Varnado headed to Italy

There’s no room on Miami’s roster now, but the NBA team will retain its rights to the NCAA shot-blocking king.
By Brad Locke
Daily Journal
An increasingly crowded frontcourt has delayed Jarvis Varnado’s NBA debut for a while.
The former Mississippi State standout, who was drafted with the 41st overall pick by Miami this summer, signed with an Italian team over the weekend. He’ll be playing for Carmatic Pistoia, a second-division team in the Italian League.
The 6-foot-9 Varnado, whose 564 career blocks are an NCAA record, was an odd man out after several offseason additions by the Heat, including free agents Chris Bosh and Juwan Howard. Miami also re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.
Varnado wasn’t able to play his way onto the roster, averaging 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in four summer league games.
Miami retains his rights, so Varnado could still don the Heat uniform.
Miami has signed four players from its summer league team, including draft pick Dexter Pittman, a center.
Last season, Pistoia went 16-14 and finished eighth in the 16-team league.
Varnado averaged 13.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.7 blocks his senior year at MSU. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Varnado is the second ex-Bulldog to sign with a European club this summer. Guard Barry Stewart signed with TBB Trier of Germany’s Bundesliga.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or brad.locke@djournal.com.

Brad Locke / NEMS Daily Journal