Even with at least three roster spots to fill, the Heat continues to be non-committal with free agents Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, with the team neither closing the door on a return in conversations with their agents nor offering them a contract to this point, either.
The Heat – which will have 12 players under contract as soon as Chris Bosh’s deal is announced – cannot offer any remaining free agents any more than the veteran minimum, which tops out at $1.4 million.
Jared Karnes, Beasley’s agent, said Thursday he has had more than one conversation with the Heat but “nothing has resulted in a deal. [Other] teams have called expressing interest. There has been quite a bit of activity the past four days. Teams are encouraged by his career-best field-goal percentage (49.9) … and his attitude when asked to play a reduced role.”
Among all players who appeared in at least 20 regular-season games, Beasley was 47th in points per 48 minutes, at 25.2.
Beasley, who has been working out with Kevin Durant in Los Angeles, averaged 7.9 points last season in 55 games and made two starts but played just 23 minutes in the playoffs.
As for Oden, the Heat has not informed his agent, Mike Conley Sr., if the team wants him back.
“They said they’ll get back to us,” Conley said. “A couple of teams have inquired. He wants to be able to play.”
Oden averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 23 games, including six starts, while shooting 55.1 percent from the field but logged just seven minutes during the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Heat believes it’s unlikely Ray Allen will return to the team. Allen, who is touring China, told China media outlet Sina he plans to take a full physical before deciding whether to play next season. The Boston Globe reported he is leaning toward joining LeBron James in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers could offer only the $1.4 million minimum to Allen, who made $3.2 million last season.
HEAT CONSIDERS OPTIONS
Count Charlotte small forward/shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts among remaining free agents who interest the Heat. Douglas-Roberts, 6-7, averaged 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds and shot 44 percent overall and 38.6 on three-pointers in 49 games for Charlotte last season, including eight starts.
The Heat is looking for another veteran small forward or shooting guard to supplement Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Danny Granger. Small forward James Ennis, who impressed the Heat during summer league, is also under contract, and point guard Mario Chalmers can play shooting guard if needed.
Besides Douglas-Roberts, other veterans free agent wing players still available include Shawn Marion, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton (the Heat has reportedly inquired), Heat incumbent Toney Douglas, MarShon Brooks (his agent has reached out to Miami), Omri Casspi and Jerryd Bayless, among others.
• The NBA is considering having the Heat play Cleveland on ABC on Christmas, but the schedule will not be finished until sometime in August.