Dec 8, 2011, 10:11 AM EDT
Shane Battier was reportedly considering four teams as his free agent destination for the upcoming season: the Grizzlies, Pacers, Raptors, and Heat. The Pacers and Raptors aren’t exactly relevant these days, and while Memphis is on the rise after making an exciting run in the playoffs last year, the veteran known for his defensive ability decided to go with more of a sure thing as far as winning is concerned.
Battier announced via Twitter that he will sign with the Miami Heat.
The Lockout gave me a lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career. 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. I am appreciative of all the kind words and recruiting pitches over the last week, thank you!!
This was a exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season”
Down. In. Miami. Let’s Go
Clearly, Battier is excited.
As for the Heat, who can’t afford to be big spenders in free agency (Battier reportedly took only part of the mid-level exception or the new mini mid-level) and aren’t going to blow things up by making any big trades to land another star, this is probably about as good as they could have done. While Battier’s defense has slipped over the past couple of seasons, he’s still an above average defender, and can knock down the occasional spot-up three-pointer, which makes him at least semi-serviceable on the offensive end of the floor.
Combine that with the leadership he should be able to provide in the locker room, and from a chemistry standpoint, Battier’s contribution in Miami might be even more important than what he ultimately produces for the team on the court.