Just hours before the lifting of the free agent moratorium and free agents can officially sign with teams and trades can be completed, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Miami Heat has indeed re-signed Birdman.
Chris Andersen will sign a one-year deal to return to the Heat, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2013
No official confirmation from the Miami Heat just yet but we will certainly pass it along once we receive it.
Just as Heat president Pat Riley indicated after the conclusion of the season, the entire team (minus Juwan Howard) appears to be returning for the chance to three-peat, although there is still a matter of whether the team will use their amnesty cut on Mike Miller or Joel Anthony.
The return of Birdman is certainly welcome news for all Heat fans and further solidifies the depth for the #1 team in the NBA.
From source on Chris Andersen returning to Miami: "He felt like the Heat organization was amazing. It is all like one big family."— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 10, 2013
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has some more insight into what Birdman will be earning next season...
The Heat prefered Andersen return for $1.7 million - the league minimum for a player with his service time, plus a 20 percent raise, but terms were not disclosed. He had at least one offer that was more financially lucrative, according to a source. But Andersen, 35, decided to return largely because he enjoyed his Heat experience and wants to try to win another championship.
He also will receive nearly $4.4 million next season from Denver, which used the amnesty provision on him last summer to purge his contract from its salary cap.
UPDATE: The Heat have just come out with an official press release confirming that Birdman is indeed returning for another year...
"We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Miami HEAT," said HEAT President Pat Riley. "We would not have won the championship without him and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year."
Andersen appeared in 42 regular season games with the HEAT last season, helping Miami to a 39-3 record (.929) over that span, marking the highest winning percentage by any player in NBA history playing in at least 40 games during a single season. The 11-year NBA veteran averaged 4.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.05 blocks and 14.9 minutes while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. Additionally, he appeared in 20 postseason games during the HEAT's championship run and averaged 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.10 blocks and 15.2 minutes while shooting 80.7 percent (46-of-57) from the field, becoming the first player in NBA postseason history to take at least 35 shots and shoot better than 75 percent from the field. He also connected on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field vs. Indiana during Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 22, marking the most made field goals without a miss during a single postseason game in HEAT franchise history.
"I'm excited to be back with the HEAT," said Chris Andersen. "I believe we have an opportunity to repeat and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Andersen was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on January 20, 2013 and then re-signed to a second 10-day contract on January 30 before signing for the remainder of the season on February 8.
Multiple sources are confirming that Birdman indeed signed the $1.68 million veteran's minimum for one year with a player option for 2014-15 at $1.76 million. Mark Bryant, Andersen's agent, told Fox Sports Florida why his client returned to the Heat...
"It was not a financial decision. It was an effort of a joint commitment of trust, family and championships that is personified from top to bottom with the Heat organization.
"Chris has deep respect for Pat Riley, Erik (Spoelstra) and the entire organization. This is coupled with the same for his teammates. . . . He is positioned with all to keep writing the history (of the Heat)."