Report: Miami Heat Interested in Free Agent Forward Shane Battier


Jul 17, 2011

The Miami Heat could be interested in signing former Memphis Grizzlies small forward Shane Battier, according to a report from The Miami Herald.

The 6-foot-8 former Duke star does not fill the Heat's need at center, but he is an attractive option for a short-term deal — especially since he is a career 38.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc, who has made 100 or more 3-pointers in five of his 10 NBA seasons.

TNT basketball analyst Steve Kerr said off-air, "Battier would be the best fit — when you play Dwyane Wade or LeBron James at the point, you want a three-man who can shoot."

The only major problem is the presence of Mike Miller. The 6-foot-8 former Grizzly was supposed to be the Heat's go-to 3-point specialist last season, but Miller only hit 43 3-pointers, compared to Battier's 102. Miller, however, is under contract through the 2014-15 season.

If the Heat do go after Battier once the lockout is settled, the forward would certainly burn into Miller's minutes because of the defensive capabilities that he brings to the court — capabilities Miller decidedly does not.

And as everyone got to see in the NBA Finals (that is, when the Heat weren't melting down), head coach Erik Spoelstra likes his guys to play defense first, second and third. Then, and only then, can they think about putting the ball in the basket. Battier is definitely a fit for that type of system.

Of course, at 32 years old, Battier is no longer a spring chicken, and with more pressing needs at guard and center, it remains to be seen how strongly the Heat will go after him.

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