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Hicks
08-11-2004, 12:14 PM
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/9368360.htm?1c



Wesley Person expected to sign

BY BARRY JACKSON

bjackson@herald.com


In need of depth at small forward, the Heat has turned to veteran sharpshooter Wesley Person.

Person, a 6-6 swingman, traveled to Miami on Tuesday and is expected to sign a contract with the team this week, according to an associate. He has agreed to accept the Heat's $1.6 million salary-cap exception and would compete with Rasual Butler at small forward.

Both are skilled shooters who should benefit from the open shots created by Shaquille O'Neal's presence.

Person, 33, has shot 41.3 percent from three-point range during a 10-year career. In 58 games last season for Memphis, Portland and Atlanta, Person shot 39.9 percent on threes (55 for 138) and 40.1 percent from the field, while averaging 5.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 17.9 minutes.

He averaged a career-high 15.1 points for Cleveland in 2001-02 and 11.0 points for Memphis in 2002-03. He played his first three NBA seasons for Phoenix, which picked him 23rd overall in the 1994 draft.

The Heat opted for Person over free agents Marcus Fizer, Lee Nailon, Kendall Gill, Bryon Russell and Michael Curry. Miami aggressively pursued Toni Kukoc, but he is planning to re-sign with Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, the agent for power forward Karl Malone said his client has not decided whether to retire or join a team that is pursuing him (the Heat, Lakers or Spurs).

With Person, Miami's roster would feature four players capable of playing shooting guard or small forward (Person, Butler, Eddie Jones and Dorell Wright); point guards Dwyane Wade, Damon Jones and Keyon Dooling; power forwards Malik Allen, Udonis Haslem, Jerome Beasley and Matt Freije; and centers O'Neal, Michael Doleac and Wang Zhi-Zhi.

Miami has used all of its salary-cap exceptions but can sign other players for the league minimum.

Lord Helmet
08-11-2004, 12:18 PM
Person is only 33?

blanket
08-11-2004, 12:28 PM
guess that means they won't be getting any other FAs of note, like Malone, Kukoc, etc.

They have good depth at PG, and of course Shaq at center, but they don't have much else on their roster.

Kegboy
08-11-2004, 12:35 PM
Great move, IMO. He had some injuries last year, but came on at the end of the season. He was a guy I really would have liked to see here, if different things had happened with our roster.

Shaq's gonna hook him up to the juvenation machine, big time.

ChicagoJ
08-11-2004, 12:54 PM
Agree. This was a very smart move by Little Bro'. He'll be able cash in somewhere else for next season.

naptownmenace
08-11-2004, 01:05 PM
Good pick up for the Heat.

I can tell you one thing though, their defense is going to be horrible in comparison to last season.