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Heat Signs Chris Quinn; I Explain Why

The Miami Heat has re-signed restricted free agent point guard Chris Quinn to a 2-year, $2 million contract with an opt-out after this year. Quinn finished last year as the Heat's starting point guard for whatever that's worth, roughly estimated at nothing.

Hardwood Paroxysm has reacted swiftly and negatively to the news, and after the jump, I'll issue a response.

First up, HP's side:

The Heat have a little bit of a problem understanding the point guard position, apparently. Sure, Quinn is a decent stop-loss...considering he was the starter last year. But he's not the long-term solution at the point and I'm not sure why Marcus Banks couldn't keep the seat warm until Mario Chalmers is ready to kick him out. Moore wanted me to make a note that this roster spot should've been used on Blake Ahearn, and I completely agree. Ahearn's basically the type of player that the Heat need at the point: he doesn't dominate the ball (but still has a handle), shoots well, and plays intelligently. He can do all the things that Chris Quinn does but with a cheaper price tag. And he probably smells nicer.

ANYWAY, Superintendent Chalmers looked awesome in the Summer League and is the best point guard prospect on the roster not named Joel Anthony, so this move just seems confusing. Quinn was solid enough for the Heat, especially considering exactly how bad they were last year. But they're already paying Marcus Banks $4 mil a year for the foreseeable future, so why not let him get comfy?

My take:

An NBA team needs three point guards, especially when one is Marcus Banks and the other is a rookie who has already found off-court trouble (not saying it will become a pattern, but it happened). There wasn't a better one on the market than Quinn, assuming Shaun Livingston isn't anywhere close to healthy, and he knows the system and didn't wilt under Pat Riley.

As for the money, who cares? It's not mine to spend. Besides, 2 years/$2m is crazy cheap for any viable NBA player, wherever they land on the depth chart. If you like Blake Ahearn better, cool - I don't get the infatuation, but we all have our preferences - but money shouldn't be a consideration. The Heat clearly thinks Quinn is better, and half a million or so of a rich dude's money doesn't change my opinion one way or the other. The contract falls in perfectly with the only fiscal concern I share with the Heat - Quinn will expire in the summer of 2010, keeping the team's salary cap space intact.

Banks, meanwhile, hasn't earned a "comfy" spot in the starting lineup, even as a stopgap for Chalmers. I haven't given up on Banks yet, but dude needs to be pushed, not handed a starting job by default. That's just asking him to coast. Quinn increases the pressure on Banks to perform, and that's a good thing. If Quinn's contribution over the next two years is to provoke Banks into getting it together and living up to his contract, that alone will be a worthy $2 million investment.

More than anything, I think Quinn has a chance to be a low-end starter or a very good backup, and if a top-shelf point guard doesn't fall into Miami's laps over the next two years, I could envision being very pleased with a Chalmers-Quinn combo at the point next to Dwyane Wade, Michael Beasley, Dorell Wright, a couple of mid-round draft picks and whatever free agent Miami hopefully comes out of the summer of 2010 with. I'll grant the point that Chalmers is by far the most talented of the trio, but he's not such a cant-miss prospect that the team should abandon all alternative options before the guy's first regular season game. Point guards are like starting pitchers in baseball - you can go from too many to not enough pretty damn quick. Quinn is a young point who can play, and you don't just let those guys slip away.

Hope that doesn't come off as catty: this the first piece of real Heat news since the Jamaal Magloire punt, and I had to bite on HP's post. Healthy debates are awesome.