Chris Andersen could help Miami as a defender and rebounder. - Dilip Vishwanat
The team waived Josh Harrellson, and Andersen reportedly arrived in Miami Monday for a physical and work out.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported today that former Denver Nuggets center Chris Andersen arrived in Miami Monday for a physical and workout with the Miami Heat. Wojnarowski added that Pat Riley has searched for available big men to burnish Miami's frontline and "appears to be intrigued" with Andersen. (It thus appears that Andersen's two-year ban from the NBA for violating the league's drug policy isn't much of an issue.) Wojnarowski's report comes on the heels of the Miami Heat's official Twitter account announcement that the team waived forward/center Josh Harrellson. The Heat also recently waived Terrel Harris, leaving two open roster spots.
Hot Hot Hoops' own Jay Ramos wrote before the season that Harrellson could help Miami with his long-range shooting, but Harrellson has barely played for the Heat. Rashard Lewis entered the season in Miami's rotation as a "stretch four" -- Harrellson's ideal skill-set -- but the Heat's early defensive woes led Spoelstra to start Udonis Haslem and insert Joel Anthony into the rotation. Harrellson has only played in five games this season, and the only time it wasn't in mop-up duty came Dec. 29 in Milwaukee. Spoelstra replaced Anthony with Harrellson in the rotation that night, perhaps to offer him some playing time with the regulars. But the former Kentucky standout did not impress, missing all three of his 3-point attempts and looking unsure on defense.
Nicknamed "The Birdman," Chris Andersen emerged as an spry defender and rebounder for the Nuggets. But the surprising contributions from then-rookie Kenneth Faried led Andersen's role to diminish during the 2011-12 season. Denver waived Andersen in July 2012 under the amnesty clause. Andersen is now 34 and hasn't played organized basketball for months, but could serve as an improvement on Anthony if he still has his ability to rebound, finish around the rim and block shots.