Miami signs ex-Blazer with off-court woes

Updated: January 26, 2005, 10:24 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat signed free-agent forward Qyntel Woods, waived forward Jerome Beasley and placed Wesley Person on the injured list Wednesday.

Qyntel Woods

The 6-foot-8 Woods was waived Friday by the Portland Trail Blazers after admitting in court that he mistreated his dog. He hasn't played a game this season after the team suspended him indefinitely without pay after the allegations of animal abuse. He averaged 3.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in two seasons with the Blazers.

"How many of us at 18 or 20 make a lot of mistakes?" Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said.

The 23-year-old Woods pleaded guilty to first-degree misdemeanor animal abuse. He was sentenced to 12 months' probation and 80 hours of community service.

In October, Woods was suspended for five games without pay for violating the league's drug policy. His suspension was to begin with the first game he is eligible to play: Wednesday's contest against the Toronto Raptors.

Van Gundy said Woods will work out in Miami during the suspension.

"He's a very athletic young guy who's got good skills putting the ball on the floor," Van Gundy said.

Shaquille O'Neal said Woods will help.

"The addition of him is going to make us a little bit better, but we still have to do the little intangibles before we can call ourselves a great team," O'Neal said. We have a lot of athletes. We just need to start putting pieces together. One of our pieces is consistency. We have to start being consistent and hungrier."

Person is out with patella tendinitis in his right knee. In 16 games this season, Person averaged 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds a game.

Beasley was the 33rd overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, but appeared in just two games for Miami, averaging a point in 2.5 minutes of play. He began the regular season on the injured list with a lower back strain.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press