Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat reach deal
MIAMI -- Managing the salary cap and getting veteran role players to pass up larger offers elsewhere, the Miami Heat made several moves Friday to solidify their roster.
The Heat agreed to re-sign wing James Jones and point guard Mario Chalmers on the heels of adding wing Shane Battier and center Eddy Curry on Thursday. The final details are being worked out, but the Heat are believed to be able to structure the deals to allow them to make all of the signings without having to use the amnesty clause on Mike Miller.
Miller told ESPN.com Friday that he expected to remain with the team and was planning on attending the first day of training camp as he recovers from last week's surgery to fix a sports hernia.
The Heat had hoped to land a starter-quality center and an additional point guard in the free-agent season, but the market didn't play out for them.
Instead, they shored up backups to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in hopes of reducing the number of minutes demanded of them this season, in addition to taking a look to see if Curry can help in the middle.
Battier is believed to be coming to the Heat by using the new "mini" mid-level exception for luxury taxpayers, which the Heat will be after they make the signings official this afternoon. That would make Battier's deal for three years and $9 million.
Jones turned over richer offers elsewhere to sign with the Heat for a deal believed to be three years and $4.5 million. That is supplemented by the $3 million the Heat owe Jones the next two years as part of a buyout from an old contract in 2010.
In talks with other contenders, Battier was asking for nearly the full mid-level exception of $5 million. Jones had two offers higher than what the Heat had on the table, agent Joel Bell told ESPN.com, but he decided to re-sign in his hometown.
"I took considerably less (money) than what was offered out there," Jones said. "But you can't put a price on what's being built in Miami. It came down to stability of the organization and my family being comfortable here. I have a chance to have an impact on a team competing for a championship."
Chalmers will go into training camp as the favorite to be the starting point guard. He averaged 6.8 points and 2.5 assists in mostly a reserve role last season. But he blossomed in the playoffs, averaging 11.8 points in The Finals.
Jones averaged 5.9 points and shot 43 percent from 3-point range last season when he also won the three-point shootout contest at All-Star Weekend. He was limited in the postseason because of a toe injury.
Battier averaged 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Rockets and Grizzlies last season and shot 38 percent on 3-pointers. Combined with Miller and Jones, the Heat have three 6-foot-8 wings who are known as being solid defenders as well as effective 3-point shooters.
Brian Windhorst is an NBA writer for ESPN.com. ESPN.com writer Michael Wallace contributed to this story.
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