By Shane Phillips @ShaneRantSports on March 12, 2014
Whether the Miami Heat are crowned NBA Champions and complete the three-peat or not, Pat Riley will have some serious rebuilding to do after this season. Not only will he have to find a way to fill his roster while staying under the cap, but he will also have to entice LeBron James with the signings. James could opt-out of his contract after this season, so Riley will need to play it smart. Here are five 2014 free agents the Heat should target.
Elton Brand might be getting up there in age, but at 35 years old, Miami can get him for a steal. The big man is a proven rebounder and post-player. Although his numbers have been down over the last few seasons, he could be a strong contributor for the Heat. Add in the fact that Brand doesn't have a ring and Riley could land the veteran for dirt-cheap.
The San Antonio Spurs have seen great use out of Matt Bonner, who has become a prominent role player for them. The red-head three-point shooter will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so why wouldn't the Heat take a look? Bonner is somewhat like a Mike Miller; he will provide a great spark off the bench while doing the little things. He is also another player Miami can probably sign for little money.
Here is one of those players who brings tremendous intensity to a team and can really be considered an X-factor. With Nate Robinson-like qualities, Shannon Brown has bounced around the league like the basketball itself. Even though he hasn't been able to stick with one team, Brown is a great defender with incredible athleticism. Riley should really consider Brown because he is young and is the type of player who can flourish in South Beach.
Well acquainted with South Beach, it isn't too farfetched to think that Caron Butler could return to Miami. After being waived by the Milwaukee Bucks, the small forward signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder but will become a free agent at the end of the season. With only a few years left in him, I'm sure he would actually like to be on the court when his team wins a championship.
Without a doubt, the Heat and Riley must go after Chris Kaman. The center has made his disgust with the Los Angeles Lakers known and will become a free agent this summer. He is a fundamental center who will rebound the basketball and play the low-post. Miami hasn't seen a player like that since Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O'Neal. Kaman would be a great fit and a great way to get LeBron James to stay in South Beach.
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