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Trade deadline passes without any moves

The Sports Xchange

Pat Riley decided to stand pat at the trading deadline, with word from within the Heat that the team took a relatively passive stance Thursday.

Instead, the Heat could be more active after the March 23 buyout deadline for playoff eligibility.

A player who has spent time in the league this season must be waived by March 23 in order to be eligible for another team's playoff roster. He then can be signed any time prior to the final day of the season, similar to the process the Heat used to add Mike Bibby a year ago.

Among potential Heat targets at the buyout deadline, provided such releases are granted, could be New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman or Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal or just-acquired Denver Nuggets center Ronny Turiaf.

"We feel we have enough," said coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 84-78 Friday, with a Sunday game against the Orlando Magic up next at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Andy (Elisburg) and Pat and Nick (Arison) will always look for opportunities to make our team better. But we made a big splash two summers ago."

This marked the sixth consecutive year the Heat did not make a deal on deadline date. The last Heat trade on deadline day was the 2006 acquisition of Derek Anderson from the Rockets for Gerald Fitch.

Should the buyout market fail to produce an option to bolster the current center depth of Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman and Eddy Curry, the Heat could re-sign center Mickell Gladness for the balance of the season or sign a big man who has not been in the league this season, such as Rasheed Wallace or Dan Gadzuric, with no deadline for such signings other than by the end of the regular season.

The passing of the trading deadline also could open options at point guard, where the Heat have lacked depth this season beyond Mario Chalmers and rookie Norris Cole. Former Heat point guard Anthony Carter was waived Thursday by the Toronto Raptors.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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