Chris "Birdman" Andersen basks in the championship glow after the Miami Heat's win in Game 7 of .the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Birdman will fly with the Miami Heat in 2014.
The Heat announced Wednesday that Chris "Birdman" Andersen has agreed to a one-year deal with the team, allowing him to help the Heat go for a three-peat.
"I'm excited to be back with the Miami Heat," Andersen said in a statement released by the team. "I believe we have an opportunity to repeat and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The deal will pay Andersen $1.7 million, the veteran minimum for a player with his experience. He will also receive nearly $5 million from the Denver Nuggets, as part of his old contract that Denver voided via the NBA's amnesty clause.
By signing Andersen to a minimum deal, and not using its $3.2 million mid-level exception, the Heat saved about $1.5 million in luxury tax penalties (the team's 2013-14 payroll is far above the league's luxury tax threshold).
The 34-year-old Andersen was one of two players from the 2012-13 team that remained unsigned. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and James Jones accepted player options for 2013-14 shortly after the end of the season, while the Heat exercised a team option on point guard Mario Chalmers. Seldom-used veteran Juwan Howard is still a free agent and not expected back.
The Heat signed Andersen to a 10-day contract in January, and after another 10-day contract the team extended him through the remainder of the season. Brought in to provide energy and defense off the bench, he did not disappoint.
Playing 15 minutes per game in reserve, Andersen averaged 5 points, 4 rebounds, and a block per game. He shot an efficient 58 percent from the field, and at one point in the playoffs made 15 consecutive shots over the course of multiple games.
Andersen was even better in the playoffs, shooting 81 percent and scoring 6.4 points per game. The Heat scored 1.50 points per possession and gave up 0.99 points per possession while Andersen was on the floor during the playoffs.
"We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Miami Heat," team president Pat Riley said Wednesday. "We would not have won the championship without him and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year."
In addition to Andersen, the Heat have centers Joel Anthony and Jarvis Varnado on the roster to back up starter Chris Bosh.