Heat Rumors: Ariza, Deng, Stephenson, Morrow

July 3 at 4:21pm CDT By Chuck Myron

What happens with the Heat this summer will prove pivotal to teams around the league, and while LeBron James largely holds the keys, team president Pat Riley isn’t sitting idly as he attempts to improve the roster with the hope his star returns. Here’s the latest from South Beach:

  • The Heat are “extremely interested” in Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick writes, adding that signing them would require both to tamp down their salary demands. Ariza’s camp has made it clear that he wants much more than $8MM a year, Skolnick hears.
  • Miami indeed inquired about the availability of Lance Stephenson, Skolnick adds in the same piece, confirming a report by ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, but they didn’t come close to matching the five-year, $44MM offer from the Pacers that the shooting guard reportedly turned down.
  • The Heat never made an offer to Kyle Lowry or Marcin Gortat, a source tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, and Miami never made either a priority, as Skolnick writes in his piece. The Heat believe that agents have been overstating Miami’s interest in some players as a means of driving up the value of their clients, and they’re even more frustrated with the high price of some of the deals so far in free agency, Skolnick hears. They had interest in Jodie Meeks and Avery Bradley, but not for the money they received, as the Bleacher Report scribe adds.
  • The Heat never had a legitimate shot with mid-tier considerations like Lowry and Gortat anyway, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who hears that they’re going after Anthony Morrow. The Thunder are also pursuing Morrow and the Magic had been, too, before they reached their deal with Ben Gordon, Stein adds (All Twitter links). The Heat have had Morrow on their radar for quite some time, Skolnick tweets.
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