The weakest position on the Miami Heat’s roster in the big three era is center. The best center to play for the Heat since Lebron James has been on the roster is either Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Joel Anthony. Neither center was talented enough to start on any team in the league and was only brought to Miami to frugally fill a mammoth void.
This year’s free agent class has a couple serviceable veteran centers that will be looking to sign with contenders. Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards, will likely sign a deal in the range of $10 million a year. Gortat is a great rebounder and has the size to congest the lane. Marcin is just finishing a 5 year contract worth nearly $34 million and may not be averse to taking a discount to sign a deal with a contender.
Another veteran who the Heat should pursue is Andrew Bynum. Bynum has been up and down his entire career. The lack of consistency will devalue Bynum in free agency. To improve his value Bynum might sign a veteran’s minimum with a contender to show how capable he is in the right setting. The Heat have several committed locker room leaders who would keep Bynum in line and at $1.3 million the risk would be mitigated.
The number one center the Heat should pursue is Spencer Hawes of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hawes can play the role the Heat forced Chris Bosh into, a floor spreading center. Hawes shot 41.6% from the three point line while still averaging 8.3 rebounds a game last year. Hawes will likely command around $8 million a year.
If the Heat can convince Spencer Hawes or Marcin Gortat to take a perennial championship contender discount the Heat may have their first legitimate starting center of the big three era.
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