The Miami Heat have made a move to upgrade their bench ahead of the start of NBA season later this month, agreeing to a contract with forward Shane Battier.
Battier announced his intention to join the Heat on his Twitter feed, saying the chance to win a championship was the major factor behind his decision.
"The Lockout gave me a lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career," he tweeted. "Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role."
Battier also gave a shout out to notable Heat season ticket-holder Jimmy Buffett, saying, "I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances 'Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season.'"
Battier has the reputation of a sterling defender who can take on opponents' perimeter players and sink an open jumper or two when the opportunity arises. A career 38.5% three-point shooter, he should get plenty of open looks from beyond the arc while LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh attract the attention of opposing defenses.
Battier and current Heat CEO Nick Arison have a shared history. When Battier played college ball at Duke, Arison, then a Duke student, was the team manager.
Terms of Battier's deal with the Heat are unknown at the moment. He will likely receive a sizable portion of the team's $5 million mid-level exemption. Signing Battier could also force the Heat to waive Mike Miller using their amnesty clause.
The team has yet to comment on any particulars of the deal. New contracts cannot become official until Friday. Post-lockout free agent negotiations began on Monday.
Signing Battier likely prevents the Heat from acquiring former Sacramento center Samuel Dalembert, who would have likely commanded the entire midlevel exemption. It could also mean the team will have to scrounge the bargain heap for help at the center position.
Eddy Curry, who did not play in 2010-2011 will reportedly be in Heat training camp when it opens on Friday. The only centers currently on Miami's roster are Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman. While Anthony can start, the team was hoping to find an upgrade this offseason. Pittman saw scant playing time in his rookie season last year, and is more of a long-term development project than realistic center option this season.