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Heat's Math Yet to Add Up

If for no other reason, credit Pat Riley and the Heat's front-office staff for this offseason mathematical wizardry.

It had to take a supreme level of administrative crafting to put together a roster with this many 2s and 3s, yet somehow not come up with a reliable 5. Though, it hasn't been for a lack of trying.

The Heat, as it stands exactly one month before training camp opens, has more than $40 million of its 2008-09 salary cap committed to shooting guards (2s) and small forwards (3s).

As a result, the team is left with what appears to be a carb-conscious approach at the most difficult spot on the court to fill. Mark Blount is 7 feet. But he's defensively-challenged, to say the least. Joel Anthony is on the come. But the raw, 6-9 shot-blocker still has quite a ways to go to be the reliable inside presence the Heat needs in the middle.

And that's what makes the Heat's recent flirtations with the Jamaal Magloires, D.J. Mbengas and Lorenzen Wrights of the world so painfully necessary for Miami.

Tuesday updates revealed that Magloire was still waiting to hear back from the Heat after last week's workout. Wright continues to explore his options around the league. And I'm told MBenga, who worked out in Miami on Monday, has a minimum-level offer to return to the Lakers. But he hopes to get a somewhat sweeter offer from Miami and expects to hear from Riley and Co. as early as Wednesday.

Yes, barring a trade over the next 30 or so days, it's come to this for the Heat.

With Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Dorell Wright (if healthy and confident), James Jones, Yakhouba Diawara and Daequan Cook on the perimeter, Miami has the potential for something special at the 2 and 3 spots.

But do the math. 

Unless - or until - there's an upgrade at the 5, it'll remain a roster that simply just doesn't add up. Or stack up, either.


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