… Though Jonathan Martin hasn't requested a trade yet, a close associate said despite some of the changes with the Dolphins, it would still be impossible "for him to go back in that locker-room."

### The Heat ideally would like to keep both Norris Cole and impending free agent Mario Chalmers next season, but it might be difficult –-- from a luxury tax standpoint --- to re-sign Chalmers if he expects more than his current $4 million salary next season.

Cole has played well the past three games as a starter, ranks fourth among all point guards in field goal percentage (47.7) and seventh in three-point percentage (42.1) but is 38th of 47 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.90-to-1), whereas Chalmers is 27th. ABC’s Jeff Van Gundy said, off the air, that Cole can be a starter on a good team “with the right backup.”

### Andrew Heaney, who has a decent chance to win the No. 5 spot in the Marlins rotation, was named MLB.com’s top left-handed pitching prospect. The ninth overall pick in 2012, Heaney went 9-3 with a 1.60 ERA, and a .211 batting average against, in Single A and Double A in 2013. Heaney has a fastball that hits 95, a great slider and an improved change-up.

### Quick broadcast note: Dolphins preseason TV announcer and WINZ-940 radio host Jesse Agler is leaving for a job with the San Diego Padres, where he will reunite with Padres and former Dolphins president Mike Dee, who's a big fan of his work.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz


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Now that the president talked about Chalmers at the White House, he may think that his salary should be doubled!


I see 7-6 for UM next season, with a bowl loss in Boise. Wish I was wrong, but just watch.


Barry any update concerning UM and FIU once again scheduling football? Someone in Herald in Nov (I think) discussed how Shalala and Rosenburg are working on making it happen.

Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea for UM to play FIU. FIU will only get better, UM will only get worse. I think if UM would have played Cristobal's 2011 Sunbelt champion team, they would have lost in a tight game.

joe r

jesse agler would have been a perfect replacement for jimmy cefalo, another dolphins gaffe...i know there is alegion of fans that love the marino, cefalo days but cefalo either cant see very well or is losing his mind because he makes a laundry list of mistakes in the booth

wylde bill

Nice to read about some good news on offense. But that was'nt the problem the last 2 years. We could get every 5 star recuit down here, still would'nt matter. Mark is just flat out lost on game day. Al and the players seem to stick by him. ???????????. Well Donna is getting her wish. She fould a way to bring down the football team down and keep it there. I swear if Saban is the devil Donna's the antichrist. How many games will Miami give up 500 + yards this year Al? All but 3 is my guess. The 3 div. 2 teams we have will make sure our record will make us better than we are. Damn glad we don't play Ga. Southern. Their Div.2 as well but they would kick our butts. Ask FLA. about it. Hey, got a great idea lets let Sabastian call the defense. He could do any worse.


WHERE THE F IS CHUDZINSKI ROSS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOD I HATE YOU! WORST OWNER EVER!


joe r....nice comment. we will continue to get worse on D coz we have the wrong coaches choosing players and coaching!miserable talentless team just like with coker and shannon...wheres butch?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!no stars.no playmakers.no blitzes.no bump and run.no terrorizing lbs in the right spots.and it aint the "ncaa clouds" fault...crappy no name teams kicked our butts with far less talent. we are at the mercy..AGAIN...of donna.fml

Reality Bites

Time of the year for al the sorry cane hoopla and fluff about all those great recruits coming in. Soon some cane retard will proclaim the on going meaningless cane motto "we are back".
As I remember from last year most sorry cane homers were quaking about having "the best offense in the nation". The "best set of WRs". The best "QB/RB combo".
My favorite, "the great wall of Coral Gables" ands some non sense about U Strong.
Now Barry starts the laundry list of in coming recruits with the caveat "it is critical that UM gets Kaaya". Didn't you say a few weeks ago it was critical UM gets Valentine? How that work out for you chumps?
Let me spare you the heartache come NSD, Kaaya will go to UCLA.
Now don't get me wrong you still have a few good looking kids coming in but all this hype is lame.
How did the prized recruits from last year do? Only Coley the WR excelled. What happened to Muhammed and the supposed instant pass rush he would bring?
So don't get your panties all wet in anticipation canefan. You still are what you have been for the last decade, mediocre at best.
Now don't get mad at me for pointing this out, go ahead and make the change. You know what change I'm talking about, everyone knows.
Like Nike says, just do it.

Barry Jackson

G-Money: On the day before Thanksgiving, I quoted Blake James and Pete Garcia saying that UM and FIU are interested in playing again in football and other sports. That is still the case, but no dates have been finalized.

johnnie j

For a Gator,Reality Bites is coming around.He s becoming more impartial than I ever thought he could.He s no dummy and has some insight about my Canes.I agree and can only hope Kaaya signs with Miami.He s more mature and ready to start probably than Kevin Olsen.Olsen is making too many immature decisions and doesn t seem focused on buckling down with a great opportunity to become a starting major college QB.For me as always it s Miami s DC and the stubborness and sick loyalty he has to his friend that troubles me the most.Statistically and in their mediocre play that has shown "continuity" (of being continuosly bad for 3 years)it s clearly shown Golden to be stubborn ...to a FAULT.(AT THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM S GROWTH).Ofeensively the team has playey mostly well until Duke went down.Defense can carry a team but not at MIAMI...due in large part to Golden s rigid philosophy and his DC.Of course Golden also hasn t been getting top D linemen as all Cane Nation knows.As Marios also has said in the past.......Golden also has not been getting good linebackers either.DEFENSE has been a shambles and it WAS NOT because of the NCAA sanctions for 3 years to watch a defense that was incapable of improving.Golden s got his head in the sand and NO CANE fan with half a brain believes all of his PR anymore.It s time for Golden to STOP making excuses and stop saying he is responsible.WE ALL KNOW HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CURRENT STATE OF MEDIOCRITY in the football program.


Great update on UM - thanks


I am still baffled as to why a non fan would waste their time posting on another teams blog. That's weird as hell..

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 01/15/2014 at 08:22 AM

You are an extremely sad person.


"Not our Rival'...I couldn't agree with you more. This dude "Reality Bites" is one sad human being. Who spends their time critiquing a team he's not a fan of? I don't get it. An angry and sad guy.

Reality Bites

FYI cane homers, this aint no cane blog, I aint "angry" or "sad". I live in Miami and in this town the sorry canes and sorry Fins are newsworthy.
Newsworthy and lame, newsworthy and mediocre at best.
It is what it is.
Go ahead and make the change.


Cefalo is unlistenable. Was hoping Agler would replace him. Oh well


Posted by: G-Money (Quijote) | 01/15/2014 at 03:07 AM

a cowardly, oxyMORONic f-i-u-don't-matter fan assumes various aliases to conceal obsession ...



just a matter of time until FIU starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university (2/3 part-time students) ... Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Posted by: Quijote | 01/03/2014 at 03:42 AM

(Panthers Prowl) finished 13th among Herald blogs in November with 16,660 page views. Next highest was the Florida Panthers blog, 20,602. Top college sports blog: Eye on The U, 253,406.
-- David J. Neal



just a matter of time until FIU starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university (2/3 part-time students) ... Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Posted by: Quijote | 01/03/2014 at 03:42 AM

Week 14 NCAA Football TV Ratings

-- SMW



just a matter of time until FIU starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university (2/3 part-time students) ... Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Posted by: Quijote | 01/03/2014 at 03:42 AM

Even in a blowout, the Miami/Florida State rivalry was a strong draw for ABC.

The Miami/Florida State “Saturday Night Football” game drew a 5.1 final rating and 8.4 million viewers on ABC, up 168% in ratings and 191% in viewership from Oklahoma State/Kansas State last year (1.9, 2.9M), and 183% and 173% in viewership from regional action in 2011 (1.8, 3.1M).

Saturday’s game earned the fifth-highest rating and viewership of the season for college football on any network, trailing only Michigan/Notre Dame (5.3, 8.7M), Alabama/Texas A&M (8.5, 13.6M), Ohio State/Michigan (6.4 overnight) and Alabama/Auburn (8.6 overnight).
-- SMW



just a matter of time until FIU starts flexing its muscle and makes use of the infinite resources that comes with being the nation's seventh largest university (2/3 part-time students) ... Those that disagree still think UMiami's demise is Larry Coker's fault instead of realizing college football is a numbers game that rides on the cumulative and compounding effects of a large university.

Posted by: Quijote | 01/03/2014 at 03:42 AM


FIU tripled up on promotions Saturday night — free tickets for military, discounts for FIU employees and 20 giveaways for attending students — in an effort to boost attendance.

And perhaps keep themselves off a decade long probationary period for staying FBS/Division I-A.

No more than an estimated 1,500 fans, boosted by a surprisingly large bloc of East Carolina fans, made it into FIU Stadium Saturday. There were only a few hundred in the stadium at kickoff. The announced attendance was 16,961.
-- David J. Neal Posted on Sunday, 11.03.13

f-i-u-don't-matter draws flies ...
exaggerates crowd size to appear larger & meet D1 requirements ...
but for strong-arming an unsuspecting student body thru obscene activity fees ...
their unwanted athletic program would die a lonely death ...



Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea for UM to play FIU.

Posted by: G-Money (Quijote) | 01/15/2014 at 03:07 AM

the haughty University of Miami should have nothing to do with f-i-u-don't-matter ...
not our peer ...
not out rival ...
in fact, f-i-u-don't-matter ...
no matter how often they click the recommend icon -- since removed -- or cry their beady eyes out in an orchestrated effort to game the herald ...



Barry -

Keep doing what you are doing buddy! We Cane fans really appreciate all the insight and credible coverage you are providing. It is information you just can't find anywhere else. Just wanted to say Thanks!


jesse agler would have been a perfect replacement

Posted by: joe r | 01/15/2014 at 05:22 AM

the UM alum for UM voice instead of cacophonic joe zagagagacki ...




Sources close to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn say the two parties have agreed to stage a future ACC Basketball Tournament at the brand new home of the Brooklyn Nets.
-- WCHL Sports


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