The Miami Heat need another center, and they will give just about any 7-footer a try if they think he can shore up the team's interior presence.
The Heat have reportedly offered contracts to Joel Przybilla and Kenyon Martin, hoping that one of these veterans can add depth to Miami's front-court. ESPN.com first reported the offers
, having learned of them from each player's agent.
Przybilla has not played this season, having spent the 2010-2011 season in Portland and Charlotte. The 32-year-old is also weighing an offer from the Chicago Bulls. In 11 seasons, he has averaged 4 points and 6 rebounds per game to go with 1.5 blocks. Przybilla has missed a lot of games over the past three seasons due to a right knee injury, but the Heat believe he is healthy enough to contribute.
Martin, meanwhile, had signed a one-year contract with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout. He cannot join another team until the CBA season is complete (another two weeks), even though he left the team in December.
Martin is also receiving interest from San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and the Clippers. He wants to play for a contender that can assure him playing time. In 11 season with the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets, Martin averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
The center position has been one of Miami's biggest holes thus far this season. Joel Anthony has performed well enough to keep his starting job, but at 6'10" he can be pushed around by larger centers. Eddy Curry has seen some time in relief of Anthony, but his long absence from the NBA has left him a bit rusty. He still needs more time to regain his old form, if that is even possible.
Other than those two, second-year man Dexter Pittman is the only other center on the roster. He is still a long-term development project, though. The Heat sometimes play with a small lineup that puts Chris Bosh or Udonis Haslem at center, but that option does not work against teams with large, strong centers like the Orlando Magic or Los Angeles Lakers.
If the Heat can sign either Przybilla, they could be better prepared to take on a team like Orlando in the playoffs, with the ability to throw a large body (Przybilla is 7'1" and 255 lbs) at Dwight Howard. The 6'9" Martin does not offer the size advantage of Przybilla, but his scoring ability could serve as a nice counterweight to Anthony's defensive strengths.