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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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very insightful and pretty damn funny Green, nice

Not our rival

No one knows what "change" you're talking about and no one cares WHAT you're saying about UM football, I just find it sad that you spend your time spewing negativity about a college football program that has nothing to do with whatever team you follow.


Wow! Finally a good move in the Miami Dolphins offseason management wise. Lazor is a very good young, energetic up and coming candidate who as a former QB and at Cornell (he isn't lacking intelligence), a breath of fresh air for our prior years AARP OCs, as well as for young Tannehill. Kudos to Philbin on this one, and now please hire the best GM left on the board.
Sidenote: S. Ross gets a major FAIL, for not cleaning house completely. A new GM was needed, but so was a HC who could have someone, anyone, on his team show up for the control your own destiny final 2 games of the 2013 season. You blew it again Ross!


We will see who Golden lands and what he does with the personnel, this year is important to the Miami future, a good showing is a must not a bunch of excuses and BS from Golden protecting his DC. Look at a lot of teams changing coachs for poor performance , we keep ours for the good of the team, now thats a line of bull, call it as you see it.


very insightful and pretty damn funny Green, nice

Posted by: ALXtheHooligan | 01/15/2014 at 12:21 PM

do I amuse U ...




memo to Al Golden:

the D is broken ...


Lt. Lois Einhorn

Great job by Riley finally dumping Joel Anthony's contract, it cost a first and a second round pick but let's be honest, the Heat weren't going to use them anyway.

Don't know anything about Toney Douglas, can the Heat cut him or is his salary guaranteed?



We are live and lovely with #Canes #Gators #FSU #FAU and local HS recruiting talk. Jump in:
-- Matt Porter ‏@mattyports




If given his way commissioner John Swofford says the ACC would consider having the two teams with the best record in the ACC play for the conference championship, not necessarily the division champions. Which means this season Florida State would have played Clemson instead of Duke, and last year Florida State and Clemson would have met again rather than the Seminoles facing a 6-6 Georgia Tech squad.

Which, honestly, makes sense, but here's where things start getting weird.

Swofford says the ACC could keep its divisions, though teams would not be required to play every single opponent in their division each season. Which begs the question of why the ACC would keep the divisions if they will play no role in determining the conference champion or its schedule? If the ACC is allowed to move in this direction just get rid of the divisions and treat it like basketball.
-- cbssports


Juan C. Blanco

Barry, how great would the Freak John Renshaw be as the daily host of the Finsiders as Agler's replacement? Harvey Greene would probably have a daily nervous breakdown, but the show would be incredibly entertaining!! :)

Barry Jackson

Lt. Lois: His salary is guaranteed but it wouldn't prevent Miami from cutting him if there's an available player it wants to sign.


In the works: Release on SELLOUT for Syracuse vs. @CanesHoops on 1/25. Duke is very close as well. Hurry to http://CanesTix.com
-- Chris Freet ‏@ChrisFreet

@ChrisFreet Is tonight a sellout?
-- Matt Porter ‏@mattyports

@mattyports no. Just released 100+ general admission tickets
-- Chris Freet ‏@ChrisFreet



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.

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


FIU will only get better?! How could FIU be any worse? Dead program, dead department, dead university.

This game will never happen, why would UM waste one of it's creampuff OCC games on FIWHO?

Neil's ghost

What kind of guy takes a job with a lame duck slack jawed head coach? No way I take that job unless future pay is guaranteed. Back to Woodbine.


We beat Florida and they finish 4-8 with muskrat flipping recruits left and right to the gators.what's our ace recruiter golden on recruiting?

The Rock

AL GOLDEN S honeymoon is over.After his strangely quiet weekend while courting Penn State or vice versa....he was lame in representing his absense that weekend and he came across as ungenuine and ready to jump for big cashola.Can t blame him for that but his public persona up to that point was one of loyalty and 100% dedication.He s a bit tarnished goods now but because he came out after that messy weekend by announcing no changes to a crappy defensive scheme and defense and defensive coordinator.Golden thought he navigated through rough waters the past 3 years but next year will be brutal for him because EVERY move will be scrutinized because he s already lost a bunch of good recruits.He s created this mistrust and a very suspect plan to improve or overhaul a very continuous lousy Miami Hurricane defense.


Over the previous 5 years, the Gator ranks #2 in the country in recruiting. All that "success" got them a 4-8 record this year and that painful loss to the Canes.

So shhhhhhhh...you continue to embarass yourself.

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