Fan-favorite Eddie House re-joins the Heat
Eddie House is now officially the latest addition to the Miami Heat rotation, and a very good one at that that.
The three-point specialist has agreed on a two-year contract at the veteran minimum of $1,352,181 and $1,399,507, respectively, with the second season a player option.
The story for Eddie is a now a common one on this Heat roster. He passed on more lucrative deals elsewhere. The Bulls were thought to have been the front-runners for House, with the Celtics also in play to bring him back. Instead, he has chosen to re-join the team that originally drafted him out of Arizona State with the 37th overall pick ten years ago.
House is a perfect fit in the Heat rotation. He will serve as a high-energy spark off the bench. I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround three superior defense-collapsing playmakers with a gaggle of superior three-point shooting specialists. The Heat now has three legitimate threats – Eddie House, Mike Miller and James Jones.
House does one thing exceedingly well – shoot. He can shoot set shots, shots off the dribble or falling away, and is an elite free throw shooter. His jump shot is all there, particularly in all-important clutch situations, and his lightning quick release (as well as the height he jumps to shoot it) means that he can always get it away.
Eddie is a career 41% shooter from the field and a 39% shooter from beyond the arc. Over the past two seasons, he’s shot an even better 41% (including a whopping 44.4% on a career-high 4.2 attempts per game in 2008-09). The message is clear. The more he shoots, the better he is.
There are, however, a few downsides to consider.
House has decidedly few true point guard skills. He’s not a great dribbler; he struggles mightily against ball pressure. But that’s decidedly unproblematic on this Heat roster. When he enters the game, it will probably most often be as a two-guard from an offensive standpoint, with Wade, Miller or James handling the majority of the ball-handling duties, and as a point guard from a defensive standpoint.
House is not a particularly strong one-on-one defender. He’s a diminutive guard listed perhaps optimistically at 6’1″ and 175 pounds. He is, however, an energetic defender against other small guards and has the one thing the backcourt currently lacks – quickness. He’s not going to use it to consistently shut down the likes of a Rajon Rondo. Nobody can. But he can be a disruptive influence against the equally diminutive point guards that are becoming all the rage in today’s NBA.
Eddie was one of the more popular players during his initial stint in South Florida, both with the fans and his teammates. He brings with him that added team-chemistry incentive, which the current roster suggests is of the utmost importance to Pat Riley (as it should be). Due to his willingness to accept a small role and his ability to fill a Heat need, he has to have been one of our favorite options to sign at this point. All in all, not too shabby for roster spot number fourteen.
House previously played three seasons in Miami (2000-03), tallying 7.0 points, 1.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds before being signed to a two-year, $1.6 million free agent contract by the Los Angeles Clippers in August 2003. The following off-season, he was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats, along with Melvin Ely, for two second-round draft picks. He was waived by the Bobcats in December 2004, and subsequently picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks on a two-year minimum contract deal. He was again waived mid-season, this time by the Bucks in January 2005.
Eddie then agreed to a string of short-term deals. He signed a rest-of-season contract with the Sacramento Kings in 2004-05, followed by one-year contracts with the Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics. In July of 2008, the Celtics re-signed him to a two-year $5.5 million contract. After nearly three years in Boston, he was traded to the Knicks at last season’s trade deadline, in a deal that featured Nate Robinson. He has career averages of 7.6 points, 1.6 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game.
Now at 32 years old, House figures to end his career where it started, with the Miami Heat in sunny South Florida. His current two-year, $2,751,688 contract will take him to $15,558,079 over his twelve NBA seasons.