Arroyo a better option for Heat


By John Hollinger

Here's what I don't get about Miami's zest to acquire Rafer Alston: Carlos Arroyo has been better. Way better. With a 12.13 PER and a tepid 11.1 points per 40 minutes, Arroyo wasn't exactly on the cusp of stardom, but he'd done a solid job since taking over at point guard for Mario Chalmers. Alston, meanwhile, has been terrible, with a 9.14 PER, a 34.3 shooting percentage and an elevated turnover rate. I've talked to scouts who saw him in New Jersey, and their opinions reflected those numbers.

It's unclear whether the Heat intend to drop Arroyo, whose contract becomes guaranteed if he isn't waived Wednesday, or keep him around as insurance. However, he would be an expensive luxury considering Miami's efforts to get under the luxury tax. Most likely, the Heat will cut him and try to bring him back on a 10-day deal, but other suitors (including European teams) could short-circuit that idea by offering him a more secure deal.

Alston will have to play significantly better than he did in New Jersey for the move to make any sense for the Heat. I'm wondering whether Miami's familiarity with Alston (he played for the Heat in 2003-04) blinded the team to the drop in his production this season. And at 33, there are no guarantees the 10-year vet will return to his previous levels.