Samuel Dalembert Wants to Play for the Miami Heat

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Once the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified by both players and team owners, the NBA’s free agency sprint is going to be one wild ride. Under League rules, players are the only ones allowed to discuss the matter at the moment, and they haven’t held back.

Samuel Dalembert tells Fox Sports that he’d like to join a title contender this season, and for a number of basketball and person reasons, the Miami Heat would be his top choice:

The team desperately needs a center, and the 6-foot-11 Dalembert is a free agent. And the Heat is high on his list as the free agency signing period is expected to begin Dec. 9 following a five-month lockout. Joining the Heat “would be fantastic,” Dalembert said Sunday night from Haiti. Miami is where more than 50 of his relatives live and is about one hour south of his home in Boca Raton.

As for the volunteering part, Dalembert likely would require a big pay cut to join the Heat, which will be over the salary cap. Dalembert, who made $13.43 million last season for Sacramento, might have to sign for the $5 million mid-level exception. Dalembert wouldn’t say he would agree to that. But he did say “what is best for you might not be for the most money.” And he definitely likes the Heat. “I’m keeping all my options open, but Miami could be a good fit for me,” Dalembert said.

“If you look at the playoffs with Dallas, you saw what Tyson Chandler did,” Dalembert said, referring to the 7-foot-1 center who helped the Mavs beat the Heat in six games for the title last June. “He was basically a key ingredient for them to win a championship. And Miami didn’t have somebody like that. Somebody able to stop (foes from) getting second shots and somebody able to rebound and finish. I could fill that role and be an asset for that team.”

Other cities the 30-year old Dalembert could see himself playing in also include New York and Houston.

The linked article is a worthwile read, as it delves into Samuel Dalembert’s charitable work in Haiti, with the country trying to rebuild following the January 2010 earthquake disaster.