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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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Beavis

cane4life, nice use of grammar. Did you graduate from middle school yet?

Dashi

MIT,

You have to remember they are delusional. They can hate but it is not consider hate. Yet, we can give our objective opinion and we are the one hating.

I have given my reasons on why Spoelstra is incompetent. WHAT DOES SPO DO GOOD?

"Heat" fans still haven't answered. They prefer to deflect and call people idiots and haters.

Dashi

*Considered

Roger Podacter

You've been answered dozens of times Dashi, Erik Spoelstra made the unprecedented move of moving Shane Battier to the 4 down against the Pacers in the ECF, revitalizing "small ball" across the league.

Without that stroke of coaching genius, the Heat don't win their second championship in 2012.

Gary

Urban Meyer! What a piece of .....! Another "Christian" that holds no scruples when it comes coaching and winning!

Mike

Spo is the best young coach in the NBA. A HOF coach already.

Mark in Toronto

Yeah Dashi, I kind of felt bad there, thought I misspoke. But if I was hating on anyone, I thought maybe it was Lebron for being a flipper and front rider.

But anyway, you know who the people are that never had to fight or stood up for themselves in real life because they choose this forum without consequences to do so...

I could be wrong but I thought Battier played the 4 before he came to Miami...

Roger Podacter

Shane Battier was a shooting guard or small forward his entire career before Spoelstra moved him to power forward.

Mark in Toronto

Hmmm, says on his wiki profile that he defended the power forward position even as far back as his Memphis days...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_Battier

Battier was a versatile player with the size to play inside and the range to score from further out (particularly the corner three-pointer). However, he made his living as a hustle player on the defensive end, where he defended three positions (shooting guard, power forward, small forward) with a high degree of skill, netted a good number of blocks and steals, dove for loose balls, and frequently drew offensive fouls from his opponent.

bubba

Playing Battier in the four spot was not the deal breaker in that ECF, and it certainly did not 'win' the series, it did help however. He did not revolutionize small ball either. The run and gun teams of the western conference did many moons ago. You are giving him way to much credit, for Battier's over achieving performance. It is because of his (Spo)constant experimenting with line ups that we never had a set lineup, and ultimately never gelled.

The Heat have a great set of bench coaches. McAdoo and Rothstein alone have more basketball knowledge than Spo. Spo is an 'image' more like a figure head/puppet controlled by the evil Pat Riley. The same Pat Riley who couldn't win with he Knicks. After Riley drafted Wade, Stan 'the man' Van Gundy was Coach, he was forced to step down so Riley could again bask in the glory, while riding the coattails of Shaq and Flash.

Spo gets too much credit in a talent driven league.

chewing on tin foil

Dashi=dummy

Roger Podacter

Mark, you yourself said you're a casual NBA fan, you "thought maybe" Battier had been a power forward before getting to Miami.

Bottom line, there's no reason for a casual NBA fan to constantly trash LeBron James and go so far out of his way to "prove" a point he admittedly has no clue about. You don't like being called a "hater" so use whatever term you want besides "objective". Someone who was "objective" would have no reason to want to absurdly try to disprove that Spoelstra made an amazing coaching move.

Battier was a career small forward and had never played power forward before in any meaningful capacity.

That move ABSOLUTELY kept Miami from being eliminated down 2-1 IN Indiana. They 100% would have been eliminated by the Pacers without it, no one who watched that series could seriously argue otherwise.

Mark in Toronto

1. I never claimed to know more about the NBA than anyone here.

2. Even with my limited knowledge of the NBA I knew that Battier wasn't totally alien to the position. I wasn't sure so i looked it up and found out that I wasn't wrong.

3. Not saying it wasn't a great coaching move. Just questioned whether it was "unprecedented" as you claim it was. And it was done by his coach in memphis years ago. So it was not "unprecedented".

4. I don't hate on Lebron but come on, everyone wants to put him on a pedestal with Kobe and Michael but I'm sorry, if he goes to his third team before the age of 30 ... he can never be placed on that level. Those guys helped build winners, they simply didn't go to the place that was most convenient and easier to win at the time. So to me, there are two things that Lebron can do to ensure his place among the great NBA legends A) stay in Miami B) Go back to Cleveland. Anything else and in my opinion (only my opinion and nothing official by any means) he will be remembered as an exceptional talent and one of the best players ever but he will also be remembered as a bandwagon jumper.

I thought this was a blog, a place to disclose opinions. You can refute my opinions, counter my opinions but as long as I'm being respectful, you shouldn't tell me I can't have an opinion merely because it conflicts with yours. Unless you are some sort of dictator or something....

Mike

So lets see..... Pouncy has to pass a mental test, recover from a major injury, and serve a suspension? If Philbin is serious about cleaning up the locker room he has to get rid of this cancer on the team.

Mike

Jim Morris is not the great coach I thought he was when he joined the U. Not making Omaha in 6 years is dissapointing.

rboud

The idea of a coach in waiting, DiMare to replace Morris in 3 years, is a bad one. I'm sure UM did it because DiMare probably gave them an ultimatum. This gives the AD no flexibility moving forward as it pertains to a new coach. Morris doesn't deserve 3 years anyway. HIs teams have been embarrassingly bad the last 4 years, with the exception of this past season. The AD at UF, Foley, would have fired Morris 3 years ago.

Dashi

Part of Spoelstra's problem was playing players out of position in his Position less system.

Battier was an all-defense small forward. He should have never played the 4.

Spo doesn't understand that size is important in the NBA. Better said height. Cause I know you fruitcakes will take the size comment out of context.

And to the dummy calling people dummies. PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT SPOELSTRA DOES WELL??

EXACTLY!!!

Keep spewing your ignorance!!

The whole team was tired of playing for someone so incompetent!!

When the whole team are saying they are mentally fatigued and vaguely hint that someone isn't doing his job right. Is a nice way for the players to say they are tired of the coach!!

Moises Davila

Lebron James talk with Chris bosh and wanye and cocath to signin a contrack back with Miami heat stay with Miami heat don`t give up lebron James stay with Miami heat for 12 years

Dashi

Spo brought back small ball?

Apparently you have not watched the NBA in the past 25 years.

Small ball is based on scoring fast (look at a D'Antoni or R.Adelman offense). Spo didn't do that. The offense was streetball. The players decided what to do. Or basically LeBron decided what to do.

Indiana last year wasn't won because of Battier. It was won on LeBron playing to his potential. A better move was actually sitting Anthony for Haslem!!

And one move in 6 years!! Whipppiee!!!

The Team regressed defensively and offensively each year after the big 3 got together.

The Heat(Spo) could never run a half court offense!!

The Heat (Spo) were always late to adjust what the other team was doing.

Spo never played the bench which was littered with good to great players.

Spo never defended his players against the refs.

What does he do well?? Exactly!! Squat!!

If it wasn't for Spo being in a relationship with Nick Arison, he would still be cutting highlights for Riley.

At least MIT can admit to being a casual fan. You delusional hypocrites swear to know everything but know nothing.

The same Whooper Jr. Eating lunatics who think hand size isn't important in Football or Basketball.

Having small hands and fingers is only good for you to troll on your keyboard. As you have proven dozens of time.

Moises Davila

go heat go lebron James salty with Miami heat forever when you be a hall of fame forever like Michael jorden stay with Chicago that what you lebron James stay with Miami heat

Dashi

A Power Forward needs to be able to rebound. Battier can't even jump.

And that series turned last year after Stephenson gave LeBron the Choke Sign.

LeBron game 7

41 Minutes
32 Pts
8 Regs
4 Ast
2 Stl
1 Blk

S.Battier game 7

0 Minutes

Dashi

*Rebs

Dashi

Shane Battier 2013 ECF

Gm 1 Indy 102- Mia 103

31 Min
3 Pts (All 3 were free throws, he went 0-4 that game)
1 Reb

Gm 2 Ind 97 - Mia 93

14 Min
0 Pts (0-3)
3 Rebs

Gm 3 Mia 114 - Ind 96

21 Min
7 pts (1-4)
2 Rebs
1 Ast

Gm 4 Mia 92 - Ind 99

18 Min
4 pts (1-3)
2 Rebs

Gm 5 Ind 79 - Mia 90

9 Min
0 Pts (0-2)
0 Rebs

Gm 6 Mia 77 - Ind 91

5 Min
0 Pts
1 Rebs

Gm 7 Ind 76 - Mia 99

DNP- Coaches Decision

Penguin

Thank you for giving the best in-depth analysis of the Heat. Your column is the only place that addresses both Lebron's opting out and Kammerer's discussions about how to deepen the bench.

Dashi

MIT can admit he is a casual fan.

YET, YOU CLOWNS SWEAR YOU KNOW EVERYTHING AND KNOW NOTHING.

The reason I, Dashi, don't speak basketball at the herald is because of how ignorant and dense "Heat fans" are.

At least when it comes to football some people are objective. And they know who they are. Cause you clowns are also ridiculous when it comes to football.

And keep calling Dashi and others idiot. It just shows how simple minded you are.

Only idiots call other people idiots all the time.

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