I have to pick Boozer. He's younger, easier to get and could get rid of some Heat players that are unwanted. Some would say he's harder to get because he's got one more year on his deal, while Odom is a free agent. I disagree. I think the cap going down and the overall pessimistic attitude to this free agent market makes for a much stronger chance of Odom staying in LA. Also, the Lakers don't want to make big changes after winning a title (they already changed small forward's with Ron Artest).
Another thing Miami wants is more back to the basket scoring. I know Odom is very versatile at 6-10, but Boozer is a better scorer in the post and a banger down low. Boozer's a true big man. Odom is a hybrid guy who can work on the inside and out. Pat Riley has always liked bangers. He coached a young Alonzo Mourning and had the guts to try out Jermain O'Neal last year.
If I was Pat Riley, I'd also think about the flexibility Boozer gives you. Since he's only got one year on his deal, that will open up more cap space in the summer of 2010. It lets you try him out for one year, evaluate, or use him as trade bait. In the end it gives you many more options compared to a three to five year deal for Odom.
Another thing that makes sense about this is the depth it gives the Heat up front. Since O'Neal is injury prone, why not have another tremendous post scorer to pick up the slack? I herad the idea of bringing O'Neal off the bench. I love that idea. Allow him to play backup PF and center, get him 20-25 minutes a game. That's something he could do easily. He'd be rested and a very solid guy to bring off the bench. Only thing that sounds terrible about bringing him off the bench is he makes about $23 million next season. That just hurts me reading it.
Whatever the Heat do, they have to do something this summer. I know Dwayne Wade is watching, wanting to move closer to title contention. If Pat Riley wants to keep him in a Heat uniform, he'll sign or trade for an impact player this summer.
Heat fans, keep your heads up. All of these rumors sound promising for next year.