Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/8/11
The thinking by many was Miami Heat president Pat Riley would try to make another big splash in free agency. No doubt the reigning co-NBA Executive of the Year has been trying, but it's tough to do without much cash. The Heat went into this frantic free-agency period with a glaring need at center. But pocket change wasn't enough to land a top-notch big man such as Nene or Samuel Dalembert, even if Dalembert said the prospect of playing with Miami would be "fantastic." The Heat also need a point guard. But it's a slim crop in free agency, and Miami officials might feel they can't do much better than re-sign restricted free agent Mario Chalmers. So Miami made its big move Thursday in securing free-agent forward Shane Battier, which isn't too bad considering the circumstances. If the Heat don't waive swingman Mike Miller as part of the NBA's new amnesty clause, all Miami would have to offer Battier is a 3 million exception. Battier, who made 7.35 million last season, is giving the Heat a discount because he desperately wants to win an NBA title. So the pieces are coming together for the Heat prior to Friday's opening of training camp after a five-month lockout. At center, Miami is expected to sign Eddy Curry to a minimum deal, and it certainly won't be a surprise if Chalmers ends up returning to man the point. Curry, who has battled weight problems but was in reasonable shape during an Oct. 8 charity game in Miami, looks to be about the best the Heat could do at center with possibly no money left over after Battier. Kwame Brown, who strongly has considered Miami, played for the minimum last season in Charlotte. But Brown had a solid campaign, and doesn't figure willing to settle again for the minimum. The Heat hold the cards regarding Chalmers, who averaged 6.4 points and 2.5 assists per game as a part-time starter last year. If an offer sheet is put down on him, Miami will have three days to match. "It's in their hands," Chalmers told reporters about what the Heat might do after working out Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Let's see what they do." Chalmers has said he wants to remain with the Heat. He reiterated that Thursday, saying, "It would mean a lot (to stay)." It would be a surprise if the Heat, which have only one other true point guard in rookie Norris Cole, don't end up retaining Chalmers to be the starter. As for other starters, obviously remaining intact are shooting guard Dwyane Wade, small forward LeBron James and power forward Chris Bosh, their 2010 signings being the reason Riley shared Executive of the Year last season with Chicago's Gar Forman. And the center likely would remain Joel Anthony, with Curry providing some relief. Bosh also has said he's ready to play more at center. Curry has appeared in just 10 NBA games since the start of the 2008-09 season. But he's only 29, and is a low-risk investment. If there is a return of Chalmers and Miller, who expressed confidence earlier this week after talking with Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra that he won't be an amnesty victim, that would make at least nine players back from last season. In addition to The Big Three and Anthony, others remaining under contract are forward Udonis Haslem, guard Eddie House and center Dexter Pittman. It remains to be seen what will happen with free-agent swingman James Jones. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is retiring. And free agents Mike Bibby, Erick Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire have never a high priority as possible returnees. Magloire is expected to sign with Toronto. So that could leave Battier as the only significant addition on a team that lost 4-2 to Dallas last spring in the NBA Finals. He's 33 but could play a key role. Battier, a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter, figures to get plenty of open looks due to foes worrying about The Big Three. Battier is a top-notch defender. That could come in quite handy against high-scoring wingmen, and give James and Wade some rest from regularly being matched up against such players. Battier also will give the Heat an excellent presence in the locker room. He's coming to Miami in order to win. "Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over," Battier, who averaged 7.6 points last season with Houston and Memphis and has a career average of 9.6, wrote on Twitter. "It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role." It remains to be seen how much is left in Battier. But his signing might be the best the Heat could have done with their limited budget. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com and on Twitter @christomasson.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker