Chris Andersen Interested In Signing With The Heat For The Veteran's Minimum
By Ira Winderman South Florida Sun Sentinel
6:17 p.m. EDT, August 23, 2012
With a 2012-13 roster otherwise mostly completed, the Miami Heat continue to deal with their remaining sizeable issue.
Free-agent center Josh Harrellson, traded by the New York Knicks to the Houston Rockets earlier this summer and since released, confirmed on his Twitter account a workout with the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Harrellson is one of several big men the Heat have recently workout out.
Currently, Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman are the only centers under contact to the Heat, although the Heat are expected to open the season with power forward Chris Bosh as their starting center, possibly with power forward Udonis Haslem as his primary backup at the position, continuing the small-ball approach the team utilized on the way to the 2012 NBA championship.
The Heat also have attracted the interest of free-agent center Chris Andersen, who recently bypassed a lucrative European offer and is believed to be amenable to a Heat offer at the NBA minimum salary, which is all the Heat, operating above the NBA salary cap, have available. Andersen was released earlier this summer by the Denver Nuggets under the league's amnesty provision that eases a team's luxury-tax liability.
On his verified Twitter account, Harrellson first posted "Miami here I come Wednesday! Let's have a good workout" followed by "Miami!!! Ready to impress!"
At 6 feet 10, 275 pounds, Harrellson would become the second-heaviest player on the Heat roster to Pittman. Currently, small forward LeBron James holds that distinction.
Harrellson, whose workout with the Heat was reported by ESPN, averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in an average of 14.6 minutes last season as a rookie with the Knicks, shooting 20 of 59 on 3-pointers.
Other remaining free-agent candidates who could meet the Heat's apparent need for size in the middle include Darko Milicic and Andray Blatche.
Blatche, an amnesty cut by the Washington Wizards, said in a recent story in the Syracuse Post-Standard, "My dream destination right now would be back on the court. For real. Just to get back on the court. It's something I love to do. It doesn't matter if it's the Heat or the Spurs or the D-League. Whatever. As long as I’m back on the court playing ball."
The Heat also could fill out their power rotation with players already working with the team. Veteran power forward Juwan Howard was the first Heat player to return to workouts at AmericanAirlines Arena in the wake of the team's championship. Center Mickell Gladness, who began last season with the Heat before closing the season with the Golden State Warriors, played for the Heat's summer-league team in July and recently joined Heat guard Norris Cole and Heat free-agent prospects Terrel Harris and Jarvis Varnado at the NBA's rookie transition program, a mandatory program for NBA newcomers that was not held last summer because of the lockout.
The Heat currently have 13 players under guaranteed contract for the coming season: James, Dwyane Wade, Bosh, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Haslem, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller, Anthony, James Jones, Cole and Dexter Pittman. Teams can carry a maximum of 20 players during the offseason and training camp, 15 during the regular season.
Heat President Pat Riley recently said he is hopeful of having a full training-camp roster in place by the end of Labor Day weekend, with training camp opening the last week of September.
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