Miami Heat makes Zydrunas Ilgauskas signing official
Zydrunas Ilguaskas is the latest center to climb on board, the third in the past 24 hours. He joins Dexter Pittman and Joel Anthony.
Jamaal Magloire is expected to sign a minimum contract, a one-year deal if I had to guess, by day’s end, bringing the total to four centers.
With Ilgauskas signing on for two seasons (player option on the second), Pittman for three seasons (likely a team option on the third) and Anthony for five seasons, the center position now appears closed. And it could be for next season as well, unless circumstances change. Only rarely do teams carry four centers due to the 15 player regular-season roster limit. This year appears to be an exception to the general rule, to accommodate the developing Dexter Pittman.
Expected to follow in short order is Portland free agent Juwan Howard. Howard stands to be third in line, behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, which would seemingly close out the power forward position as well.
At small forward, Lebron James and Mike Miller are currently under contract. Pat Riley is in active discussions with James Jones, Matt Barnes and Rasual Butler. Only one is likely to make the regular season roster. Jones, 29, is a three-point specialist. Barnes, 30, is a defensive specialist. Butler, 31, offers a bit of both, but not as well as either at his specialty. The odds of injured second-round draft pick Da’Sean Butler to make the roster appear to be fading. Final word should come at some point next week.
That leaves the team with four centers, three power forwards and three small forwards. That’s ten total players, and only the backcourt to deal with.
Mario Chalmers is under contract at the point. Carlos Arroyo will reportedly follow. Dwyane Wade is under contract at shooting guard. Behind him, there’s nothing.
That’s 13 total players.
That means there are two more roster spots available and a host of players competing for them.
Kenny Hasbrouck, who finished last season on the Heat roster but never got into a game, has had a solid showing in Summer League play. Hasbrouck has proven to be the best player on the summer roster, and appears as NBA-ready as any summer league contributor with a chance to make the final cut.
Patrick Beverley, who had a strong but limited tenure of play overseas last season, was thought to be a favorite to make the big club based on his defensive abilities. Those chances have been dinged a bit thus far.
Jon Scheyer, the Duke shooting guard product, has been playing well. He scored 11 points in 29 minutes in the team’s summer opener, including a dagger of a three pointer that cemented the win. He suffered a lacerated eye lid in the second contest.
Free agent options at the point guard position include Chris Quinn, Earl Watson, Eddie House, Jason Williams and Keyon Dooling.
Free agent options at the shooting guard position include Devin Brown, Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans, Larry Hughes, Marquis Daniels and Rodney Carney.