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NBA Miami Heat

Chris Andersen Opting Out of Contract with Miami Heat a Positive Development

June 17, 2014; Steve Mitchell: Chris Andersen will decline his contract option this summer, and the Miami Heat should let the Birdman walk.

Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

This will be a tumultuous offseason for the Miami Heat, as they look to completely revamp their roster in hopes of retaining LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Already one of the biggest storylines coming out of the Heat camp is that Chris “Birdman” Andersen will decline his $1.45 million player option for next season and explore the free agent market this summer.

Due to how well Andersen has played for the Heat over the last two seasons, this choice is a no-brainer. Many teams around the league will offer Andersen premium money to play for them, as he provides energy, solid rebounding and is able to finish around the rim. His biggest slight thus far with the Heat is how he performed in the NBA Finals, where he averaged just 2.6 points and only made 25 percent of his shots from the field. This is a far cry from his output in last season’s NBA Finals, where he averaged 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and shot 80 percent from the field.

The direction the Heat need to begin taking is one of youth and athleticism, and although Andersen has been a steal for the Heat over the last two seasons, the franchise needs to let the Birdman fly away. Andersen is 35 years old and really only has 2-3 good years left of playing basketball at a professional level. If the Heat’s main priority is longevity, then retaining a 35-year-old frontcourt player doesn’t fit the blueprint.

The Heat will have plenty of frontcourt options at their disposal this summer, either through the draft or by trade. The Heat should elect to go this route instead of re-signing the veteran center. Andersen has given the Heat two solid years in the frontcourt, but it is time for both parties to go their separate ways.

Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @outofboundsjay, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google