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Report: Heat in the lead for Battier

Dec 4, 2011, 6:09 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Getty Images

Shane Battier is the type of player you would expect to take a discount to ring chase. He’s been a glue guy in Houston, sticking with them through injuries and curious decisions. He was the chemistry guy in Memphis, helping the younger players get better and making the three that gave the franchise its first playoff win. He’s done his time in the trenches, and since he’s not going to get a huge offer anyway, the Mid-Level Exception isn’t really taking less money, it’s a quality offer.

And that makes the Heat a prime match for the No Stats All-Star. From Yahoo! Sports:

Once NBA teams can speak with free agents beginning Monday, Miami Heat president Pat Riley has his franchise in strong position to sell Shane Battier(notes) on signing to play with LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes), league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Battier has been a primary target in free agency for the Heat, and sources say the pitch of Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and key Heat players could ultimately confirm Battier’s strong feelings about chasing a championship in Miami.

Riley and Spoelstra see Battier as a strong defender with an ability to hit the open shots that’ll come his way playing with James, Wade and Chris Bosh(notes). Battier has been a proven playoff performer, and possesses the professionalism and maturity to navigate within the harsh glare of the Heat’s existence.

via Free-agent buzz: Heat lead chase for Battier – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

There’s another matter here. Battier was a part of the Rockets team that won 22 straight three years ago, without one of their superstars. He helped a group of unknowns and supposed chemistry killers in Memphis make a huge late season run and nearly make their way to the Western Conference Finals. In short, he knows how to be a good teammate. He knows how to play professionally. There are no headaches with him. He won’t complain about coming off the bench, or what his role is. He’ll do whatever is asked of him and when you need a guy to lock down and play defense, he’ll do it, and do it well, even at age 33.

In short, he’s an excellent fit for the Heat.

Yahoo! notes that Samuel Dalembert is another target for the Heat, and that’s arguably a bigger need. But Dalembert stands to get an offer bigger than the MLE and they may consider him out of their price range. If the Heat bring in Battier you have to assume Mike Miller is toast through the amnesty clause. A lineup of James-Wade-Battier-Haslem-Anthony is strange, but it’s also likely very effective against certain teams.

Vs. Greg Oden, Battier seems like an excellent fit for the reigning Eastern Conference Champs as they try and put the pieces back together for a run at not 4, not 3, not 2, but 1 title.

  1. dalucks - Dec 4, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    That is a bad idea to forgo millions of dollars for a 20K ring. Stay in Memphis and get paid.

  2. reupjosh - Dec 4, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Yeah, Shane. Stay in Memphis. You have something special there, plus you don’t want to ride with those sell-out pretty boys.

  3. rodge1 - Dec 4, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Sellout pretty-boys?… Really?… Sounds like another scorned ex-girlfriend. Those sellout pretty-boys waited and played until the end of their contracts. Not like other players that cry while they are under contract then demand trades. Some fans are just sad. Yes, I’m talking about you…

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Dec 5, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    rodge1

    rodge1 is on the money. Anthony is a goober for what he did to Denver but at least the Nugs got something in return for him. LeBo and Bosh did it the right way (not including “The Decision”) by leaving in free agency. Both situations have their positives and negatives.

  5. jolink653 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    So you would rather someone leave their team at the end of the year, leaving that team uncompensated and in disarray as the cavs are now, instead of letting them know ahead of time what the deal is and allowing their team to go out seek a trade and get a lot in return so the team doesn’t completely fall apart? You think the cavs would be where they are if they had traded lebron for a package of players and picks? At least the nuggets got something back they can build on

    • heatuphatersdown - Dec 5, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      if they were through with LeBron and traded him away you think they would have giving him a choice or notice that they were even trading him (hint:deron williams). they knew he wasn’t coming back to clevland it has been talk for a couple of years before he left first of all, people just thought it would be nets (bcause of jay-z) or knicks dan gilbert just thought it was all about the money and it wasn’t. when a person has forefilled there duties under contract they have the right to play for whom ever they want. to get even more technical at least he stayed to the end instead of walking out on them in the middle of the season…

  6. madnova - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    “A lineup of James-Wade-Battier-Haslem-Anthony is strange, but it’s also likely very effective against certain teams.”

    Haslem is pushing Bosh to the bench?

  7. stayhigh_247 - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    DON’T DO IT SHANE!!!!! think Chicago! besides you’ll have to spend your whole mid level salary just to afford a small condo in Miami, it’s not worth it. Miami is struggling to build a starting 5, Chicago is building depth, you know, like a whole team. Both Bosh and James showed their weaknesses in the playoffs, come playoffs it’ll just be you Haslem and Wade with no center..

  8. andre504 - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    stayhigh_247 says:DON’T DO IT SHANE!!!!! think Chicago! besides you’ll have to spend your whole mid level salary just to afford a small condo in Miami, it’s not worth it. Miami is struggling to build a starting 5, Chicago is building depth, you know, like a whole team. Both Bosh and James showed their weaknesses in the playoffs, come playoffs it’ll just be you Haslem and Wade with no center..
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Let me see, would you take the weather in Miami or that wonderful weather in Chicago? Yea, and also, if Bosh and James showed their weaknesses in the playoffs, what did Chicago show against the Heat?…… The Heat will be fine with him, just watch.

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