Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat wants Shane Battier?

Regardless of whether James Jones re-signs (and there’s mutual interest), we hear forward Shane Battier will be very much on the Heat’s radar after the lockout. The Houston Chronicle, after interviewing Battier, said “don’t be surprised” if he signs with the Heat or Bulls.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: How much improvement is necessary when you’re two games from winning everything?

If you’re the Miami Heat, a lot. It’s championship or broke in South Beach. Eastern Conference banners don’t count. Not when your superstar predicts multiple championships at a pre-emptive victory party.

Simply put, the Heat was built to win it all –year after year.

Expect Executive Pat Riley to be active when the lockout ends and free agency opens. The oil-slick has eyes for Shane Battier.

Battier fits for two reasons. First, he’s a terrific role player, capable of spreading the floor with his range and defending premier wings. With Battier, opponents would get punished for helping on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. And James and Wade would have some choice as to who they matched-up with on defense.

Second, the Heat – right or wrong, fair or not- have a PR problem. Most living outside Florida couldn’t stand the ‘Heatles’. And most living outside Florida cheered when the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Title.

Enter Battier.

The Duke grad is well-spoken, intelligent, and humble. He communicates like a Fortune 500 CEO and/or politician. His measured, toned-down approach would lessen the day-to-day scrutiny the Heat faces.

So Battier would help on-and-off court. He may be the difference between the Heat winning and losing the championship in 2012 -if there’s a season.

–Oly Sandor.

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