Tuesday , Jan , 05 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Why Rafer Alston should return to Miami Heat

Why Rafer Alston should return to Miami HeatBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

My Quick Take: The plan is for Skip To My Lou and South Beach to hold a little reunion on Thursday.

Today, the New Jersey Nets and Rafer Alston agreed on a buyout for the remaining salary on the last year of his contract. The former playground legend  must successfully clear waivers before becoming a fee agent and picking his next team to sign with.

Alston’s pick: the Miami Heat. The feeling is apparently mutual. Executive Pat Riley cleared a roster spot for Alston by trading seldom used reserve Chris Quinn on Tuesday evening to New Jersey for a conditional second round draft pick.

Why are Alston and the Heat so keen to join forces?

Actually, they’d be re-joining forces. In 2003-04, Alston provided an off-the-bench spark for Miami, which helped the team overcome a terrible start and  reach the second round of the playoffs. Both player and team are comfortable with each other.

This would be a marriage of mutual convenience. Alston is a free agent this summer. He needs minutes, something he wasn’t getting with New Jersey, to establish his worth in the free agent market. Miami gets to bolster their line-up on the cheap.

Of course, there are complications. For instance, Alston still has moments of shot-happy stubbornness and slips back into his Skip To My Lou alter ego. And point guards Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo, who has played well with a non-guaranteed contract, are already on the roster.

Still, if he clears waivers, all signs to point a happy reunion between Alston and the Heat.

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