Miami Heat works out center Chris Andersen
01/09/2013 12:11 AM
09/08/2014 6:14 PM
Continuing to tinker with its roster, the Heat is expected to add at least one center while considering whether to add another.
Veteran center Chris “Birdman” Andersen worked out for Heat president Pat Riley on Tuesday and will stick around in South Florida for at least another day while the Heat mulls whether to sign him.
Meanwhile, former Heat draft pick Jarvis Varnado is expected to sign a 10-day contract with Miami at some point this week, according to a source.
Andersen, 34, averaged 5.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 15.2 minutes per game for Denver last season. The Heat didn’t make an offer after his workout but saw enough to keep Andersen in town while deciding what to do with him. He is still working on his conditioning because he hasn’t played in the NBA this season.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said he was not briefed on Andersen’s workout but “we’ll never stand pat and be complacent with our organization. If we have opportunities to improve, we’ll look for those.’’
Heat center Chris Bosh endorsed Andersen: “He’s a shot blocker, dunker, assaults the rim all the time. Energy, hustle, runs the floor well. You can definitely see how he can help us.’’
The Heat is expected to add the defensively skilled center Varnado, a Heat second-round pick in 2010. Varnado, cut by Miami in training camp before this season, averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3.9 blocks in 10 games for Sioux Falls, S.D., of the NBDL. He was released by the Celtics on Sunday after playing 18 minutes over five games.
“It was very tough to evaluate him when we had him in camp,” Spoelstra said. “Outside of our arena, we’ve always loved him.”
With center Dexter Pittman playing in the NBDL, the Heat has only 12 players traveling with the team — three less than the league maximum and one less than the 13 permitted to dress for games.
The Heat released Terrel Harris on Saturday and Josh Harrellson on Monday to avoid having to guarantee their contracts for the season.
Though he didn’t comment on the likelihood of adding Varnado, Spoelstra said there’s no urgency to bring Pittman back from Sioux Falls and is “fine” traveling with 12 “because I hardly ever play 12 guys.”• Agent Merle Scott said Harrellson was surprised to be released and was told the Heat hasn’t ruled out bringing him back on a 10-day contract if he clears waivers.
“It’s more about the business of the NBA and less about Josh,” Spoelstra said. “We like him. Right now, the most important thing for us is flexibility.”
LeBron on Pacers
No team has gotten under the Heat’s skin in the past year more than Indiana, whether it was Pacers coach Frank Vogel last year accusing the Heat of a penchant for flopping, or Lance Stephenson giving LeBron James the choke sign during their second-round series last May.
“They’ve been talking a lot,” James said Tuesday. “I read a lot of clips before the season saying they were better than us and they should have beat us. We’ll be ready. I’m not one to talk much. I do it on the court. I let my game do the talking. But it is amusing sometimes, seeing teams talk. And they didn’t beat us.”
In last year’s series, “They were talking a lot,” James said. “They felt they were the better team and we took control of the series” by rallying from a 2-1 deficit to win in six games.
LeBron’s approach on trash talking? “After the fact, if I hear someone talking, I will have a conversation with them or say my peace on the floor. But I’ve never started it up. My little league coaches wouldn’t allow us to do that. They always said, ‘Let your game do the talking.’ ”
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