Special guest post by Darryl Lee Sang (@DarrylLeeSang)
The Miami HEAT traded Dexter Pittman to the Memphis Grizzlies at the trade deadline last week in exchange for the international rights to Puerto Rican forward Ricky Sanchez, who is currently playing in Argentina and likely, will never play in the NBA.
For the HEAT, the move was made to give them some wiggle room with their roster as Friday, March 1st is the last day a player can be waived and remain eligible for the post-season if he were to sign with another team.
"I want to thank Dexter for his hard work and professional attitude," said HEAT President Pat Riley. "Unfortunately, in order to gain roster flexibility we had to trade someone. We wish him nothing but the best."
It's been widely speculated that the HEAT would look to add a veteran big man with a couple names that surfaced early being power forward Kenyon Martin who recently signed with the rival New York Knicks and oft-injured center Greg Oden who will reportedly wait until this summer to sign with a new team.
One name that's still floating around is Lou Amundson and rumored soon-to-be bought out Omri Casspi may be in mix as well.
At 6-foot-9, 225-pounds, Amundson isn't exactly considered a big, but he is an underrated defender that can bring his high-energy and blue-collar type effort into a game to give a few solid minutes off the bench. He was averaging 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes in 20 games this season before being waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Amundson has also drawn interest from Chicago, Boston and New York.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Omri Casspi and the Cavaliers are discussing a buyout that could come before Friday's deadline. Recovering from surgery to remove his appendix last week, Casspi's game has declined since being moved to Cleveland two seasons ago and has fallen out of favor with head coach Byron Scott. If the two sides were to reach an agreement, Casspi could have a couple options and the HEAT, though a long shot could possibly be one of them. At 6-foot-9, 225-pound he is averaging 4 points, and 2.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes in 29 games played this season.
We'll have to wait and see where the chips fall as there will likely be a buyout or two coming on Friday's deadline, but don't expect the HEAT not to make a move. They gave Pittman away for practically nothing to have roster flexibility.