A day after one Miami Heat 3-point specialist opted out of the 2011-12 season on his contract, another decided Thursday to opt in.
Guard Eddie House, who found himself with limited opportunities in the first season of his Heat reunion tour, nonetheless has opted to remain for a second season. His decision comes a day after forward James Jones opted out of a similar minimum-salary deal for next season.
House is now under contract for $ 1.4 million from the Heat next season. Had he not invoked the option clause on the two-year contract he signed last summer, he would have become a free agent at the conclusion of the NBA lockout.
House, 33, was mostly a bit player in his Heat reunion tour, after spending the first three seasons of his career, starting in 2000-01, with the Heat. He appeared in 56 games this past season, averaging 6.5 points, his lowest average in six seasons. His regular-season highlight came in the season finale, when he scored 35 points in the victory over the Toronto Raptors that ultimately gave the Heat homecourt advantage against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
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He then appeared in only seven of the Heat’s 21 playoff games, held out of eight consecutive games before being utilized in the season-ending loss to the Mavericks in Game 6 of the Finals.
House’s time began to dwindle after the Heat acquired his brother-in-law, point guard Mike Bibby, in March.
With House invoking his option, it leaves the Heat with nine players under contract for next season, when also including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Dexter Pittman.
In addition, the Heat have a qualifying offer in place to match outside bids for guard Mario Chalmers, a restricted free agent, and a contract tender in place for first-round pick Norris Cole. Should both of those formally sign, it would leave the Heat with 11 players under contract, with regular-season rosters limited to 15 players.
House opted against joining five other 2010-11 Heat teammates who become unrestricted free agents Friday: Jones, Bibby, Erick Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire.
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