Heat sign Juwan Howard

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent forward Juwan Howard. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is a great addition for us,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.”

“This is a great opportunity in order to play in the City of Miami for the Heat organization,” said Howard. “I’m looking forward to working hard this upcoming season and contributing in any way I can toward the success of the team both on and off the court.”

Howard has appeared in 1,116 career games (898 starts) with seven teams over 16 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 32.1 minutes while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the foul line. During the 2009-10 season, Howard averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 22.4 minutes, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the foul line in 73 games (27 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored in double-figures 16 times and grabbed 10-plus rebounds seven times.

Howard, who will wear #5 for the Heat, was originally drafted with the fifth pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He spent six-plus seasons in Washington before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a mid-season trade during the 2000-01 season. He was then sent to Denver the following season before signing with the Orlando Magic as a free agent during the 2003-04 season. He was acquired by the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and spent three seasons there, before making stops in Dallas (2007-08), Minnesota (Summer of 2007), Denver (2008) and Charlotte (2008-09). He signed with Portland as a free agent in 2009 and spent one season there, before signing with the Heat as a free agent.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Juwan may be 74 years old, but he can still play and is a good veteran backup who can help the Heat.