The Miami Heat made an intriguing move Tuesday afternoon as they signed NBA Development League player DeAndre Liggins. After trading Roger Mason Jr. to the Sacramento Kings, the defending champions have been in search of an extra wing player, but rumors also have Miami in the market for a big man.
Pushing the rumors aside, one thing is for sure, Liggins has signed a 10-day contract with the Heat and has an incredible opportunity. The 6-foot 6 shooting guard has averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Sioux SkyForce in South Dakota; he had spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but was dismissed by the team after he was arrested on domestic violence charges.
In my opinion, this move was a mere insurance policy for Miami and Pat Riley. Based on his track history, Riley still has something bigger up his sleeve and with roughly four days before the Waiver/Playoff Eligibility Deadline, he has more than enough time to pull it off. There has been speculation that Riley and the Heat are waiting on one of the many names rumored to be in buyout talks with their team; amongst those possible players are Chris Kaman, Danny Granger and Ben Gordon.
But in a league and world where nothing is a guarantee, Miami cannot sit and wait for one of these players to become available, assuming they do. Even though Liggins is currently under contract, the Heat remain in the market for a possible big signing and you have to believe that the champs will not settle with Liggins, unless they have too. He has only played 56 games in two seasons and his numbers are nowhere near meaningful. This signing was clearly a move to ease Riley’s mind. If a better opportunity presents itself, Riley can ditch the 10-day contract and make his move. But if no one interesting enters free agency this week, Riley will have Liggins; who knows, Liggins could turn out to be a solid player for the Heat.
With the waiver deadline set for March 1, expect a busy second half of the week for the league. Also, don’t count Miami out of negotiations, because with Riley heading operations, no one should take the Liggins signing seriously.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.