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Heat Sign Two Players For Short Term

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(Source:AP)

(Source:AP)

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Miami Heat

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat has picked up two new players on short term basis.

On Sunday the team announced that they had signed forward/center Chris Andersen and re-signed forward Jarvis Varnado to ten day contracts.

For a team that’s looking for rebounding help, Andersen — who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since playing with Denver last March — is hoping that he will be the answer.

“This opportunity and being with the defending champs, it’s a dream come true,” Andersen said. “They’re taking a chance with me and I’m here to give them everything I’ve got, defensively, diving on the floor, blocking shots, you know, the usual that a Birdman does and what Birdman brings.”

Birdman is the nickname he’s had for years.

The Heat are more than a little curious to find out if he can still fly.

“Typically, you’re not able to get a player of his caliber at this time of year,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But three years ago he was the best in the game coming off the bench at his position, as a shotblocker and a rebounder. We’ve always liked him. We had him in our camp a long time ago, when he was just coming up in this league, pre-tattoo, and we liked him back then. Ever since then we’ve searched for ways to get him back.”

The Heat worked Andersen — who has averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 482 NBA games — out earlier this month, around the time they were starting a six-game road swing. They didn’t sign him immediately, but Andersen was doing two-a-day sessions in Miami while the Heat were gone and in essence scouting the way they played from studying their games closely during the trip.

Andersen, a 10-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 482 career games (10 starts) and averaged 5.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.60 blocks and 17.8 minutes while shooting 50.8 percent from the field. Additionally, he has appeared in 31 career postseason games and averaged 5.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.52 blocks and 17.8 minutes while shooting 58.2 percent from the field.

Last season, Andersen appeared in 32 games (one start) with Denver and averaged 5.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.44 blocks and 15.2 minutes while shooting 54.6 percent from the field.

If all goes well, Andersen is expected to make his Heat debut on Wednesday when Miami hosts Toronto.

Varnado, who was signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on January 9, appeared in two games with Miami, both victories, totaling two points and two blocks in 12 minutes of action while shooting 1-of-2 from the field.

Varnado was signed earlier this season by Boston on December 14 and appeared in five games with the Celtics totaling six points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal in 18 minutes while shooting 2-of-4 from the field before being waived on January 6. He previously played in eight games (all starts) earlier this season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League and averaged 14.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.38 blocks and 30.4 minutes while shooting 57.5 percent from the field.

Varnado was originally signed by Miami on September 7 and waived on October 26 after appearing in two games (one start) on the HEAT’s 2012 Summer League team tallying four points, seven rebounds, one steal and a block in 30:07 minutes of action.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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