MIAMI- The Miami Heat will have another playing bringing his talents to South Beach, signing former Knick center Josh Harrellson to a contract yesterday. After several workouts with the Heat, Harrellson was finally signed expanding the Heat’s roster to 18.
Harrellson appeared in 37 games for the Knicks last season and averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.6 minutes of action, which included shooting 42.3 % from the field and 33.9 % from three point land. Of those 37 appearances, Harrellson started four games in which he averaged 10.5 PPG, 8.5 RBG, on 42% shooting including a 14 point 12 rebound double-double in his first career start for the Knicks vs. the Sacramento Kings.
Harrellson will look to latch on with the Heat as another stretch forward for the team who can hit the three ball while also supplying great post-defense which he displayed in limited time for the Knicks last season.
With the move, the Heat now have 18 active players on the roster meaning the Heat will probably be looking to make some cuts a couple weeks before training camp. The Heat’s forward depth is a key for them this season, but who will actually be on the roster to contribute is what remains to be seen.
Returning from last year, the Heat have Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman to go along with new additions such as Rashard Lewis, Mickell Gladness, and Jarvis Varnado, to go along with Harrellson causing a log jam for the Heat down low.
A year after obtaining the NBA championship, the Heat lacked a true center and without having much cap flexibility the Heat brought in a slew of players hoping one would stick out and with training camp weeks away somebody will have to lead the pack.
With Bosh playing more center this season, look for the Heat to use Harrellson and Haslem in a strech post-defender four position to relieve LeBron James this season. Anthony, should be used as the backup center to Bosh who can bring defense, rebounding, and toughness to the second unit.
Also, look for Lewis and Battier to fight for playing time as stretch 3-4 men that can hit the three ball, with Battier more efficient on both ends of the court. With that said, that leaves Varnado and Gladness on the outside looking in on roster spots for the Heat.
Not saying they definantly won’t make the team but with so much returning talent and the Heat moving to a more quicker faster lineup there doesn’t seem to be room for the likes of Varnado and Gladness barring injury.
Either way it goes, the Heat have some training camp battles that need to be handled, but competition is a good thing especially for the reigning NBA champions.