Miami Heat 2014 Draft Preview

Draft picks: 1st round (26th overall)

By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor

( - There is no team with more of a chore this offseason than the Miami Heat.

After the lopsided and lackluster NBA Finals debacle against the San Antonio Spurs, the Heat need to tinker, but it'll be hard for Pat Riley to do so, not knowing the future of his superstars.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their deals and become free agents. Smart money says all three stay in South Beach, but at what cost?

If the Big Three signs big deals, it's prohibitive to the Heat in their bids to upgrade the roster. If the Big Three comes back at a discount, then Riley and company can improve the team through free agency.

And yes, the team needs improving. It'll also need more bodies considering only three Miami players are definitively under contract for next season.

At No. 26, the Heat could bolster a front court need like a big man with Michigan's Mitch McGarry, or, if Mario Chalmers bolts in free agency, maybe Connecticut's Shabazz Napier would be available.

The other key piece in the offseason equation for Miami is the future of Ray Allen. The sharp-shooter is a free agent and the big concern isn't if he goes elsewhere, it's if he retires. The Heat need shooting, so perhaps P.J. Hairston could fill a need.

If the Heat stay together, they could always take the best player available since the squad would remain very good. This draft is deep, so the potential is there for Miami to take someone useful as early as next season.

Players Under Contract: C Chris Andersen; G Norris Cole; C Justin Hamilton

Free Agents: F LeBron James (early termination); G Dwyane Wade (early termination); F/C Chris Bosh (early termination); F/C Udonis Haslem (player option); G Mario Chalmers; G Ray Allen; G Toney Douglas; G James Jones; F Rashard Lewis; C Greg Oden; F Michael Beasley

Recent Draft History: 2013: No picks

2012: Arnett Moultrie (27)

2011: Bojan Bogdanovic

2010: Dexter Pittman (32), Jarvis Varnado (41), Da'Sean Butler (42), Latavious Williams (48)

2009: Marcus Thornton (43), Robert Dozier (60)

06/18 14:11:45 ET