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Heat frees up roster spot at trade deadline; Pittman dealt

Making room for a possible veteran big man before the playoffs, the Heat rid itself of little-used center Dexter Pittman on Thursday in the final hours before the trade deadline.

Miami traded Pittman to the Memphis Grizzlies for next to nothing. Instead of receiving a player in return, the Heat acquired the rights to a former second-round pick playing in Argentina just to make the deal go through. To sweeten the deal, the Heat threw in cash considerations as well.

"I want to thank Dexter for his hard work and professional attitude," Heat president Pat Riley said. "Unfortunatly, in order to gain roster flexibility we had to trade someone. We wish him nothing but the best."

The Heat now moves forward with 14 players on its roster and a new veteran's minimum contract with which to lure a player. Possible options include Kenyon Martin, who is a free agent, and perhaps Jermaine O'Neal, but only if he's bought out by the Phoenix Suns.

Drafted in 2010 as a long-term project, Pittman improved gradually with the Heat but could never break through playing on a team of mostly veterans. Pittman bounced between the D-League and the Heat this season before finally being dealt.

From Memphis, the Heat acquired the rights to 6-11 center Ricky Sanchez in the deal. Drafted in 2005 by the Portland Trail Blazers, the Puerto Rican national is currently playing for Libertad de Sunchales in Argentina.

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