Heat eye Kenyon Martin, Joel Przybilla
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat, interested in any and all veteran big men who become available on the market, are in the race for two such players that could make their decisions by the end of the week.
The Heat have offered contracts to both Joel Przybilla and Kenyon Martin, their agents told ESPN.com. Przybilla is expected to make a choice between the Chicago Bulls and Heat, according to agent Bill Duffy. Martin is interested in several teams, with the Heat in the mix, according to agent Andy Miller.
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The Sporting News reported Wednesday that Przybilla is planning to make a choice by the end of the week.
Heat president Pat Riley has been recruiting both players as the Heat look to add depth to their frontcourt. According to multiple league executives, the belief is that the 7-foot-1 Przybilla is healthy and believes he can contribute to a contender in a limited role off the bench.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported that Martin is considering the Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks. According to league executives, Martin is mostly interested in having an assured role and minutes on a contending team.
Martin averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 48 games for the Nuggets last year. He most recently played for Xinjiang in China before leaving the team in December. At this point in his career, Martin is seen as an asset for his defense.
NBA teams were notified Thursday that Martin is officially an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Even though he left China's Xinjiang Flying Tigers weeks ago, Martin returned to the United States knowing that he would not receive his FIBA Letter of Clearance from Xinjiang until the end of Chinese season.
Martin's clearance actually wasn't expected until mid-February, so he's reaching the open market slightly earlier than expected.
Miami would have to make roster space to add a player because they currently have 15. Rookies Terrel Harris and Mickell Gladness are on non-guaranteed contracts, as is veteran center Eddy Curry, but the Heat are expected to retain him.
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com. ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein contributed to this report.