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Miami Heat Signs Jarvis Varnado For Rest Of Season


Jarvis Varnado Miami
(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Apparently Jarvis Varnado has shown enough to fulfill every NBA Development League player’s dream.  The Miami Heat announced Wednesday that they have signed the 6-9 forward for the remainder of the season.  Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to collective bargaining rules, NBA teams can sign players to 10-day contracts starting in early January.  After two consecutive 10-day contracts, NBA teams must fish or cut bait.  Miami feels that the NCAA’s all-time leading shot blocker has a place on their roster this season.

Varnado’s journey began at the collegiate level with Mississippi State then continued as a draft choice of the Miami Heat in 2010.  However, Varnado was not deemed ready for the rigors of the big time and went to Italy and Israel to play professionally for two seasons.  The next step was to go back to the Heat and see how much progress had taken place.  During training camp, injuries prevented Varnado from completely presenting his case.

Fortunately, the NBA D-League provides the option which gives NBA teams the ability to work with affiliate teams in a system where players can be monitored, scouted and most importantly easily accessible.  Step one for the Miami Heat was to trust Varnado to their D-League affiliate.   Considering that Miami and the Sioux Falls Skyforce have been working together for a while in that role made the leap of faith a little shorter.  The allocation process meant that Varnado was released by the Heat making him a free agent.  It took only ten games with impressive displays of shot blocking of both unsuspecting and fully expecting D-League opponents for Varnado to earn a tryout with Boston.

It was a Merry Christmas for Jarvis as the Celtics needed help because of numerous injuries in their frontcourt.  Ten day contracts did not apply at that point of the season, just a looming day where if a D-League player stays on an NBA roster he must be signed through the balance of the season.  The Celtics opted not to invest in Varnado for the long haul leaving the door open at that point for any NBA squad to come calling.  Now the seemingly playoff-bound Heat have a shot blocking presence on their bench.  Though it may not be the last time Jarvis graces the court in Sioux Falls.  Miami could send Varnado to the Skyforce on assignment.


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