The Heat invested nearly three seasons in Dexter Pittman’s development.
If it pays off for Pittman, it will pay off for the Grizzlies.
Pittman was dealt before Thursday’s trading deadline, along with a second-round pick, in exchange for Memphis’ trade exception and a foreign jump-shooting center (Ricky Sanchez) who was drafted back in 2005, plays in Argentina and isn’t all that likely to play in the United States.
So what was the point?
“Roster flexibility,” Erik Spoelstra said.
That means creating a roster spot for a veteran who shakes free through a buyout.
Pittman, currently in Sioux Falls on his fourth stint in the NBA Developmental League, was surprised by the development, but not disappointed.
“I loved my time with Miami, and all of the people there,” Pittman said. “It was like a family. But I’m excited about getting the chance to play.”
Memphis has Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur and Ed Davis in its frontcourt rotation, but its physical style might better suit Pittman’s skill set and grant him greater opportunity. Plus, Memphis now has just 13 players, which means Pittman will regularly be in uniform, rather than in a suit.