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3 p.m.: UM names Jim Morris' successor; LeBron opts for free agency; Dolphins injuries; Heat addresses NBA Draft issues; UM

### 3 p.m. update: UM announced what we reported previously, that Jim Morris has received a 3-year contract extension through 2018. And UM added this new piece of news: Gino DiMare, a longtime UM assistant and former UM player, will succeed Morris as coach at that point, beginning in the 2019 season.

UM made the College World Series in 11 of Morris' first 15 years as coach but hasn't made it the past six.

### 9 a.m. update: LeBron James' agent has informed the Heat that James will exercise his early termination clause and become a free agent next week. The move isn't surprising, because James likes to have flexibility.

The Heat has long been considered the favorite to retain him, but several teams --- including Houston, Cleveland and Chicago --- will court him. The Clippers also want him but would need to part with several pieces, including DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford, to be able to make him a max offer.

James would have earned $20.6 million next season and $22.1 million the next if he hadn't exercised his opt-out.       

Under terms of the labor agreement, James would be eligible to re-sign with the Heat for as many as five years and $115.1 million.

If James moves to another team, he would be eligible to sign a four-year contract for as much as $85 million.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also must inform the Heat by next Monday whether they will opt out of their contracts. Both appear open to it for the purpose of signing long-term deals and giving the Heat more flexibility to upgrade the roster.

### Dolphins center Mike Pouncey had hip surgery today and it's projected he will miss at least three months, according to two sources close to the situation. The story was first reported by ESPN.

Meanwhile, running back Knowshon Moreno needs arthroscopic knee surgery and is out four to five weeks. He could be back by the Dolphins' preseason opener Aug. 8, though the Dolphins could proceed cautiously and keep him out of initial exhibition games.

Under the most optimistic of timetables given to Pouncey, he could return potentially for the Dolphins' third or fourth game in late September, but that's far from certain and he might not return until October. The recover time from this injury --- a torn labrum in the hip --- sometimes can take closer to four months.

The Dolphins open Sept. 7 against New England, then play at Buffalo Sept. 14, against Kansas City Sept. 21 and vs. Oakland Sept. 28 in London. The Dolphins have a bye week after the Raiders game.

If the Dolphins believe he isn't ready to help before the bye, they could place him on the physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for six weeks.

Pouncey was in good spirits after today's two-hour procedure and is already talking about how soon he can get back, according to a close associate.

Pouncey suffered the injury during the team's offseason program, but neither the Dolphins nor Pouncey initially believed it was too serious. He took a lot of snaps during the final two days of the team's three minicamp practices last week after sitting out the first day.

Sam Brenner took most of the first-team snaps at center during the mini-camp practice that Pouncey missed last week. Brenner started four games at guard last season and graded out poorly, according to Pro Football Focus.

Nate Garner also can play center, having filled in for Pouncey for two games that Pouncey missed last season.

Right guard Shelley Smith also has taken practice snaps at center.

Undrafted Utah State rookie Tyler Larsen is a natural center who's trying to make the team.

Veteran free agent centers still available include Samson Satele, David Baas, Mike Gibson, Andre Gurode, Dan Koppen, Brad Meester, Fernando Velasco and Kyle Cook.

### While declining to speak about any player being considered by the Heat, team vice president/player personnel Chet Kammerer addressed several NBA Draft issues today, with the Heat holding the 26th and 55th picks on Thursday:

 ### Though Miami is permitted to trade the pick after the selection --- but not before --- Kammerer said dealing the selection is not the thinking at the moment (though that always could change). “At this point, we would like to add someone on our roster,” he said.

The first-round pick comes with a 2014-15 cap hit close to $1 million. The Heat isn't allowed to trade its first-round pick before the draft because of a rule prohibiting teams from trading their first-round picks in consecutive years.

### Kammerer said: “We have 20 guys that we really like. Hopefully one of those 20 will be there. That doesn’t mean we might still not get a good player [otherwise]."

### At what position is a really good player likely to drop to 26? “Wing player has more depth than anything else," Kammerer said. "Power forwards and centers are pretty limited. Even ones, twos and threes --- there are depth at those positions."

### Kammerer said: “We’ll go with the best player on the board, who we think has the highest percentage [chance] of being an NBA player.”

### Does the Heat prefer a player who's undeveloped with great longterm potential or a player who's ready to contribute now in this win-now era of Heat basketball?

"We’re more about having a player contribute immediately," he said. "We eliminate people who we really think could be [really good] but might have to wait two or three years. We need a couple breaks [to get that type of player at 26]. That’s possible.”        

### Kammerer said there's "a misconception that we don’t look at European players. We have looked at a lot of international players. I’m not saying we are going to select one this year."

### The Heat has worked out 40 players. Of those, several are from Florida colleges, including UM guard Rion Brown, who is an NBA long shot at best.

### “I feel a little pressure this year because we do have a pick at No. 26. We feel like we’re thorough and professional and well prepared. We have covered this as thoroughly as we can. We might not make the right pick but it won’t be because we’re not prepared. We have done our homework. Hopefully, we’ll get a break or two.”

### Kammerer mentioned Tim Hardaway and Keith Askins as the two former Heat players who helped in the scouting and evaluation of draft prospects this year. He also said Tim Hardaway Jr., selected by the Knicks at No. 24, ended up being the second-best player taken in last year's draft.

### On 2013 second-round pick James Ennis, who will play for the Heat's summer league team in Orlando and Las Vegas:

“We’re very optimistic about James. He exceeded what we expected. He should have been MVP in the league [in Australia]. His numbers were very good. He [also] played in Puerto Rico, did a nice job there. We will be seeing him in a few days. We are very happy with what transpired.

“James did a good job across the board. We wanted him to expand his range. He shot the ball well from three. He was fourth rebounder in the league [in Australia]. Averaged over seven rebounds a game for a wing, which was very good. We want to see him create a little more off the dribble. A lot we’ll see this summer and in the fall.”

### Among players linked to the Heat at No. 26 in mock drafts done by national outlets: Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier (could end up going higher; Kammerer declined to say if he thinks he will be there at 26); Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie; and Michigan center Mitch McGary (coming off a back injury).

QUICK FOOTBALL NOTES

### UM lost an ascending oral commitment this past weekend when New Jersey-based three-star offensive tackle Kevin Feder flipped to Ohio State.

This marks the second time in two years that Urban Meyer has tried to snag a UM offensive line oral commitment.

Last year, his efforts failed with new UM offensive lineman KC McDermott, much to Meyer’s shock.

The expression on Meyer’s face was “like the state of shock where the guy has literally never been told no in his life,” McDermott said. “It literally looked like a kid the first time you tell him 'no, you can't do something.' It looked like he was a baby about to cry. It was so funny.”

### Offensive lineman Billy Turner, the Dolphins’ third-round pick from North Dakota State, is one of only five players in the entire NFL draft that remains unsigned. (The others remaining were drafted in the first or second round.) But the unresolved issues with Turner are not insurmountable and this figures to get done in mid-July.

### There are still a handful of veteran free agents who might be able to help --- guard Daryn Colledge, linebacker Pat Angerer, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, tight ends Jermichael Finley and Dustin Keller, among others.  But the Dolphins so far have passed on all of them, despite initial inquiries about Colledge and Finley, who has been cleared medically by his own personal physician after a neck injury.

### Please see the last post for a lot more Dolphins. Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

           

Comments

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lol

Hey Mark, LeBron is opting out to take less money to re-sign with Miami you dumbass.

Mark in Toronto

2 watt unbelieveable that this team armed with $40M+ in cap space couldn't find at least two veteran tested linemen in either free agency or trade. Then they overdraft someone in the first round to add to it.

No qb stands a chance behind this line ...even Albert got smoked by Vernon in the scrimmage.

Any thought on Lebron being a free agent?

2 watt

mark
utube
s m
the new phins qb
in 2015
.
lol

Mark in Toronto

I don't see that indicated anywhere, sunshine. But I assume you hope that's the case...

http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/11127329/lebron-james-opt-contract-miami-heat

James did indicate that he welcomed the opportunity to become a free agent and have the same level of flexibility he was afforded in 2010, when he signed with Miami after spending his first seven years in Cleveland.

2 watt

jt
is at practice to prep
the 2014 phins
on how to handle
being 1-15 like he did
.
lol

2 watt

mark
its a ploy
to get riles
to make a move on updating the roster
he will be back
imfo

Mark in Toronto

2 watt, never heard of that guy but I have heard of Jake Marriota of Oregon and the kid from UCLA among others. I have no problem with the team going in a different direction if things fall apart. I like Tannehill but business is business. And I hope teh new direction includes getting rid of the tight arse Aponte and her constant $20M under the cap with obvious massive holes in the starting lineup.

Mark in Toronto

2 watt, it would be a good ploy if it is just that... we shall see. LBJ hasn't exactly shown himself to be the loyal sort thus far in his career.

2 watt

mark
there was talk about
u'r pg in Toronto
to Miami 2

Mark in Toronto

he's a pretty good player 2 watt, think he was the heart and soul of a pretty good young Raptor team. But he will not go there for no money. Guy hasn't got a big contract in the NBA. The heat will need to pay him $15M per year and go into luxury tax mode.... don't know if he's the player Miami will want to do that for. he has been inconsistent in his career and had his best season going into free agency.

Makaveli

Howdy Ho!

Beavis

Del, only the Heat have won 3 championships and been to 5 NBA Finals appearances in the past 9 seasons. The last time the Fins have relevant you would have to go back to the 90s. Early 90s. Last Superbowl well I wasn't even born then. Should LeBron leave Miami, the Heat will be back to mediocre status again and the fairweather fans can jump ship to another team. Rumor is Carmelo will either end up in Houston or Chicago. Now, hmm... would he really be that smart to go to the western conference after all? Chicago is a better sports city than both Miami or Houston hands down. Hope Miami enjoyed LeBron while he was there, because he's looong gone.

DC

Die hard Dolphin and Heat fan, Have to thank the heat for getting to 4 finals and winning 2. I hope we can still close the deal on LBJ and keep him in Miami, but if not I'm thankful that we got 2 more and had a shot as 2 others during that timeframe.

Mark in Toronto

Would Lebron have the nerve to team up with Carmelo now and go to Chicago or some place. And would it then tarnish his image? I think yes. I would always think of Lebron as a great player but not someone in Michael or heck even Kobe's class. If he sticks it out in Miami, then there's a chance to cement his legacy. Going back to Cleveland would also be acceptable.

HEAT WORLD CHAMPS

LeBron opted out so we could have room for Carmelo and then he resigns.

Mike

Pouncey will be out for the season between injuries and suspensions. Should have traded that POS.

HEAT WORLD CHAMPS

Pouncey out 3 months, Moreno to have surgery??? WTF??


Are the Fins cursed or what? LOL

Mark in Toronto

People posting under different names, know that on this blog your avatar is unique. You may change your name, but everyone knows who you are.

Pouncey injury is a big, big problem. I'd look to sign a reliable vet... Fernando Valasco did good work in Pitt filling in for the other twin... Samson Satele although not pro bowl is still a solid starter as he has been for his whole career.

cane4life

Some of you on here need to stop holding your breath before you turn blue in the face...why as people do some of you have so much negative stuff to say about athletes and the decision's that they make in which the outcome of the decision will have know direct affect on you or your loved ones but yet and still you have an opinion about someone else 's decision and what they want to do with their lives...for all you haters of the heat and lebron why do you waste your time always speaking on something or somebody you hate or dislike so much....I got it...you haters wanna be the KING...Lets Go Heat F&%K you haters go kill yourselves for being a hater period

cane4life

And just so all you HEAT HATERS know real Heat fans are going to roll with the Heat with or without The King....that would be ME ..CANE4LIFE....all you haters just go kill yourselves

HEAT WORLD CHAMPS

Hey, the Heat are a well run franchise. The dynasty will continue.

Mark in Toronto

Who exactly is spewing hate on the heat? In the posts made today, I don't see anyone doing that.

Dashi

I want to see how many "Heat" fans show up next year without LBJ.

LeBron opting out is very simple. LeBron asked for a better coach and Arison told him he can't let Spo go because of personal reasons.

If the Heat had a better coach they would have won 4 out of 4 and LeBron would still be staying.

Dashi

Funny how the opinion on Pouncey changed once he got hurt. You trolls/Clowns are amazing.

Oh, and K.Moreno is a crybaby who is nothing more than a 3rd down back!!

Beavis

cane4life, you are a prime example of why no one likes the Canes anymore. It's not 1989 anymore.


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