Report: Miami Heat add NBA champion to beef up frontcourt depth

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The Miami Heat reportedly are adding NBA champion Thomas Bryant on a two-year contract worth more than $5 million.

Bryant played last season for the Denver Nuggets, Miami’s opponent in the NBA Finals, though he appeared in just one playoff game after playing 18 regular season games following a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 25-year-old is averaging 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds during his six-season NBA career that includes time with the Washington Wizards, which was disrupted by a knee injury.

At 6-foot-10, Bryant can add depth, size and versatility to a relatively small Heat frontcourt anchored by Bam Adebayo. The Indiana University product has a career field-goal percentage of almost 60 percent and has made almost 37 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Bryant becomes the latest addition for the Heat since the start of free agency, joining Josh Richardson, who reportedly turned down more money from another team after talking to head coach Erik Spoelstra. Miami also agreed to re-sign Kevin Love and trade Victor Oladipo and draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder to create a trade exception.

The Heat did lose Gabe Vincent as a free agent to the Lakers and are parting with Max Strus in a sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Vincent, in fact, reportedly sought advice about his future from former teammate Kyle Lowry, who also may be leaving the Heat at some point this offseason.

The biggest deal for the Heat may be yet to come, however, with Damian Lillard reportedly finally requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers with Miami his preferred destination.

Lillard has been the Heat’s primary focus since last season ended, and it looks like their patience is about to be rewarded. The 32-year-old reportedly has been talking to Heat players about teaming up with them, and a lineup led by him, Adebayo and Jimmy Butler would cement Miami firmly among the league’s title contenders.

Adding depth players like Bryant who have experience within a championship culture is likely to only benefit Miami as it attempts to get back to the NBA Finals and finally win another title.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.