Interest in Okafor Heat-ing up

Interest in Okafor Heat-ing up
August 22, 2014, 12:30 pm
Share This Post
(Thomas Campbell/USA TODAY Sports)

We are around five weeks away from the start of NBA training camps yet the list of available free agents is littered with interesting options and familiar names. 

The Wizards still have one spot remaining on their 15-player roster. They can add a player now, during training camp, before the regular season tips or simply wait until a need or opportunity arises during the season. They will also bring in non-roster players for training camp.

We've looked at small forwardspower forwardsshooting guards and point guards. Now, centers.

Centers: Emeka Okafor, Andrew Bynum, Jermaine O’Neal, Gustavo Ayon, Ryan Hollins, Greg Oden, Greg Stiemsma, Nazr Mohammed, Aron Baynes

The Wizards can use that final spot for legitimate needs like another point guard behind John Wall and Andre Miller; a wing option to help back up Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce should Martell Webster's recovery from back surgery and should Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. not be ready for prime time;  or a big man who can stick can defend and stick a long jumper.

In other words, probably not a center. The Wizards have Marcin Gortat, DeJuan Blair and Kevin Seraphin. Nene, Kris Humphries and Drew Gooden can play the 5 as needed. However, another Southeast Division contender is thought to be on the market for more bigs.

Clearly the Miami Heat will have a different look this coming season, but one aspect remains the same: They're rather light with quality interior options. Chris Bosh rocks, free agent signee Josh McRoberts works, Chris Andersen can perform like Birdman now and then, Udonis Haslem is the name of a guy who used to decent and Justin Hamilton is 7-feet off who knows what. That explains why, according to the Miami Herald, the Heat are seeking out big man - and a shooting guard - if they can "find two good ones willing to take the veteran’s minimum.

Among power rotation players, the Heat has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and has considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the Heat about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.

Miami attracted veterans over the last four seasons and often for less money than they could have received elsewhere because of the allure of possibly winning a championship. With LeBron James now in Cleveland, the Heat look like middle of the pack contenders. It's going to be interesting to see who signs up this time. We're also waiting just to see if Okafor will actually play after sitting out all of last season with a neck injury.