Miami Heat – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-04T03:26:28Z WordPress Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Team Needs To Show Riley It Doesn't Need Help]]> 2020-08-04T03:22:27Z 2020-08-03T23:53:42Z
  • The Heat need to show team president Pat Riley that he doesn’t need to use a chunk of his cap space this offseason on other teams’ free agents, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald opines. Miami has six impending free agents and the best-case scenario would be to re-sign some of those players to one-year deals and then dive into a much more attractive free agent market next summer. The Heat defeated Denver and lost to Toronto in their first two seeding games.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan Win Coaches Association Award]]> 2020-08-03T16:37:33Z 2020-08-03T16:37:33Z Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and Thunder head coach Billy Donovan have been voted the co-coaches of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

    This award, introduced in 2017, isn’t the NBA’s official Coach of the Year award, which is voted on by media members and is represented by the Red Auerbach Trophy. The winner of that award is expected to be announced at some point during the postseason this summer.

    The Coaches Association’s version of the award – named after longtime NBCA executive director Michael H. Goldberg – is voted on by the NBA’s 30 head coaches, none of whom can vote for himself.

    Budenholzer, who also won the NBCA’s award in 2019, has had even more success with the East-leading Bucks this season. His team has a 54-13 record and – before the season was suspended – had been on pace to surpass the 60 victories that last year’s Milwaukee squad racked up.

    As for Donovan, he has exceeded expectations with a Thunder team that was viewed as a borderline playoff contender and a candidate for a full-fledged rebuild. Instead of returning to the lottery following the offseason departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Oklahoma City is 41-24, good for sixth in the Western Conference. A strong finish over the next couple weeks could result in a top-four record in the conference for the Thunder.

    Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, widely viewed as the favorite to win the official Coach of the Year award in 2020, was one vote away from finishing in a three-way tie with Budenholzer and Donovan, per Wojnarowski.

    Sources tell ESPN that Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies), Nate McMillan (Pacers), Erik Spoelstra (Heat), and Brad Stevens (Celtics), and Frank Vogel (Lakers) also received votes.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Offseason Extension Unlikely For Bam Adebayo?]]> 2020-07-28T17:52:09Z 2020-07-28T17:52:09Z After a breakout season in 2019/20, big man Bam Adebayo will be eligible for a rookie scale contract extension this offseason, but the Heat may wait until 2021 – when he reaches restricted free agency – to lock him up, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

    [RELATED: Players Eligible For Rookie Scale Extensions In 2020 Offseason]

    Within his larger look at NBA team owners’ financial situations, Windhorst said the Heat “might” not extend Adebayo this offseason because it will help them preserve cap room for 2021, when they want to pursue Giannis Antetokounmpo and/or other star free agents. Addressing the situation in a podcast, Windhorst took a stronger stance.

    “He’s not going to get a max contract in the offseason,” Windhorst said of Adebayo, per RealGM. “Even though I think he should. Because the Heat are going to save money for the 2021 summer. That’s a storyline that I can almost guarantee for you: Bam Adebayo will not sign a contract extension this offseason. It will be, ‘Bam, we’ll take care of you later.'”

    This isn’t the first time this idea has been broached. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald suggested in the spring that the Heat would consider the possibility of waiting on Adebayo’s new deal, especially with the coronavirus pandemic expected to limit the amount the salary cap will increase within the next year or two.

    If he doesn’t sign an extension during the 2020 offseason, Adebayo would enter the 2021 offseason with a cap hold of $15.35MM. He’d be eligible to sign for up to five years with the Heat at that time, and Miami would have the right of first refusal, meaning the club could match any offer sheet he signs with another team. As long as the Heat carry that $15.35MM cap hold, they’d be able to go over the cap to re-sign Adebayo once they use up the rest of their space.

    If the Heat were to sign Adebayo to a maximum-salary extension this offseason, they’d enter the 2021 offseason with that max salary already on their books. That exact amount will depend on where the ’21/22 cap lands, but there’s a good chance Adebayo would be making at least $28-29MM.

    In other words, the Heat could generate upwards of $13-14MM in extra cap flexibility in 2021 by waiting to sign Adebayo, then going over the cap to lock him up. For his part, Adebayo could end up with an identical deal whether he signs this year or next.

    Assuming Adebayo is on board with the plan, it makes sense for the team to go this route. Often, a club will sign a young star to a max-salary extension as soon as possible to show its commitment to him and to give the player financial security so that he doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of getting injured in a contract year. The Heat would surely be willing to take that path as well if Adebayo pushes for it. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel observes, the organization can’t – and won’t – let the situation get contentious.

    But if Adebayo is comfortable taking on a little risk to assist in the Heat’s pursuit of roster upgrades, it could be a win-win for the two sides — Miami would gain extra flexibility, while Adebayo could eventually get his max-salary contract with an even stronger roster around him.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Financial Effects Of Pandemic Likely To Impact NBA Offseason]]> 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z A number of team owners around the NBA are feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as Brian Windhorst of writes. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, for instance, has seen business fall off precipitously at his restaurants, hotels, and casinos, while Heat owner Micky Arison has had to temporarily shut down his Carnival Cruise Lines.

    While some team owners have been hit harder than others by the effects of COVID-19, there’s an expectation that the pandemic will have a league-wide impact on spending this offseason, as Windhorst writes. Some teams may have to make difficult financial decisions that could result in unexpected player movement.

    “With few exceptions, no one wants to make long-term commitments right now,” one general manager told ESPN. “You can already feel it coming.”

    In addition to the teams that may feel pressure to dump pricey contracts or avoid expensive free agent commitments, some clubs may face financial constraints in the draft. Although selling second-round draft picks remains fairly common, no NBA team has sold a first-round pick since the Nuggets did so with the No. 27 selection in the 2013 draft, according to Windhorst. Some people around the league believe that teams will consider the possibility again in 2020.

    “I suspect first-round picks will be for sale in this draft,” a team executive said. “We haven’t really seen that in a decade.”

    Here are a few more noteworthy details and quotes from Windhorst’s examination of NBA teams’ finances:

    • Warriors owner Joe Lacob has told his fellow owners that he’s exploring a deal with Goldman Sachs to raise up to $250MM to manage expenses, per Windhorst. Sources tell ESPN that other team owners are considering ways to raise capital as well, with some – including the Rockets – pursuing legal action against companies that have denied coronavirus-related insurance claims.
    • Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta recently took out a $300MM loan and is more leveraged than many other owners, since he purchased the franchise fairly recently, but he continues to insist he’s not looking to sell any shares in the team. Brokers who have approached him representing potential bidders have been told the same, reports Windhorst.
    • Nets owner Joseph Tsai recently sold about 25% of his shares in tech company Alibaba, according to Windhorst. Other owners might not have similar opportunities to raise capital. “I don’t know what will happen, but I may lose $50MM next season,” one owner told Windhorst. “If that happens, I have three options: I could borrow the money, I could sell part of the team or I could do a cash call and me and my partners would have to write checks.”
    • NBA rules allow team owners to borrow $325MM against the equity in their franchises. A majority of NBA teams – including the Warriors – have maxed out that credit, sources tell Windhorst.
    • Although the Buss family’s pockets aren’t as deep as some of their fellow owners, the Lakers bring in about $200MM annually from their local TV deal and aren’t expected to have any issues re-signing Anthony Davis, writes Windhorst.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Adebayo, Nunn Confirm They Dealt With COVID-19]]> 2020-07-27T14:51:43Z 2020-07-27T14:51:43Z
  • Heat starters Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn confirmed that their arrivals to Orlando were delayed by positive COVID-19 tests, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Adebayo said that he was essentially asymptomatic, while Nunn had “mild symptoms,” per Winderman. “It felt like a common cold, to be honest,” Nunn said. “I’m just thankful I got over it.”
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Bam, Nunn Could Play In Scrimmage]]> 2020-07-25T12:39:02Z 2020-07-25T01:38:44Z
  • Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn could make cameo appearances in the Heat’s scrimmage on Saturday, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel“If they do, it’s just to get their feet wet,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. Both players arrived at Orlando’s campus on Tuesday.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Markieff Morris Clear Quarantine]]> 2020-07-23T19:35:20Z 2020-07-23T19:35:20Z Three more players have cleared quarantine at the NBA campus and are free to join their respective teams for practices. Heat big man Bam Adebayo, Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, and Lakers forward Markieff Morris have all returned the necessary two negative coronavirus tests after arriving at Walt Disney World on Tuesday, according to reports.

    Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, who confirmed (via Twitter) that Adebayo and Nunn are out of quarantine, tweets that the plan is for the two Miami starters to conduct individual workouts today. The Heat will resume practicing on Friday before participating in their second inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, against the Jazz.

    It remains to be seen whether Adebayo and Nunn will be ready to go in time for either one of the Heat’s upcoming scrimmages, but with both players set to return to practice, they should be ready to go when the club plays the first of its eight seeding games on August 1 vs. Denver.

    As for Morris, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times reported (via Twitter) that he has cleared quarantine. The veteran forward, of course, won’t be available for the Lakers during tonight’s inter-squad scrimmage against Dallas, but figures to return to L.A.’s rotation soon.

    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn Join Heat In Orlando]]> 2020-07-22T01:49:48Z 2020-07-21T23:54:33Z Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo and 2020 Rookie of the Year candidate and starting point guard Kendrick Nunn have arrived at the Disney World campus in Orlando ahead of the NBA’s season start, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

    Both players will need to quarantine in their hotel rooms for two days, pass a physical, and notch consecutive negative COVID-19 tests before rejoining Miami for practices and scrimmages.

    A reason for the two Miami starters’ absence was not given, though last week in a conference call head coach Erik Spoelstra had noted that two Heat players were absent while continuing to recover from the coronavirus. Forward Derrick Jones Jr. also dealt with a bout of COVID-19 in June, though he has made a full recovery and is already with the team.

    The Heat are scheduled to play the Nuggets in their first game of the NBA summer restart on Saturday, August 1. Led by Adebayo and veteran All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, Miami is currently the No. 4 seed in the East with a 41-24 record.

    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Heat Notes: Herro, Adebayo, Nunn, Waiters]]> 2020-07-20T02:01:00Z 2020-07-19T23:03:51Z Heat guard Tyler Herro has lofty goals for the future and is determined to improve on the defensive end of the floor, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. 

    Herro, an accomplished offensive player who has averaged 12.9 points per game in his rookie season, believes it’s imperative to take the next step defensively in order to complete his quest of becoming an All-Star player.

    “My thing is, I don’t want to just be a scorer. I plan on being an All Star one day and that’s what I’m set to work out to be,” Herro said. “I know it’s going to take a lot obviously and it’s going to happen on both ends of the floor. I’m allowing coach Spo’ and the rest of the staff to push me every day.”

    Herro, 20, was the No. 13 pick of the 2019 NBA draft out of Kentucky. He’s worked closely with Heat assistants Chris Quinn and Anthony Carter this season, also receiving clips from his trainer in Wisconsin to help him become a better defensive player.

    “He sends me clips of Avery Bradley, Patrick Beverley, guys that are on the ball and get into the ball when ball screens come,” Herro said. “There are a bunch of guys who are really good at what they do.

    “I know it’s a long road and a long process. Defensively is the biggest area I need to improve in. My offense is fine as of now.”

    There’s more out of Miami today:

    • Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn have yet to join the Heat in Orlando, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel relays (via Twitter). Both players remain away from the organization and haven’t reported for the league’s mandatory quarantine period. Miami’s first game falls on Saturday, August 1 against Denver.
    • The Heat may have to survive for the immediate future without Nunn and Adebayo, Winderman cautions. Whether the team’s shorthanded roster will be sustainable is unclear, with Nunn and Adebayo representing two-fifths of the starting lineup this season. There is no concrete timetable for their return.
    • Winderman ponders in a separate story whether Dion Waiters won his stand-off with the Heat from earlier in the season. Miami suspended Waiters multiple times for team violations and could’ve kept him on the roster if they wished, ultimately choosing to trade him to Memphis in February. Waiters signed with the Lakers after receiving his release from the Grizzlies and is currently gearing up for a deep playoff run.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Jones Talks COVID-19, Free Agency; Heat Interested In Meeting With Bane]]> 2020-07-15T20:53:24Z 2020-07-15T20:53:24Z
  • Heat forward Derrick Jones contracted COVID-19 in June, but was fortunate not to significantly affected by the virus, he told reporters on Tuesday. “I never felt a symptom at all,” Jones said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Jones also spoke about his desire to remain with Miami in free agency this fall. “I wouldn’t want to be on any other team,” he said. “I love it here.”
  • The Heat have shown interest in meeting with TCU prospect Desmond Bane, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Bane, the No. 42 player on ESPN’s big board, is one of the top shooters in the 2020 draft class, having knocked down 43.3% of his three-point attempts in four college seasons.
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    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Heat Notes: Adebayo, Nunn, Riley, Leonard, Future]]> 2020-07-13T01:39:52Z 2020-07-12T20:27:44Z The Heat held their first team practice since March 10 on Friday, though veteran guard Goran Dragic revealed in a conference call this week that two players were missing: Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

    Miami, as Jackson writes, currently has two unidentified players recovering from COVID-19. Head coach Erik Spoelstra declined to comment on how many players attended Friday’s practice, only adding that the team had a “full gym” for the session.

    “Hopefully Bam can come and K-Nunn and we can be a whole team and make some damage,” Dragic said. “Some guys are not here. We are eager, expecting them to come, hopefully to be healthy and we can all start practicing together.”

    Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr., who tested positive for coronavirus toward the end of June, has fully recovered and is with the team in Orlando, Jackson notes. Miami will look to build on its high-energy practice as it shifts its focus toward a July 22 scrimmage against Sacramento.

    “We had a good workout, looked like a Miami Heat practice, had a bunch of extra energy to get out,” Spoelstra said. “Guys enjoyed being around each other. You could feel the genuine enthusiasm.”

    There’s more out of Miami today:

    • Meyers Leonard appears to have fully recovered from an ankle injury sustained in early February, Jackson notes in the same story. Spoelstra mentioned that Leonard is a full go, is ready for contact, and is moving great. He’s averaged 6.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 20.1 minutes per game this year, shooting 43% from 3-point range.
    • Heat president Pat Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg will remain in south Florida during the NBA’s resumed season, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Vice president of basketball operations Adam Simon traveled with the team to Disney, as league rules mandate that each team has at least one senior basketball executive on site.
    • Winderman examines in a separate story whether the team has enough assets to put together an attractive trade package instead of waiting for free agency in 2021. Miami has long been linked to stars such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo, both of whom are set to become free agents at the end of next season.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Community Shootaround: Eastern Conference Seeding]]> 2020-07-10T17:13:12Z 2020-07-10T16:50:07Z Although the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference will still be up for grabs when the NBA’s eight “seeding” games begin on July 30, that race has lost much of its luster as a result of the injuries, COVID-19 cases, and opt-outs that have decimated the Nets‘ and Wizards‘ rosters.

    Technically, the Magic (30-35) are the No. 8 seed at the moment, but they’re just a half-game back of Brooklyn (30-34) for the No. 7 spot and seem likely to pass a Nets team that will be without at least seven players, including Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and DeAndre Jordan.

    That would leave the Nets to hang onto the No. 8 seed by holding off the Wizards (24-40), who will be missing Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, and John Wall, but could force a play-in tournament if they finish within four games of Orlando or Brooklyn. Washington is also currently without Thomas Bryant (coronavirus), Gary Payton II (coronavirus), and Garrison Mathews (personal), though some or all of those players may eventually rejoin the team.

    While that race for the seventh and eighth seeds may not be quite as dramatic as the NBA would like, there could still be some interesting jockeying for position further up the standings in the East.

    The 53-12 Bucks have a 6.5-game cushion over the 46-18 Raptors, so Milwaukee will likely clinch the top seed even if they’re on cruise control during the seeding games. But Toronto’s lead on the third-seeded Celtics (43-21) is just three games, and Boston’s eight-game schedule looks less daunting than the Raptors’ slate.

    Five of the Celtics’ eight games are against the Nets, Wizards, Magic, Grizzlies, and Trail Blazers, all of whom are at or near the bottom of the playoff race. The Raptors, meanwhile, will face Orlando and Memphis, but also have games against the Lakers, Heat, Nuggets, Sixers, and Bucks. The Celtics and Raptors face each other as well, in a game that will have important tiebreaker implications.

    That No. 2 seed isn’t as important as it once was, given the lack of home court advantage available, but it could mean facing the Magic instead of the Pacers, which should be a more favorable matchup even with Victor Oladipo sidelined.

    Speaking of the Pacers, they’re currently tied at 39-26 with the Sixers, with the No. 5 seed up for grabs. Clinching that fifth seed would likely mean securing a first-round matchup with the fourth-seeded Heat instead of the Celtics or Raptors.

    The Heat, meanwhile, are 41-24, putting them two games behind Boston and two games ahead of the Sixers and Pacers. They seem like a relatively safe bet to hold their position in the No. 4 vs. 5 matchup, but a hot or cold streak in Orlando could affect their spot in the standings, especially with games vs. Boston, Toronto, and Indiana (twice) on tap.

    What do you think? What do you expect the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference to look like by the time the playoffs begin? Will they look relatively similar to the current standings, or will there be some shuffling that results in some unexpected first-round matchups?

    Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Heat Viewed As Threat For Oladipo In 2021?]]> 2020-07-10T14:48:10Z 2020-07-10T14:48:10Z Pacers guard Victor Oladipo isn’t set to reach free agency until the 2021 offseason, but now that he has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, he’ll likely be entering a contract year the next time we see him on the court. As a result, there has been increased speculation as of late about his long-term future.

    As J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star details, that speculation only figures to increase following Oladipo’s decision to sit out the NBA restart. Although Oladipo is considered to be sidelined for injury reasons, meaning he won’t forfeit his remaining salary, the two-time All-Star made the decision and announced it himself without giving the Pacers a heads-up.

    As Michael notes, the Pacers consider themselves a player-friendly organization and have given Oladipo the leeway to make such decisions — he also announced his return date from his torn quad tendon in January. On top of that, Michael points out that Oladipo was always expected to test the free agent market in 2021 rather than signing an early extension with Indiana, since that will give him the opportunity to maximize his earnings.

    A pair of league sources tell The Indianapolis Star that Oladipo will be prioritizing two things in free agency: The most money possible and the chance to compete for championships. The Pacers, who will hold Oladipo’s Bird rights, will be in position to offer him more money and more years than any rival suitor, so if he feels good about the club’s chances to make deep postseason runs, Indiana should be in the driver’s seat to re-sign him.

    Still, Oladipo may consider other options. If he does, Michael suggests that the Knicks aren’t the most logical landing spot, despite the presence of Oladipo’s former agent Leon Rose in the front office. According to Michael, the “strongest preliminary indication” is that the Heat would be the biggest threat to sign Oladipo.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the Heat linked to Oladipo. Miami is expected to have cap room available in 2021 and president Pat Riley intends to go star-hunting. Giannis Antetokounmpo has frequently been cited as the team’s No. 1 target, but if Giannis re-ups with the Bucks, Oladipo could emerge as Miami’s top priority. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last month that the Heat have “made it known” they intend to pursue both Antetokounmpo and Oladipo in 2021, if possible.

    As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald details, there would be a number of cap obstacles to overcome if the Heat try to land both players, particularly given the uncertain impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the salary cap going forward. But as we saw when they acquired Jimmy Butler last summer, the Heat have shown a willingness to get creative with sign-and-trades to a acquire a maximum-salary player even when they don’t have the cap room to sign him outright.

    We’re still a year away from Oladipo reaching the open market, and plenty could happen between now and then to shift the outlook of his free agency — he’ll need to look like his old self in 2020/21 to even be assured of maximum-salary offers, for instance. For now though, based on Michael’s report and others, it sounds like the Pacers are preparing to have to ward off the Heat to retain their 28-year-old star.

    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Heat Have Another Positive COVID-19 Test]]> 2020-07-05T21:28:03Z 2020-07-04T19:44:47Z Another Heat player has tested positive for the coronavirus, a league source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Reports earlier this week indicated Miami had two other players who came back positive in the most recent round of testing, which forced the team to close its practice facility for a second time Friday.

    Jackson isn’t identifying the first two players, but a source tells The Herald that they’re both part of the rotation. Those players are in quarantine and are expected to be ready when the season resumes, even though they won’t travel with the Heat to Walt Disney World next week.

    Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. also tested positive in late June. He remains in quarantine, but is participating in individual workouts assigned by the team.

    At least one Heat staff member also had a positive test, a source tells Jackson.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Heat Close Facility For Second Time Following New COVID-19 Case]]> 2020-07-03T19:12:53Z 2020-07-03T19:12:53Z The Heat have once again closed their AmericanAirlines Arena practice facility for player workouts, reports Ethan Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports (Twitter link).

    According to Skolnick, a second Heat player has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the shutdown. Miami previously closed its facility following Derrick Jonespositive COVID-19 test. It’s not clear in this case which player tested positive for the virus, but it’s a rotation player, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).

    It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Heat keep their building close for workouts until the team travels to the Walt Disney World campus next week. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald suggests (via Twitter) that the club is likely to resume its workouts in Orlando, where group activities will be permitted for players who return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

    The Heat are one of a number of teams that have temporarily closed their facilities following positive coronavirus tests. The Nuggets, Suns, Clippers, and Nets are also known to have done so, though some have since reopened.

    Coronavirus testing will still take place at AmericanAirlines Arena while the practice facility is closed, Skolnick notes.