After a few months worth of solitude from the wandering eye of the media, the Miami Heat have found themselves back in the news with talk of workouts and possible signings in the future.
Following a workout given to 23-year-old center Josh Harrellson, the Heat have also expressed interest in former Denver Nuggets forward/center Chris Andersen, who has returned the feeling with mutual interest of joining the reigning NBA champions.
Standing at 6’10”, Andersen is a high-flying shot-blocker with excellent defensive capabilities–even at the age of 34. He’s capable of playing effectively at the power forward and center positions, with his specialty coming on the defensive end of the floor where he has averaged as much as 2.5 blocks per and 4.3 blocks per 36 minutes in the 2008-’09 season. On offense, he can be relied on for catching and finishing near the rim, and not much else.
Andersen would be of help when it comes to garnering an imposing defensive presence near the rim; something of which the Heat are seriously lacking outside of the likes of Dexter Pittman and Joel Anthony, if you’d even like to consider either of those two intimidating. ‘Birdman’, however, is a proven veteran defender whose high energy would provide the Heat with a spark off the bench on the defensive end, which is similar to what Anthony provides with the difference being Andersen’s size.
Since making an incredible comeback in the 2008-’09 season with Denver, Andersen has seen his minutes fall dramatically from as much as 22.6 minutes per to a mere 15.2 minutes per this past season, where he was only featured in 32 games. In those 32 games, he posted up averages of 5.3 points on 55 percent shooting to go along with 4.6 boards and 1.4 blocks per.
Andersen may be the most likely option to sign with the Heat because of his current situation. He hasn’t drawn much interest since being waived by the Nuggets in July and would be willing to take the veteran’s minimum with a championship contender.
However, at the age of 34, you have to wonder if the Heat would be better suited with someone like the 6’11” Mickell Gladness who’s only 26-years-old, also happens to be a solid shot-blocker, has spent time with the Heat in the past and is even a part of the team’s current workouts.
Either way, the Heat are going to come away with a big man who will most likely see little to no minutes come postseason time. All the team currently needs is someone to fill in the void before the team elects to go to small-ball for the season that actually matters.