Battier to sign with Heat

MIAMI -- Needing to upgrade their bench, the Miami Heat have landed a significant addition in veteran Shane Battier.

Battier announced on his Twitter account Thursday that he plans to sign with the Heat when free agency opens on Friday afternoon. A number of contending teams had been courting Battier over the last few days, including the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs.

The Heat made Battier a priority and met with him in the first hours of Monday, when teams were allowed to speak with players. Battier, who has had a relationship with Heat CEO Mick Arison since he was the team manager while Battier played at Duke, was attracted to the Heat's potential for winning a title.

"The lockout gave me lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career," Battier wrote on Twitter. "Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role."

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