Shane Battier to sign with Heat
Battier announced on his Twitter account Thursday that he plans to sign with the Heat when free agency opens on Friday afternoon. A number of contending teams had been courting Battier over the last few days, including the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs.
The Heat made Battier a priority and met with him in the first hours of Monday, when teams were allowed to speak with players. Battier, who has had a relationship with Heat CEO Nick Arison since he was the team manager while Battier played at Duke, was attracted to the Heat's potential for winning a title.
"The lockout gave me lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career," Battier wrote on Twitter. "Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role."
Battier, 33, averaged 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies last season. Mostly, the Heat were interested in Battier's ability to defend perimeter players and make spot-up 3-pointers that playing with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will create. Battier shot 38 percent on 3-pointers last season and is a career 39 percent shooter from long range.
According to league executives, Battier was seeking a multiyear contract at a significant portion of the $5 million mid-level exception. It is unclear what his addition means for Mike Miller, who the Heat are considering releasing with their amnesty clause. Miller currently is sidelined after having hernia surgery.
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.