While LeBron James says his mind isn’t on his free-agency at the end of next season, it’s a topic everyone is willing to discuss.
With Dwayne Wade another year older and the rest of the league adding talent so they can contend with the champs, Heat executive Pat Riley made two great offseason moves.
The addition of Michael Beasley and Greg Oden add youth and long term promise for Miami.
Beasley, the Heat’s former number two overall pick in 2008 was released this past season by the Phoenix Suns. Beasley has had his share of off the court issues.
In a strong locker room with James, Wade, Shane Battier and a team run by Riley, leadership and guidance isn’t something that’s going to be an issues for Beasley.
Oden, who was selected by the Portland Trailblazers with the number one overall pick in 2007 has only played in 82 games since then due to multiple injuries.
Oden can bring an inside presence that the Heat haven’t had in the “big 3” era. It will allow Chris Bosh to play his natural four spot and give Miami a defensive force in the paint.
The Heat struggled in the post against the Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert during last years Eastern Conference Finals and hope with Oden they will have an answer for the Pacers big man.
“Adding Greg is a huge piece for us but we’re not asking too much from him, we’re not going to put too much pressure on him,” James said. “He hasn’t played since 2009, so it’s been awhile. We just want him to work his way back into condition. Whatever he gives us is extra.”
If the Heat, and its a big IF can keep Oden (25) healthy and Beasley (24) focused on basketball Miami has a young core to keep James in South Beach.
Beasley who averages 14.1 points per game for a career will bring off the bench scoring that Miami hasn’t had. Beasley is a match up nightmare for other teams.
“Offensively, I’ve been a big believer in him. He has a Carmelo Anthony ability to score the ball,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Beasley.
Both players are a low risk high reward for Miami.
This move could have helped secure that “not one, not two, not three…” multiple championship promise from James.