Heat bring back Birdman

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Updated: 7/11/2013 3:02 pm

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Miami Heat announced the re-signing of center Chris Andersen to a one-year contract on Wednesday, ensuring the entire core group of last season's NBA championship squad will return intact for 2013-14.

Andersen helped fill the Heat's glaring need for capable frontcourt depth after joining the team on January 20. The colorful veteran averaged 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 57.7 percent from the field over 42 regular- season games.

He was also effective in the playoffs, averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20 postseason contests to help Miami to its second consecutive league title. Andersen was a perfect 15-of-15 from the field over the first five games of the Heat's Eastern Conference Finals series against Indiana before being suspended for Game 6 after committing a flagrant foul on the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough.

"We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Miami Heat," said team president Pat Riley. ""We would not have won the championship without him, and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year."

Andersen will be entering his 12th NBA season and has averaged 5.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over 524 career games with Denver (2001-04, 08-12), the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2004-06, 08) and Miami. The 35-year-old was suspended from January 2006-March 2008 for violating the NBA's anti- drug policy.

"I'm excited to be back with the Heat," said Andersen. "I believe we have an opportunity to repeat and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Andersen becomes the third key member of last season's team to remain on the roster. Sixth man Ray Allen exercised a player option on his deal last month, while the Heat picked up the option on starting point guard Mario Chalmers contract.

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