Chris Andersen became the bird who flew away for the Knicks.

In mid-January, the Knicks were exploring big-man options because of fears Rasheed Wallace’s foot injury would not heal.

They contacted Andersen’s agent, as the so-called “Birdman’’ was good friends with J.R. Smith, had played with Carmelo Anthony and was once signed by then-Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien, now a Knicks executive.

But the Knicks never made an offer. Andersen wound up a stud for Miami in late January and the Knicks wound up with Anderson’s former Nuggets teammate, Kenyon Martin, who had a solid stint, but didn’t play well in their Eastern Conference semifinals exit against Indiana.

Andersen has been the perfect piece to the Miami puzzle, a roster that lacked an active big off the bench.

“There were a number of teams who contacted us, but I was ready to write off the season in January,’’ Andersen told The Post.

Asked about the Knicks, Andersen just smiled. He said he still is in contact with Smith, with whom he played in New Orleans and Denver. They share an affinity for tattoos. Andersen’s bird tattoo on his neck is his signature.

“He’s pretty inked up,’’ Andersen said. “We’d be jealous of each other when the other got a tattoo. We’re all trying to get time in the chair.

“Congratulations to him for getting the Sixth Man, but he’s been a great player since I started playing with him in New Orleans. He’s sacrificed a lot to get the Sixth Man Award.’’

Martin didn’t turn out to be a bad choice for the Knicks, but Andersen, who carried in a lot of baggage and was amnestied by Denver last summer, has been super.