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Juwan Howard Returns To Chase Ring (UPDATE)

In addition to re-signing Mario Chalmers and James Jones, the Miami Heat reached an agreement to bring back Juwan Howard. The 38-year-old power forward played in 57 regular season games and 11 playoff games, including receiving minutes during the 2011 NBA Finals. With Udonis Haslem now recovered from last season’s foot injury, Howard doesn’t figure to have a big role on the court. Chris Bosh will play the majority of minutes at the four, and LeBron James and Shane Battier can play there against some teams too. The 18-year NBA veteran will serve as a leader in the locker-room, however. Unlike Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Howard apparently feels good enough to give that chase for a championship ring another shot.

The Heat now have 13 players under contract – Bosh, James, Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Haslem, Joel Anthony, Battier, Eddie House, Chalmers, Jones, Eddy Curry, Dexter Pittman and now Howard. First-round draft pick Norris Cole will sign his contract in the near future.

(Updated with official press release below....)

MIAMI, FL – The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed free agent forward Juwan Howard. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Howard has appeared in 1,173 regular season games (898 starts) with seven teams over 17 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 31.0 minutes while shooting 47 percent from the field and 76.4 percent from the foul line. He appeared in 57 games last season with the HEAT averaging 2.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 10.4 minutes while shooting 44 percent from the field and a career-best 82.9 percent from the foul line.

The former NBA All-Star has appeared in 40 postseason games (13 starts) and averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 20.9 minutes while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 75.8 percent from the foul line. He appeared in 11 postseason contests last season with the HEAT totaling 17 points, 10 rebounds and one assist in 60 minutes of action while shooting 4-of-9 from the field and 9-of-13 from the foul line as Miami made their way to the 2011 NBA Finals.

Howard originally signed with the HEAT as a free agent on July 20, 2010.