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Beasley, Oden in limbo; Heat mulling veteran free agent options

Some Thursday Heat notes as we await Friday's first Dolphins practice:

### Even with potentially three roster spots to fill, the Heat continues to be non-committal with free agents Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, with the team neither closing the door on a return in conversations with their agents nor offering them a contract to this point, either.

The Heat --- which will have 12 players under contract as soon as Chris Bosh’s deal is announced --- cannot offer any remaining free agents any more than the veteran minimum, which tops out at $1.4 million.

Jared Karnes, Beasley’s agent, said Thursday he has had more than one conversation with the Heat but “nothing has resulted in a deal. [Other] teams have called expressing interest. There has been quite a bit of activity the past four days. Teams are encouraged by his career best field goal percentage (49.9), second-best three-point percentage (38.9), top ten efficiency for all small forwards and his attitude when asked to play a reduced role.”

Among all players who appeared in at least 20 regular-season games, Beasley was 47th in points per 48 minutes, at 25.2.

Beasley, who has been working out with Kevin Durant in Los Angeles, averaged 7.9 points last season in 55 games and made two starts but played just 23 minutes in the playoffs.

As for Oden, the Heat has not informed his agent, Mike Conley Sr., if the team wants him back.

“They said they’ll get back to us,” Conley said. “A couple of teams have inquired. He wants to be able to play.”

Oden averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 23 games, including six starts, while shooting 55.1 percent from the field but logged just seven minutes during the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Heat believes it’s unlikely Ray Allen will return to the team. Allen, who is touring China, told China media outlet Sina he plans to take a full physical before deciding whether to play next season.

An associate of Allen said Thursday he has not made a final decision about whether to play next season, and The Boston Globe reported he is leaning toward joining former Heat teammates LeBron James, Mike Miller and James Jones in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers could offer only the $1.4 million minimum to Allen, who made $3.2 million last season.

UPDATE: Allen's agent, Jim Tanner, released this statement at 6 p.m. in the wake of the Boston Globe report: "The reports that Ray intends to play for the Cavs are unfounded. He has not yet decided if he will play next season or for which team." (But Tanner obviously didn't rule out Cleveland, either.)

DOUGLAS-ROBERTS ON RADAR

Count former Charlotte small forward/shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts among remaining free agents who interest the Heat.

Douglas-Roberts, 6-7, averaged 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds and shot 44 percent overall and 38.6 on three-pointers in 49 games for Charlotte last season, including eight starts. He's an improving offensive player and a capable defender.

The Heat is looking for another veteran small forward or shooting guard to supplement Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Danny Granger. The Heat's preference would be for a player not only with shooting range but the ability to competently defend opposing wings.

Small forward James Ennis, who impressed the Heat during summer league, is also under contract, and point guard Mario Chalmers can play shooting guard if needed.

Besides Douglas-Roberts, other veterans free agent wing players still available include Shawn Marion, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton (the Heat has reportedly inquired), Heat incumbent Toney Douglas, MarShon Brooks (his agent has reached out to the Heat), Jordan Hamilton, Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi, Jerryd Bayless, Rasual Butler, Shannon Brown, Ronnie Brewer, Hedo Turkoglu, James Anderson, Dahntay Jones, and former Heat guard Roger Mason Jr.

### Once Bosh’s deal is signed, the Heat will have five power rotation players under contract: Bosh, Chris Andersen, Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Justin Hamilton, whose contract becomes partially guaranteed Aug. 1.

The Heat might add another veteran power rotation player at the minimum at some point before training camp, with available options including Oden, Emeka Okafor, Elton Brand, Nazr Mohammed, Charlie Villanueva, Ryan Hollins, Ekpe Udoh (no contact with Miami), Byron Mullens and Greg Stiesma.

Andray Blatche is available, but questions about his professionalism and maturity dissuaded Miami from pursuing him in past years, and the Nets reportedly parted ways with him this summer because of those issues.

Similar questions also have come up about Crawford, one of the most skilled wing players still available, though he has insisted in interviews this year that he has matured. Still, Crawford cannot be discounted if he's still available and willing to take a minimum deal closer to training camp.

### The NBA schedule is expected to be released sometime in August, later than usual. The NBA is considering having the Heat play Cleveland on ABC on Christmas, according to a league source.

An involved official said a part of the network TV schedule was essentially finished with the assumption James would return to the Heat, then had to be discarded when he signed with the Cavaliers.

### For those who asked, the blog was inactive the past couple of weeks because of a combination of vacation and Miami Herald local news assignments (which are required annually for Herald sports writers).

There will be some Dolphins and Heat posts in the next couple of weeks, as I juggle numerous other  assignments. And the more substantial posts you're accustomed to, including info on UM and other fodder, will return at some point in August.

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