|ANTOINE WALKER Had weight issues with Heat|
Antoine Walker's turbulent time with the Miami Heat is over.
The Heat traded the former Celtic and three-time All-Star forward to the Minnesota Timberwolves yesterday in a five-player deal that came one day after Miami completed a winless exhibition schedule.
Walker, backup center Michael Doleac, oft-injured forward Wayne Simien, and a conditional first-round draft pick were sent to Minnesota for swingman Ricky Davis and center Mark Blount - both former Celtics.
The deal gives Miami the third scoring option it wanted in Davis. The Heat will try to fit him in alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade - the 2006 Finals MVP who'll miss a few more weeks while recovering from knee and shoulder surgeries.
Walker helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title but hasn't had the easiest time dealing with Heat coach Pat Riley's strict conditioning standards. He was briefly suspended last year because his body-fat measurement wasn't within team limits, and he came to training camp this month not in the shape Riley wanted.
"It's always difficult to get traded," said Mark Bartelstein, Walker's agent. "It's well-documented there were issues between Pat and Antoine that were out there hanging over everyone's head."
Walker did not play in Miami's final two exhibition games. Riley said he kept him out of Tuesday's preseason finale because, "I know what he can do."
So he'll do it for Minnesota now - or, perhaps, someone else.
The Timberwolves now have 18 players under contract and vice president for basketball operations Kevin McHale said another move is coming to trim the roster - indicating not all the new pieces will actually report to Minnesota.
"We have some other stuff that we're probably going to do inside this deal," McHale said. "A lot of business going on."
Walker averaged career lows of 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 23.3 minutes last season, making only 15 starts.
He is owed about $18 million over the next two seasons.
Davis, who played for the Heat in 2000-01, has been a solid scorer with Cleveland, Boston, and Minnesota, averaging 16.0 points per game since leaving Miami - and is coming off a season where he hit a career-high 40 percent of his 3-point tries, another area where the Heat could use some help.
Blount, who is due $8 million annually for the next three years, averaged 12.3 points and 6.2 rebounds last season for Minnesota.