ronny turiaf

The Heat has retained one backup center and lost another. Ronny Turiaf on Saturday opted out of a contract that would have paid him the veteran’s minimum $1.2 million next season. But Miami guaranteed Dexter Pittman’s contract (worth $854,369) by Friday’s deadline.

Turiaf’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said his client always intended to test the market. “He’s worth more than the minimum,” Bartelstein said. “He had a significant hamstring injury” late in the season.

Bartelstein said the Heat has expressed interest in keeping Turiaf and he plans to speak with Heat president Pat Riley. But the Heat very likely would not offer him more than the minimum.

– Reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald