Heat makes its pitch for Howard's services

July 13, 1996|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

A delegation from the Miami Heat -- led by coach and team president Pat Riley -- met with Juwan Howard and his agent for three hours early yesterday in an attempt to persuade the free-agent forward to head south.

The Heat was the last team to meet with Howard during the initial rounds of talks, which began with the Bullets on Thursday evening and ended with a session with the Heat that ended at 5 a.m. yesterday.

Miami is the team with the most money to spend during the free-agent sweepstakes (a reported $13.1 million) and, with reports that Gary Payton will re-sign with Seattle, the Heat likely will dangle large numbers of dollars in an attempt to lure Howard.

There were no face-to-face meetings between Bullets general manager Wes Unseld and Howard's agent, David Falk, yesterday. Falk is scheduled to leave the country on vacation late next week and would like to wrap up the Howard contract talks a few days before that. The third-year forward likely will sign a long-term deal worth between $11 million and $12 million per season.

Pub Date: 7/13/96

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