Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE
Miami cut its roster to 16 before its final exhibition game, tonight visiting the New Orleans Hornets at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Josh Harrellson, Terrel Harris and Garrett Temple are all fighting for the Heat's last two spots.
The Miami Heat waived swingman Rodney Carney and 2010 second-round draft pick Jarvis Varnado today, trimming Miami's roster to 16. Miami will need to waive one more player before the Oct. 30 start to the regular season. Josh Harrellson, Terrel Harris and Garrett Temple all joined the Heat on non-guaranteed deals, and only two will make the team.
A talented wing player, Carney was at a disadvantage trying to make a team that already has Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller and James Jones. Carney was the 16th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, but soon became a journeyman before playing in China during the NBA's lockout-shortened season. He played effectively in the two Chinese exhibition games and showed little elsewhere.
Varnado was an intriguing prospect among die-hard Heat fans. He is a bouncy, athletic, defensive-minded power forward that could fit seamlessly in with this team. The problem was that he was injured when it mattered most -- during summer league and training camp. Varnado couldn't play in any of Miami's preseason games and wasn't able to showcase his skills.
With Varnado and Mickell Gladness cut, Josh Harrellson appears like a safe bet to make the roster. The question now comes down to Harris and Temple. Temple is a 6-foot-6 point guard, and Harris proved that he isn't a point guard when he tried to play as one in the preseason. Temple also went 2-for-4 from downtown against Charlotte Oct. 23 and works well as a catch-and-shoot option. By contrast, Harris has made two 3s the entire preseason.
But the fact that Mario Chalmers looked fine Wednesday in his first game back hurts Temple. Harris made the team last year partly because Miller and Battier were injured during preseason games. Without any injury concerns between Chalmers and Norris Cole, perhaps Miami could continue to groom Harris so he can become a full-time bench player next year, with Miller likely to be amnestied and Allen having the opportunity to become a free agent. The Heat can still alter the roster later in the season -- as Miami has done adding Erick Dampier, Mike Bibby and Ronny Turiaf mid-season over the last two years.