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Heat sign former Knick Harrellson to non-guaranteed deal

Sep 17, 2012, 6:06 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks Getty Images

Josh Harrellson tweeted a few weeks back that he was headed to Miami, hopefully for the entire season. What the former Knick big man was heading to in reality was a one-week tryout with the team.

That tryout went well enough for him to get another one — this time at training camp.

The Knicks have inked Harrellson to a non-guaranteed contract, the team announced (hat tip to Ira Winderman). That means Harrellson comes to training camp but he has to earn his way onto the roster. Harrellson, Mickell Gladness and Jarvis Varnado will be fighting to make the roster, but of that group Harrellson should be the frontrunner. Joel Anthony is a lock to make the roster and Dexter Pittman has a guaranteed contract, but that doesn’t rule out a disappointed Heat buying him out.

Harrellson, the former Kentucky player, looked pretty solid for a rookie for the Knicks last season but was pushed out in a numbers game there.

Harrellson should be the frontrunner to make the roster because he provides the kind of versatility in positions that Erik Spoelstra likes in his offense — he shot 33.9 percent from three but has the bulk to body guys on the low block (on both ends of the floor). It was the amount of bulk that first made the Heat cautious — they wanted Harrellson to work on his conditioning — but he seems to have made some stride there.

How many minutes Harrellson can get remains to be seen, the Heat are going small with this year with a lot of Chris Bosh at the five and Anthony behind him. But it’s a roster spot and a job.

Harrellson’s signing likely means the end for 39-year-old Juwan Howard. Also, Darko Milicic and Chris Andersen can cross the Heat off their lists.

  1. theboysofdallas - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I always liked him, But now that he is on the heat, he sucks

  2. tomshoe - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    As much as I don’t like the Heat, this is a good pickup for them.

    3-point shooting big men who can defend and rebound don’t come everyday.

    Dexter Pittman better be looking over his shoulder.

  3. stoudemelo - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    The Knicks have inked Harrellson to a non-guaranteed contract, the team announced (hat tip to Ira Winderman).

    You mean the Heat?

    Proof read before you post them Kurt.

    Harrellson was a great promising 2nd rounder. Sad to see him join the dark side

  4. papichulo55 - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    More of the same for the Heat. He can shoot it, no doubt. But an offensive force on the low block? Not! Cant dribble.

  5. nycalldayz - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I get today’s NBA has a shortage of talented big men, but the Heat are buying in too much to this small ball theory. Whatever works for them. J-Howard, that’s unfortunate for him. I think it would of been ideal to have Howard’s veteran presence around the team.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Buying in to small ball too much? You realize that’s how they won a championship. They put Battier in the starting lineup for Joel Anthony and immediately set the Celtics/Thunder on fire. Only team it might not work against is the Lakers with Howard & Gasol starting… but even then if they can gang rebound and play fast defense they can beat the Lakers with small ball too.

    • miamatt - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      So the Heat are “buying in too much” to the approach that won them the title? I mean, seriously? Why wouldn’t they go all in with the style that has become their identity? I’d rather have guys like Rashard Lewis and youngsters like Harrellson at the end of the bench than has-been-or-never-was “traditional” centers like Dampier, Eddy Curry, or Juwan Howard, etc. Better the Heat attempt to impose their will on an opponent than try to use some “match-up” half-measure that has failed them in the past.

      And as for Howard’s veteran presence, he is likely to be offered a position on coach Spoelstra’s staff.

  6. yousuxxors - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    not much yo be desired on offense but he can play nba defense. good role player.

  7. ningenito78 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    I was wondering how many comments it took before the douschebag proofreader post. 3. Congrats stoudmelo. You win the Needs to Get A Life Award for tonight.

    • sellahh - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:40 AM

      i lol’d
      it’s douchebag, btw

  8. eventhorizon04 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Solid signing.

    Obviously, the Heat aren’t going to be able to recruit great young players given their salary cap situation, but a big-man with shooting ability and with enough bulk to play some low-defense is a great get.

  9. canehouse - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I love the signing! His hustle and grit will fit in nicely in Spo’s system. It’s not all about “small ball”, it’s about “pace and space”… and it led Miami to NBA Campions 2012!!!!

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