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Jarvis Varnado, Miami Heat Draft Pick, Will Take His Talents To Italy

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Miami Heat big man Jarvis Varnado apparently saw the writing on the wall and has decided to take his talents away from South Beach and will instead play for Carmatic Pistoia in Italy's second division next season according to BasketNet.

The 6-foot-9, 230 pound power forward out of Mississippi State was drafted by the Heat with the 41st overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.  He's the second American draft pick to head to Europe thus far, following in the footsteps of Mr. Irrelevant Dwayne Collins.

Varnado averaged 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in just over 20 minutes of action for Miami's Summer League team while hitting over 55 percent of his shots.  

Either way, with the signings of Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire since Varnado and fellow big man Dexter Pittman were drafted - along with the camp invite of Shavlik Randolph - no amount of Summer League dominance was going to earn him a spot on the Miami roster.

Varnado is known to be an excellent shot blocker without a lot of polish anywhere else in his repertoire - though he did pick up his rebounding this past season on the way to averaging 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks this past season for the Bulldogs.  

In an ideal world, he will be able to keep getting stronger and develop more of an offensive game while in Italy and then be ready to contribute in the NBA next season after the likely retirement of at least part of Miami's trio of elder statesman in the front court.

The Heat will keep Varnado's rights along with last year's second round pick, Robert Dozier. Dozier played alright in Greece last season, though didn't make the trip to Vegas with the rest of the roster hopefuls after breaking his foot preparing for the Summer League in June.