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Old 12-04-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
insidehoops
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Default Heat want to sign Shane Battier

Starting Monday, teams can begin making direct, face-to-face pitches to free agents, after being limited to contact with player agents since Wednesday. The post-lockout starting point for free-agent signings remains Friday, which is also when training camps will open in advance of the lockout-shortened 66-game schedule that for the Heat opens Dec. 25 on the road against the Dallas Mavericks.

According to Yahoo, the Heat's initial push will come toward Memphis Grizzlies free-agent forward Shane Battier, who essentially would take over the reserve-swingman role the Heat envisioned last season for injury-plagued Mike Miller. Battier, however, would provide a higher level of defensive deterrence on the wing, easing such burdens for James and Dwyane Wade.

Miller is currently sidelined with a sports hernia, and could be cast aside under the one-time amnesty exception that allows teams to remove the salary-cap and luxury-tax hits of a single player. Such a move would allow the Heat to offer Battier a contract starting at $5 million for 2011-12. Otherwise, the Heat could be limited to a $3 million offer. Battier, 33, earned $7.4 million last season, dealt at midseason from the Houston Rockets to the Grizzlies.

-- South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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