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Simply no two ways about it

Word arrived earlier today that the Heat's itinerary for its West Coast trip to meet with University of Memphis guard Derrick Rose in Los Angeles didn't include a layover in Chicago for a second look at Southern Cal guard O.J. Mayo.

Rosepredraft Essentially, it was a direct flight with a direct focus on the Heat's primary target on the board. No more misdirection. At least not Saturday when it came to viewing Rose.

Still, it's getting more difficult to tell if things are getting simpler or more complicated for the Heat as we get closer to Thursday's NBA Draft, where Miami holds the second overall pick.

The feeling here is that Mayo remains nothing more right now than an enticing side dish for the Heat. But it's clear that the main entrees are what they've always been when it comes to Miami's appetite: Derrick Rose and Kansas State forward Michael Beasley.

And whichever player Chicago doesn't take at No. 1, the Heat will grab and maintain a grip on at No. 2.

The guess here is that Rose departed his two-day visit with the Bulls earlier this week with a great vibe established with GM John Paxson and new coach Vinny Del Negro. But that vibe may have fallen just short of a guarantee from the Bulls that they would select Rose first on Thursday. That's why Rose did Beasleypredraft_2 his part to make sure he delivered his message to the media after stating his case to the Bulls brass.

And the assumption here is that Beasley departed Miami after his two-day visit with the Heat's front- office crew last week with plenty to feel good about, but nothing in the way of a commitment from Pat Riley that he'd definitely be kept - after likely being taken - by the Heat with the second pick. Beasley never got the chance to tell the media what he did or didn't hear from the Heat. He wasn't made available to the media for dissecting purposes.

So it appears everything is right back where it started a month ago when the ping-pong balls delivered the pecking order for the draft. And if there's any clarity right now as to how the top of the draft might play out, it can only bee seen clearly from the Bulls' extremely guarded view.




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