Just because the Miami Heat are set to make their first official signing of the summer after agreeing to a deal with Greg Oden, it doesn’t mean they’re going to recede back into their back-to-back championship hangover.
Word is the Heat is still looking to make a signing, and is showing interest in point guard Sebastian Telfair.
Telfair and the Heat have been linked before this offseason. Although Miami is already equipped with two pure point guards in Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, as well as ball-handlers in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Telfair is the second free agent point guard the Heat has shown interest in this summer.
The other point guard being Mo Williams, who may be less inclined to take a signifcant cut in his pay. However, Telfair is a free agent far more likely to take a lesser deal and accept a lesser role. He’s coming off a season where he split time between the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors and averaged 16 minutes of playing time per off the bench.
Telfair averaged 5.6 points on 36 percent overall shooting and 35 percent three-point shooting, while also posting 2.6 assists and 1.4 rebounds last year.
A journeyman that has spent time with eight teams since being drafted 13th out of high school in the 2004 draft, Telfair’s career has mainly featured him in a role as a backup point guard. He started games early in his career, but was never able to impress enough because of poor shooting numbers.
He is shooting 39 percent overall and 32 percent from three over the course of his career. His career-highs include averaging 9.8 points in 2009 with the Minnesota Timberwolves and 5.9 assists per the year before in 08.
One has to wonder why a team that preaches spacing so much would even take a look at a player like Telfair, but adding on a veteran floor-general could prove useful if the inconsistencies of Cole and Chalmers remain prevalent.
In other free agency news, former LeBron-irritant DeShawn Stevenson has expressed interest in joining the Heat, taking to Twitter and sending out consecutive tweets on the subject.
His first tweet read, “Miami Heat Where I Wanna Go!!! Lebron Make it Happen”, while his second read, “Wanna sign in Miami heat” and provided a picture of hoopshype.com with Stevenson’s waiving by the Atlanta Hawks being the top story.
Looks like Stevenson doesn’t want to let old feuds get in the way of going after a second NBA championship, the first with the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, and playing for the league minimum.
Stevenson’s career has basically been constructed on his ongoing feud with LeBron, stemming from DeShawn’s claims of James being “overrated” back when his Washington Wizards were pennial postseason opponents of LeBron’s Cavaliers.
The battle between the two even resulted in a diss track by Jay-Z. Yeah.
While Stevenson’s strong suit was supposedly his tenacious defense, SynergySports tells a different story as to how well he defended last year with the Hawks. Stevenson ranked 322nd in the league in points per possession given up, allowing opponents to shoot 40 percent from the field overall and 37 percent from beyond the arc.
Stevenson is a career 34-percent three-point shooter, recently shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc last year.
If Miami is interested in any sort of perimeter defender, however, Ronnie Brewer and Dahntay Jones would be far better choices. Although those two are inferior shooters to Stevenson, they can boast stronger individual defense, which was a problem among certain aging Heat veterans that couldn’t keep their assignment in front of them.