With at least two members of the Miami Heat’s big three of forward LeBron James, big man Chris Bosh and guard Dwyane Wade reportedly set to take pay cuts (although there have been conflicting reports), there are many believe the Heat are set to add another big time player to the mix.
The Heat were expected to pursue Washington Wizards’ center Marcin Gortat, but he has agreed to a five-year, $60 million deal to remain with the Wizards. The Heat are also trying to set up a meeting with Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry and Heat president Pat Riley has contacted Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol.
The Heat are also expected to pursue Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng, Wizards’ forward Trevor Ariza and Sacramento Kings’ point guard Isaiah Thomas, among many others.
However, if the Heat strike out they could chase cheaper alternatives.
Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes the Heat could pursue former Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson.
Makes sense to me, and I think Jameer’s value to team chemistry is VASTLY underrated. I know Miami wants a star-caliber player like Lowry, but if they miss out on him (and I think they will), Nelson would be a nice addition. Billups would be, too!
Nelson has spent all 10 of his NBA seasons with the Magic, but he was waived on Monday in a move that will save the Magic $6 million. Nelson is still a capable point guard and has the ability to knock down open shots, which is all that would be asked of him in Miami.
Nelson averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.4% from the field, 34.8% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free throw line last season.