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Chris Andersen to opt out of contract

Jun 16, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

Chris Andersen Chris Andersen

The Birdman never really took off during the NBA Finals.

Chris Andersen rebounded a bit, but he shot just 3-for-12 and failed to provide much defensive resistance. The Heat were outscored by 33 in his 90 minutes (as opposed to their -37 net rating in the 210 minutes he sat).

But facing a $1,448,490 player option for next season – the league-minimum salary for a player of his experience – the 35-year-old Andersen will take his chances.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Forward-center Chris Andersen will opt-out of his contract to become a free agent, a source said.

Essentially, Andersen is definitely making one bet and possibly another.

1. He believes he will play in the NBA next season.

2. If he wants to stay in Miami, he believes the Heat will give him a roster spot.

I’d say No. 1 is correct. Andersen has played solidly overall the last couple years, and a disappointing end to the season – even though he’ll turn 36 before next season – won’t push him completely out of the league.

If Andersen signs somewhere this offseason, there’s no way he’ll lose money, because his option year called for the league minimum. Can he get more than that – either in a higher salary or a multi-year deal? Maybe, but probably only if he’s willing to leave Miami, and even then it’s a 50-50 chance. But he should have multiple suitors offering a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

Will Andersen have the opportunity to re-sign with the Heat? Miami must get younger, and replacing Andersen could be a step in that direction. The Heat might wait until later in the offseason to determine whether they have room for Andersen. This isn’t last offseason, when Miami rewarded Andersen for his championship contributions by quickly re-signing him.

The Heat certainly embrace Andersen’s decision, because it just gives them more flexibility. If they want to pursue Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all terminating their contracts is the big domino, but Andersen opting out helps, too.

  1. adoombray - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Anderson is D-O-N-E done. Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter were cooking him like they were dragons on game of thrones. He’s doing that team a favor

    • hwatt - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      i swear i saw him shrug like ‘eh, oh well, whatever’ as he was benched after getting torched. no heart in an elimination game?? have a seat. permanently.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        I think part of it was likely frustration about what he was being asked to do. Nobody who’s ever watched Andersen over the years thought he could be an effective one-on-one post defender like he was being asked to do. Yeah, he’s got size but he’s never been a good defender straight-up on a guy like that. He did what you would expect him to do, which is commit a lot of fouls and give up a lot of easy baskets. And he ended up too tired to contribute with his hustled on the offensive end, which is his greatest strength. They signed him for hustle and energy but he ended up their primary post defender. That just wasn’t ever going to work.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      i like the GOT reference!

      • av416 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        That was a brutal GOT reference.

  2. montrealknowledge - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Too bad he had to play center… He can still be a useful 4 man, to defend and rebound off the bench. Heat needed him to do too much.

    • mogogo1 - Jun 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      He hustles, brings energy and he can block some shots coming over from the help side. That’s it. When used in a way that plays to his strengths he can still play…and showed that last year. But he was asked to do things he’s never been good at this Finals. He’s never been a good one-on-one defender and I think he was playing more minutes than he really can do effectively. He’s at his best with limited minutes guarding a lesser player. That way he’s fresh and can stray a bit to go after rebounds and loose balls.

  3. adoombray - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Come to think of it, opting out was probably the smarter move so that they didn’t Joel Anthony him and trade his expiring to a tanking team in exchange for a role player. At least this way he gets to pick where he plays if he decides to keep playing

  4. bkg63 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  5. cueghost - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Birdman wasn’t the Heat’s problem, that’s laughable. He’ll make an excellent addition as a 7-8 man for a contending team. Clippers? Thunder? Even Houston? Miami was asking WAY to much from him…

  6. imakcds - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Be serious. He’s a one dimensional sometimes effective (usually not) old man, deserving only of a minimum contract and very limited minutes.
    all his tats and hairdos reveal the feminine side, ‘Look at meeeee!!!’

  7. jhuck92 - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    The fire sale is on and Battier and Andersen know it. Get out of Miami while you can.

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