MIAMI -- In search of veteran depth at point guard, the Miami Heat didn't have to look far.
Instead, after short drive from his Pinecrest, Fla., home, former Florida International standout Carlos Arroyo joined the Heat in time for Monday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"The opportunity kind of came quick," an enthusiastic Arroyo said. "Ever since I was in college, I always wanted to be a part of the Heat. I went to school here. My wife's from here."
Out of the NBA since ending the 2007-08 season with Orlando, Arroyo spent last season with Euroleague power Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
Determined to stay closer to home and get back into the NBA, he agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract, after the Heat called his agent Sunday night.
"It was about being in the right situation," Arroyo said. "I had to be patient to wait for this opportunity."
The Heat sought depth at the position after backup point guard Chris Quinn went down last week with a sprained right foot, an injury that is expected to keep him in a walking boot for at least a week.
Arroyo, a 6-foot-2 playmaker with an accurate shot who is considered somewhat of a defensive liability, has started 113 of his 433 NBA games with the Raptors, Nuggets, Jazz, Pistons and Magic. He has averaged 7.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds over his career, shooting .432 from the field and .318 on 3-pointers.
A veteran of international competition with Puerto Rico's national team, he said he opted to play last year in Israel because, "I wanted to play more minutes."
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Arroyo was one of several candidates considered. Heat President Pat Riley stressed last week that because of concerns about the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax on excessive payroll, the Heat only would offer non-guaranteed, one-year contracts to such candidates. For a player of Arroyo's experience, that is $1.1 million. Arroyo's contract would not become fully guaranteed until Jan. 10.
"We've been evaluating several names for a while," Spoelstra said. "We've been through a lot of decision-making. We're not in a panic situation. We wanted to make the right move."
Spoelstra stressed Mario Chalmers remains the team's starting point guard. Chalmers struggled through the first two exhibitions before a solid performance Sunday in a loss to the Spurs that dropped the Heat to 0-3 this preseason.
"I have him planned to come off the bench," Spoelstra said of Arroyo, 30. "But he'll contend for minutes. This is about bolstering our depth."
The addition of Arroyo makes it less likely free-agent guard John Lucas will be able to make the team's final cut, despite solid showings in the past two exhibitions.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade said there is something to be said about increasing the competition at point guard.
"He's a playmaker. He sees the floor very well," Wade said. "He's going to help Mario, as well. His experience is going to help."