MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The biggest hole in the lineup for the Miami Heat since the Big Three were acquired has been a quality big man. Heat president Pat Riley is on the verge of filling the team’s final roster spot with a playoff tested big.

The Heat announced Wednesday evening it has signed free agent center Ronny Turiaf. The former Gonzaga Bulldogs star gives the Heat some size and bulk in the middle to go along with Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

Turiaf is listed by the NBA as 6’10” and weighs 245 pounds. He last played January 1 for the Washington Wizards, but is now recovering from a broken hand sustained earlier this season.

Turiaf was part of the Los Anagles Lakers’ 2008 run to the NBA Finals and appeared in 64 games for the Knicks last season averaging 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds.

The Heat continues to be troubled at the five position. Dexter Pittman got a start Tuesday night and scored 6 points, but also had 4 personal fouls in just 13:39 of action. Joel Anthony has been battling a sprained ankle sustained during Sunday’s victory over the Magic.

Turiaf, a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 362 career games (90 starts) and averaged 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.36 blocks and 17.9 minutes while shooting 52.9 percent from the field.


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