MIAMI ( – The Miami Heat have been expected to target a big man in the expedited free agency starting Friday, but with the injury to forward Mike Miller; the Heat now have another target.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Miami Heat president Pat Riley will make a strong play to sign free agent forward Shane Battier.

The former Memphis Grizzly is a solid defender who can sit in the corner and drain three point shots at will. He’s been a solid performer in the playoffs and has the maturity the Heat need from a replacement to Miller.

For Battier, the Heat will give him the greatest shot at winning an NBA championship as his career winds down.

For the Heat, he will free up LeBron James more on the defensive end and force teams to pay attention to him which will open up lanes for LeBron and Dwyane Wade.

Battier’s cost may be the only problem with getting him to the Heat.

Based on the new collective bargaining agreement, Battier could sign for up to four-years and $20 million or three-years and $9.4 million.

The length and cost of the contract will be determined by how much the Heat is under the NBA’s salary cap.

In addition, if the Heat choose to amnesty forward Mike Miller, it might loosen up enough money to go after a few other parts to surround the Big Three.

If the Heat put most of the team’s mid-level exception towards Battier, it will likely end the team’s pursuit of a free agent center like Samuel Dalembert.

The Heat could look at adding center Kwame Brown to the lineup if there is enough money after signing a player like Battier.


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