The Birdman is cleared for an extended flight. The Miami Heat announced Friday that Chris "Birdman" Andersen has been signed for the rest of the 2012-13 season.
The team originally signed Andersen to a 10-day contract on Jan. 20, then re-signed him to another 10-day contract on Jan. 30. He has appeared in 6 games for the Heat, scoring 3.7 points with 4.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game. He is averaging just under 11 minutes of action per game coming off the bench.
Miami signed the 6'10" Andersen to improve front court depth, especially against bigger teams. "This opportunity and being with the defending champs, it's a dream come true," Andersen said after signing his first contract with the Heat.
After the Denver Nuggets released Andersen over the summer, he spent the first part of the 2012-13 season as a free agent, working out and recovering from getting his left knee scoped last August.
The Heat had one of the NBA's lowest rebounding rates before signing Andersen. He has grabbed 22.4 percent of all possible rebounds while on the court. That would place him third in the NBA if he played enough minutes to qualify for statistical rankings, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Andersen has supplanted center Joel Anthony as the primary big man coming off the bench to spell Chris Bosh, and his minutes per game could rise as he plays himself back into game shape during the rest of the season.
Via the Heat's official Twitter account, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra called the signing "a no-brainer." Per the team's policy, terms of Andersen's contract were not disclosed.
For his career, Andersen has averaged 5.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game, almost exclusively as a bench player (in 10 seasons Andersen has made 10 starts, but averages 17.8 minutes per game).