Dalembert interested in joining Heat

Samuel Dalembert may be interested in joining the Heat. But Chris Andersen may keep the interest from becoming mutual. - USA TODAY Sports

Samuel Dalembert may be willing to sign a contract with the Heat at the taxpayer mid-level this summer -- unlike two years ago. But Chris Andersen's emergence may keep the interest from becoming mutual.

Samuel Dalembert is currently sitting on the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Miami Heat during the two teams' first-round playoff series. But if he has his way, Dalembert could find himself with the Heat as soon as this summer.

Fox Sports Florida's Chris Tomasson reported April 21 that Dalembert, an impending free agent, called the Heat "an option" and said that he wants to play for a contending team. The 6-foot-11 center has become an afterthought with the emergence of Larry Sanders.

Dalembert was a free agent prior to the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, and said that signing with the Heat for the taxpayer mid-level exception starting at $3 million "would be tough" at the time. Dalembert eventually signed a two-year, $13.7 million contract with the Houston Rockets before his trade to Milwaukee. He told Tomasson that he would be willing to agree to the contract offer he had reservations about two years ago.

Dalembert's problem may be Chris Andersen, though. Andersen has admirably filled in as the backup center since joining Miami mid-season and will also be a free agent this summer. Miami can only offer one player the taxpayer mid-level exception -- the Heat previously used it to sign Shane Battier and Ray Allen the previous two years. Andersen has fit in so well to this team that it seems like a foregone conclusion that Pat Riley will try to bring him back.

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