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Miami Heat news gathered from around the net.

Heat's Riley Expects Zo Will Be Back

Heat president and coach Pat Riley isn't ready to publicly commit to a return to the bench next season, but he believes one of his most productive players off that bench will be back for another year.

Riley said Friday that reserve center Alonzo Mourning will likely put off retirement and return for a 14th season in the league. Mourning, a seven-time All-Star and two-time NBA defensive player of the year, said after the season that he was not certain if he would play next season.

Mourning has a $2.7 million option to play next season, and his 2007-08 salary would become guaranteed Aug. 10. Riley, speaking with reporters at length for the first time since the Heat was eliminated in the playoffs, said Mourning would soon announce his plans.

''I have a good feeling about Alonzo, so I'm going to allow him to obviously make that decision,'' Riley said shortly after a Heat press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena to introduce first-round draft pick Daequan Cook. ``But I have a good feeling that he'll be back.''

Via Miami Herald

Heat Make Qualifying Offer To Earl Barron

The Miami Heat announced today they have made a qualifying offer to Earl Barron, making him a restricted free agent.

Barron, a 7?0?, 245-pound center/forward, has appeared in 36 games for the HEAT after signing as a free agent on Aug. 8, 2005. He has averaged 2.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 6.9 minutes. This past season he recorded career highs in both points (15) and rebounds (6) in Miami?s Nov. 22 contest at San Antonio.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Source: Miami Will Make Push For Rashard

According to an NBA source close to the situation, the Heat plans a push to acquire forward Rashard Lewis from the SuperSonics.

Earlier this month Lewis opted out of the final two years of his Seattle contract, bypassing a guaranteed $21 million to become a free agent as of Sunday.

The Heat can offer no more that the $5.5 million mid-level exception. To complete a deal with the SuperSonics, it would require getting Seattle to agree to take on about $10 million of its contracts.

The Heat would start any discussions with the Sonics by offering power forward Udonis Haslem.

Via Sun-Sentinel

Rashard On Miami's Radar

According to an NBA source close to the situation, the Heat plans a push to acquire forward Rashard Lewis from the SuperSonics.

Earlier this month Lewis opted out of the final two years of his Seattle contract, bypassing a guaranteed $21 million to become a free agent as of Sunday.

The Heat can offer no more that the $5.5 million mid-level exception. To complete a deal with the SuperSonics, it would require getting Seattle to agree to take on about $10 million of its contracts.

Via South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Miami Flips Smith To Philly For Cook

The Miami Heat announced today they have conveyed the draft rights to Jason Smith (the 20th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft) to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the draft rights to Daequan Cook (the 21st pick in the 2007 NBA Draft) along with Philadelphia?s own 2009 second round pick and cash considerations.

Cook (6-5, 210-pounds), was named as the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year by the league?s coaches and was named Honorable Mention All Big-Ten by the media in his only season with Ohio State. As a freshman, he appeared in 39 games (one start) for the Buckeyes and averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists while shooting .445 percent from the field and shot a team-best .415 percent from three-point range.

Via RealGM

Could Law Slip To Miami?

League executives believe Acie Law could be the last draft-night invitee to leave Madison Square Garden's green room, possibly falling to the Miami Heat at No. 20.

The Los Angeles Clippers are believed to have settled on Georgia Tech freshman Javaris Crittenton at No. 14, satisfying their need for a young point guard with Shaun Livingston's future uncertain.

And sources say the Atlanta Hawks are unlikely to take Law at No. 11, even if they keep the pick, which reportedly would go to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the three-way Kevin Garnett trade involving the Phoenix Suns.

"That would be too much," Law said Wednesday. "That would be too perfect – to play with Dwyane Wade, to play with Shaquille O'Neal, to be coached by Pat Riley."

Via Yahoo!

Houston Comeback Possible

Isiah Thomas is hunting for someone who can knock down outside shots proficiently.  There used to be a guy like that in a Knick uniform, and he may return to Madison Square Garden again next season.

Former Knicks shooting guard Allan Houston is considering a comeback.

"I'm not ruling anything out," Houston said Tuesday. "But it's still early. I'm not sure what I'm going to do."

Houston is 36 and announced his retirement in 2005 due to chronic knee pain.

The Miami Heat are apparently also interested in adding Houston's services if he makes it back.

"All I want to say at this point is that I'm feeling good," Houston said. "I'm working out every day."

Via New York Daily News

Heat To Play Wait And See; May Trade Pick

The Heat apparently will take a wait-and-see approach into Thursday's NBA Draft before it decides what to do with its first-round pick.

The plan is to wait out the first 19 picks and hope one of the higher-profile prospects slips. If not, the next option is to see what trade best fits the Heat's needs.

The Heat holds the 20th selection in a draft general manager Randy Pfund said has about 17 players who could make an immediate impact on a veteran roster anchored by Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.

As a result, Pfund said the Heat would enter the draft with a concrete plan, but also with a number of options that include trading the pick.

''I don't know if I can put a percentage on it,'' Pfund said Tuesday. ``But I'll say that we have options on our board that if we didn't think the player could be a contributor in the next couple of years, there's a thought that maybe we'd try to do something that gives us a chip during free agency or during the season to trade.''

Via Miami Herald

Heat To Play Preseason Game In Biloxi

The Heat has agreed to move its Oct. 19 preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets to Mississippi.

The teams are scheduled to play at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, which hasan 8,200-seat capacity for basketball and is about 90 miles east of New Orleans.

The game is officially a home preseason game for the Heat, which will run game operations and will receive a financial guarantee for moving the game to a neutral site. It will be the fifth preseason game for the Heat, which opens its exhibition schedule on Oct. 8.

Via Miami Herald

Zo Still Undecided About Return

Heat center Alonzo Mourning said in an e-mail Friday morning he still hasn?t decided whether he will play next season. Mourning said he hopes to have a decision by the draft, which is Thursday.

Clearly what Mourning decides could have a huge influence on which way the Heat goes in the draft or free agency.

Via Palm Beach Post

Miami Heat Archives

Miami Could Be Interested In Vaughn

Heat Blocks Van Gundy Raid

Heat Receive Compensation For Van Gundy

Heat Works Out Ex-Pitt Center Gray

Van Gundy Picks Magic

Stan Van Gundy chooses Orlando over Sacramento.

Magic Offer Van Gundy Coaching Job, But Heat Want Compensation

Players Association File Grievance On Behalf Of Walker, Posey

Miami Could Seek Artest, Lewis

Miami has not made a trade offer for Ron Artest, but discussions with the Kings are expected, an official with one of the teams said.

Reports: Donovan Almost Out, Van Gundy Almost In

ESPN.com is reporting that Orlando is close to resolving their coaching fiasco.
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