After starting the year in New York, getting traded to Washington on the first day of training camp, then getting dealt to Denver at the trade deadline, Ronny Turiaf has finally found a new home in Miami. Turiaf was bought out by Denver on Sunday immediately after the three-team deal that also involved the Wizards and the Los Angeles Clippers and quickly made a decision after clearing waivers.
“We are very happy to be able to add an experienced veteran center at this stage of the season,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. “Ronny’s energy will be a great addition and bolster our front line.”
Turiaf played just four games for the Wizards this season, totaling six points, 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and three blocks in 58 minutes. He hasn’t played since breaking his left hand on Jan. 1 against Boston but was activated two days before the trade deadline. Turiaf broke the same hand last summer while training with the French national team during the European basketball championships.
Earlier this month, Turiaf had expressed a desire to get back on the floor but also a need to be patient as his hand healed. “The man upstairs, the great architect, whatever you want to call him, has plans for me and it’s just a matter of me just walking in the path that’s laid in front of me,” Turiaf said recently. “I know, somebody told me a quote a long time ago when I was in college. ‘If you want to make God laugh, then tell him your plans.’ ”
Turiaf didn’t play much for the team, but his presence was felt by many of the players in Washington. He connected with rookie Jan Vesely and was friends with fellow countryman Kevin Seraphin, who also played for France last summer. The night of the trade, Vesely hung Turiaf’s No. 21 jersey in an empty seat next to his on the team plane.
A native of Martinique, Turiaf also received interest from Boston, but now has a chance to chase a championship with the Heat. “I think that’s a good pick up for them,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “He’s an experienced big man. He does what he does. He defends, rebounds. Knows how to play. You don’t have to run anything for him.”