The Miami Heat front office has had a busy Sunday by making a series of low risk moves to fill out their roster.
The team have re-signed Jarvis Varnado to a second ten-day contract while bringing in veteran big man Chris Andersen on a ten-day contract. This means the Heat are passing on Josh Harrellson, the parting being mutual as he is seeking more playing time elsewhere.
Varnado has impressed Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra enough that he saw more playing time than Harrellson in his first stint with the team. It should not be surprising given that Miami picked him in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. Varnado was a dark horse candidate to make the roster at training camp this season but was cut due to an abdominal injury. The Heat can’t sign Varnado to another ten-day deal according to league rules so it will have to decide whether or not to retain him for the remainder of the season after this contract expires.
Andersen, nicknamed the ‘Birdman,’ has been on Miami’s radar since last off season. The team brought him in for workouts before training camp started but he didn’t show enough then to warrant an invitation. Despite this the Heat kept an eye on him and brought him in again for a second round of workouts when the team opened up two roster spots in order to address their rebounding issues. While Andersen wasn’t in the right condition to warrant him getting a deal then, Miami told him to stick around and keep working and today he was rewarded for it. The fact that Andersen’s deal is only for ten days makes this move a low risk in case for the team should it not work out.
Even though these signings fill up the Heat roster, team president Pat Riley is still looking around for other possibilities in player buyouts. Giving Varnado and Andersen minimum deals gives Riley flexibility to sign another player, although it is likely that the Heat will retain Varnado for the remainder of the season.