With each passing day it seems the Heat are adding pieces to their soon to be filled roster. Today the team announced a couple of ‘big' signings, locking up centers Joel Anthony and draft pick Dexter Pittman. I was hoping the Heat would bring back Joel because he has improved in each of his 3 NBA seasons, and there is no reason to think he wont continue to do so.
The shock-blocking specialist was the lone member of the Heat to fall under the Larry Bird rule, so Miami was able to offer him a 5-year deal worth $18 million. Considering his upside, I think it's a great deal. Just over $3 mil a year for a guy who could very well end up the Heat's starting center in the upcoming season. I have to think he will be due to the amount he's making, which is almost triple what he made last season.
During his tenure with the Heat Joel has grown by leaps and bounds. He started out as a big guy who could only block shots and had no hands, but has developed into a solid, all-around player. His offensive touch in the paint still can be improved, but there's no reason to think that he wont continue to progress the way he has the past couple seasons.
The Heat also announced the signing of rookie center Dexter Pittman to a 3-year deal. Pittman has been participating with the team during the Summer League, though he's missed the last two games with a bruised toe. He hadn't been doing particularly well anyway, but he still could use the experience.
By the end of the weekend the Heat's front line should be all but finished being loaded up. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire are all expected to be locked up at some point in the next day or so. They are all going to provide some great depth behind Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony.
Friday also brought the formal announcement from Pat Riley that the Heat has signed Mike Miller, saying that bringing the swingman to the Heat was "a match made in heaven". Miller comes in with a pretty nice track record, winning Rookie of the Year in '01 and Sixth Man of the Year in '06. And FYI...Miller will wear #13 for the Heat.
SUMMER LEAGUE UPDATE
The Heat moved to 3-1 last night with a convincing 78-58 win over the Summer League struggling Milwaukee Bucks, who dropped to 0-4. Shavlik Randolph led the Heat with 18 points and has accumulated 20 boards in the three games he's played in.
Kenny Hasbrouck continues to impress during the Summer League, going 4-of-7 from downtown en route to a 14-point, 4-assist night. Hasbrouck is averaging 15 points on 52.5% shooting while grabbing 2.5 boards and 2.2 assists in the four games he's played in.
I wouldn't be surprised if either or both of these guys end up sticking with the Heat and filling out the final spots on their 15-man roster. Only 12 players can dress, but up to 15-can travel and practice with the team during the season.
The Heat wrap up their Summer League schedule today at 6pm against Cleveland. The game is scheduled to be broadcast live on NBA TV, and I'll have a game thread up for this one.