Former New York Knicks center Josh Harrellson joined the Heat's suddenly crowded field in the middle Monday, with the team announcing him as the 18th player under contract for camp, which opens Sept. 29 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"I'm taking my talents to South Beach! Let's go Heat," Harrellson posted on his Twitter account an hour later.
Like Mickell Gladness and Jarvis Varnado, Harrellson was added on a non-guaranteed contract. Those three will vie with Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman for minutes in the middle, with Anthony and Pittman holding guaranteed contracts.
The addition of Harrellson likely ends the chances of the Heat adding a higher-profile free-agent center, such as Chris Andersen or Darko Milicic, and makes a third season with the Heat less likely for 39-year-old Juwan Howard, who nonetheless yet could be extended a camp invite. Howard continues to work in the Heat's ongoing informal workouts.
Gladness, Harrellson and Varnado likely will be competing for the third-string center spot held last season by Eddy Curry, who remains an unsigned free agent.
Unlike the Heat's other candidates at center, Harrellson provides a 3-point threat, an element the Heat added among their big men when Chris Bosh stepped out to convert several 3-pointers during the Heat's playoff march to last season's NBA title.
Forward Mike Miller, who watched one of Harrellson's recent workouts, said Harrellson was particularly impressive from beyond the arc.
Whether the Heat utilize any true centers, however, remains in question. Instead, with Spoelstra's move to a small-ball, "position-less" approach, most of the minutes in the power rotation are expected to be claimed by Bosh, who emerged as last season's de-facto center, as well as Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Rashard Lewis.
Teams may carry a maximum of 20 players in training camp, but must trim to 15 by the start of the regular season, which for the Heat opens Oct. 30 against the visiting Boston Celtics.
Last week, after an extended tryout at AmericanAirlines Arena, Harrellson posted on his Twitter account, "Done with it ready to move on! Can't wait to find my new home."
Now he's moving in.
Dealt by the Knicks in the offseason to the Houston Rockets in the Marcus Camby sign-and-trade and later released, Harrellson auditioned twice for the Heat.
Before arriving for his most-recent workout, Harrellson posted on his Twitter account, "Kentucky it's been fun! Glad I got to see everyone! Now heading to Miami for hopefully the next 9 months."
He then headed back home, but now is back.
Harrellson was selected with the No. 45 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, with his draft rights then traded to the Knicks.
At 6 feet 10, 275 pounds, Harrellson would become the second-heaviest player on the Heat roster to Pittman. Forward LeBron James currently holds that distinction, behind Pittman.Harrellson averaged 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in an average of 14.6 minutes last season as a rookie with the Knicks, shooting 20 of 59 on 3-pointers.
The Heat currently have 13 players under guaranteed contract for the coming season: James, Dwyane Wade, Bosh, Battier, Mario Chalmers, Haslem, Ray Allen, Lewis, Miller, Anthony, James Jones, Norris Cole and Pittman. Gladness, Varnado, Harrellson and guards Terrel Harris and Garrett Temple, who each hold non-guaranteed contracts, bring that total to 18.
Forward Robert Dozier, a former Heat second-round pick who has been working with the team through the summer, is expected to be the 19th player invited to camp.
In addition, guard Jerome Dyson, swingman Chamberlain Oguchi, center Hassan Whiteside, and several other free agents, also have received recent workouts with the Heat.
Teams are only allowed to bring players under contract into training camp.