Heat release veteran point guard Arroyo

MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Heat have waived veteran point guard Carlos Arroyo, who started in 42 of the team's 60 games this season, the NBA club said on Tuesday.

To replace Arroyo on the roster, Miami is expected to sign 32-year-old guard Mike Bibby, who bought out his contract with the Washington Wizards on Monday, the Miami Herald said.

"This was a very difficult decision to make because Carlos has done a great job for this team and this organization," Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement.

Puerto Rican-born Arroyo, who was averaging 5.6 points and 2 assists per game, is a nine-year NBA veteran who was recently benched in favor of Mario Chalmers.

Arroyo, who originally signed with Miami as a free agent in October 2009, has averaged 6.7 points and 3.1 assists over his NBA career with six clubs.

The Heat lead the Southeast Division with a 43-17 record and trail the Boston Celtics by a game for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington. Editing by Frank Pingue)