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Where Do They Go From Here?

Now that Ricky is officially the first of the Heat's free agents to move on, we checked for updates on the status of Miami's others soon to be cast off. Or Not.

Rickydavis Ricky Davis: No problem here with the Heat putting him on the backburner to flirt with others - which ultimately netted James Jones. But count me in the small crowd that didn't really see Ricky as the main villain on last season's team. Ricky only did what he always does. He's just not an impact player. So in essence, that trade ultimately came down to the Heat sending a first-round pick and Antoine Walker to Minnesota for Mark Blount. Ouch.

Jason Williams: There's chatter out there that J-Will either has interest in, or is being courted by, an Israeli team. Checked with his agent today, who would neither confirm nor deny the interest overseas. But was also warned not to rule out a possible reunion Jwill with Miami. Like Davis, J-Will was placed on the backburner by Heat president Pat Riley at the start of free agency. But unlike Davis, J-Will plays a position of desperate need for the Heat. And with not much else out there enticing outside of a trade, it might not be out of the question to bring J-Will back at or near the vet's minimum ($1.3 - 2 mill) on a one-year deal to eventually hand the reigns over to rookie Mario Chalmers.

Chris Quinn: That J-Will scenario, of course, would mean Quinn wouldn't be brought back. Which essentially would make this a Quinn-or-JWill proposition for Quinn the Heat, which will almost certainly carry a third PG into the season in addition to Chalmers and Marcus Banks. Quinn is receiving interest from teams as a third point guard prospect, with New Jersey and Orlando among the teams that have a need.

Dorell Wright: Oklahoma City reportedly has interest as part of a contingency plan. But there's a big difference between interest and action. And, as we've seen, not many teams are quick to tie up salary-cap money to extend an offer on even a promising player coming off a knee injury. The expectation - make that hope - is that the Heat will eventually open Dorell negotiations for a deal a bit sweeter than the one-year, $2.4 million qualifying offer it made to Wright earlier this summer. But it's far more likely the Heat will wait, Wright will sign the qualifying offer and enter next summer an unrestricted free agent.

Barron Earl Barron: Not much happening here, as expected. The Earl experiment hasn't produced much beyond summer league dominance. And even that was two years ago. Although the Heat is desperate for length and big bodies, it's likely to pass on another dance with the 7-foot Barron.

So what's left out there at center and point guard for the Heat, which is within $5 million of the luxury tax and has about $900,000 left of its mid-level but the full $1.9 million of its vet's exception?

Brian Skinner, Francisco Elson, Melvin Ely and Theo Ratliff are among those who might fit the vet's exception and would be the defensive stiffs needed to clog the paint. The options are even more scarce at the point. Which means any real upgrades must come via trade. And the action always picks up the closer teams get to training camp.   




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