NBA free agency is in full swing and, now two days into the hectic period, one name above all others is grabbing the interest of teams across the league.
All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge already has more meetings scheduled than you can shake a stick at and it looks like the Miami Heat are the latest team wishing to court the 2014 All-Star.
Unlike the Lakers, Spurs and Suns who were all long-rumored to be interested in acquiring Aldridge's services, the Miami Heat weren't thought to be in play for the star due to their current cap situation. Now, though, it looks like Pat Riley is prepared to make some serious moves.
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With Dwyane Wade still seeking a max deal and having just handed out an $80 million contract to Goran Dragic, the Heat would either have to put together a fairly hefty sign-and-trade package or do some serious clearing out of their roster to fit in Aldridge and his big salary.
Making it work
Despite their down year in 2014 the Miami Heat do have some pawns with which to play with if looking toward a sign-and-trade. The emerging talent of Hasan Whiteside, as well as veteran Luol Deng could form part of a package that would at least prick the interest of Portland.
They would still have to find several other players to add to such a deal, though, to meet the salary requirements.
Shaking things up
Of course, at this stage the Heat haven't even sat down with LaMarcus Aldridge but it does appear their late entry into the race for his signature has shaken things up a little.
Virtually at the same time as the Heat's interest became public knowledge numerous reports revealed that the free agency star had cancelled a slated meeting with the New York Knicks.
With Pat Riley in Los Angeles and set to meet with Aldridge over dinner it will be up to the Miami Heat president to convince the player that the Heat are still ready to be competitive at the right end of the NBA.
At the minute, though, it would appear they face an uphill task to create a scenario that gets them the talented 29-year-old. Still, they must be applauded for adding yet another twist in a LaMarcus Aldridge saga that has already had too many to mention.