The Miami Heat signed former Knicks center Josh Harrellson on Monday, giving the team another developmental center to compete for a roster spot.
Harrellson, 6-10 and 275 pounds, impressed the Heat in a week of workouts recently.
Harrellson averaged 4.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in 37 games for the Knicks last season, including four starts. Harrellson, whose season was interrupted by wrist surgery, made 20 of 59 three-pointers.
Drafted 45th overall by New Orleans in 2011, Harrelson was immediately traded to the Knicks. New York dealt him to Houston last July as part of the Marcus Camby trade. But the Rockets released him last week.
Harrellson played one year at Southwest Illinois College, then left for Kentucky, where he averaged 6.4 points and 8.8 rebounds as a senior. He was named to the All-East Regional team in the 2011 NCAA Tournament after a 17-point, 10-rebound, three-block game against Ohio State and Jared Sullinger.
The Heat opted to sign Harrellson over several other available veteran centers, including Darko Milicic, Chris Anderson, Mehmet Okur and Eddy Curry, who spent last season with the Heat.
Two of Harrellson’s best games have come on New Year’s Eve the past two years: a 24-point, 14-rebound game against Louisville on Dec. 31, 2010, and a 14-point, 12-rebound game against Sacramento last Dec. 31 – his first NBA start.
The Heat now has 18 players under contract, one under the number permitted for training camp. Mickell Gladness and Harrellson likely will compete for one roster spot, though Dexter Pittman could be at risk if Gladness and Harrellson both excel in camp.