Mar. 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Josh Harrellson (55) controls the ball as Milwaukee Bucks power forward Ekpe Udoh (13) defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-80. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Heat: Is Josh Harrellson Nearing a Contract with the Team?

The Miami Heat have taken another step in the direction of possibly signing a big man who can clog the lane next season.

Early Monday, former New York Knicks center Josh Harrellson sent out this tweet:

Kentucky it’s been fun! Glad I got to see everyone! Now heading to Miami for hopefully the next 9 months.”

It just so happens that Harrellson recently worked out with the Heat, and is now planning on joining a short camp that should allow the Heat staff to weed out the final two players who will out their roster. Harrellson could find himself competing with former Miami Heat center Mickell Gladness for a roster spot that would give the team some necessary size on the floor.

Gladness provides athleticism and shot-blocking, which may better accommodate the Heat’s strong defensive mentality, but he doesn’t possess the offensive skillset that Harrellson would end up providing. It’s safe to say that Gladness is the better defender. However, when there’s already a player like Joel Anthony on the team, who also happens to play at center on occasion, it defeats the purpose of having a player who is essentially the same with two extra inches tacked on.

Harrellson, on the other hand, provides work on both ends of the floor. At 6’10”, 275-pounds, Harrellson could be defined as an imposing figure by the majority of the world’s population. He’s a large player that’s not afraid to mix it up down low nor is he afraid to make his impact felt from outside, where he showed off a solid perimeter game in his rookie season with the Knicks last year.

The recently waived center averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per, shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc in 37 games with the Knicks, starting in four contests. His high’s for the season included 12 rebounds in 38 minutes against Sacramento and 18 points in 30 minutes against Charlotte. Harrellson eclipsed 10 points five times.

It’s his ability to hit from the perimeter that may just sell the Heat on giving Josh a contract. Pat Riley announced how he wanted to go after perimeter players following the conclusion of the NBA Finals and, sure enough, he ended up signing Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis a few weeks later. Those two represent the only new additions of the Summer, with Harrellson possibly being a third if he can outplay Gladness.

Josh’s ability to hit from the outside would leave the Heat with yet another perimeter option who could play at the four or five once Chris Bosh hits the bench. Although it’s unlikely Harrellson will find himself playing productive minutes throughout the season, he could be given spot minutes depending on the opponent; because his size should come in handy against the bigger teams in the league.

Miami would prefer not to waste the talents of Chris Bosh and LeBron James constantly competing for rebounds throughout the regular season. Harrellson would provide the Heat with a filler who can make his presence felt under the rim, apply some sort of deterrence for slashers attempting to get to the rim and to chip in the occasional bucket to support the ‘Big Three’ in their efforts to will the team to victory every night.

 

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