Miami Wayne Simien's time with the Miami Heat is over. The Heat traded three-time All-Star forward Antoine Walker and former Kansas University standout Simien to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in a five-player deal that came one day after Miami completed a winless preseason.
Walker, backup center Michael Doleac, forward Simien and a conditional first-round draft pick were sent to Minnesota for former Miami swingman Ricky Davis and center Mark Blount.
The Heat will try to fit Davis in alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade.
Simien, the Heat's first-round pick from KU in 2005, missed all but eight games of last season with a recurring bout of salmonella. This preseason season it's been a slow recovery from summertime surgery on his left knee. He has played in only 51 games, averaging 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds. He's played in only one preseason game.
Walker and Doleac could arrive in Minnesota today. Simien won't be brought in right away, which leaves his future in limbo as the Wolves contemplate other moves.
"It's a deal that I'm not sure all the players are going to report here," Wolves' GM Kevin McHale said, meaning Simien actually could be cut or sent to the developmental league with one year remaining on his contract. "We've got to make sure all the players are healthy. We've got some other stuff that we're probably going to do inside this deal. There's a lot of business going on."
Simien will make $997,800 this season. The Wolves hold a team option for the 2008-09 season, meaning they can bring him back or let him become a free agent.
Walker helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title but hasn't always had the easiest time dealing with Heat coach Pat Riley's strict conditioning standards.
Walker did not play in Miami's final two preseason games. "I know what he can do," Riley said.
Walker averaged career-lows of 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 23.3 minutes last season for Miami, making only 15 starts. Walker came off the bench only 15 times in his first nine NBA seasons; he was a backup 126 times in 160 regular-season games with the Heat.