The Heat saw enough good things in summer league from Shabazz Napier, Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson to make them all contenders for the back-up point guard spot next season, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Napier and Johnson were both reserves in Miami this season, while Richardson was the team’s second-round pick in June’s draft. The Heat may need one of them to become the primary back-up for Goran Dragic if Mario Chalmers gets moved to help cut the team’s tax bill. Of the three, only Napier has a fully guaranteed contract for next season. Johnson is scheduled to make $845,059, with 50% being guaranteed after August 1st. Richardson is still unsigned.
There’s more offseason news from Miami:
- James Ennis‘ clunker of a summer league performance was the latest bit of offseason bad news for the young forward, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Ennis had hoped for an expanded role after averaging 5.0 points in 62 games during his rookie season, but he dropped on the depth chart when Miami drafted Justise Winslow and signed Gerald Green as a free agent. Now a poor summer league showing puts Ennis’ future with the Heat in doubt. He is set to make $845,059 next season, but none of his salary is guaranteed until August 1st. “This is the worst summer league I’ve played,” Ennis lamented. “I played better my first year coming from college and from overseas. I know I’ve gotten better, but I’m not proving it. That’s what gets me upset. It seems like I haven’t gotten better.”
- Amar’e Stoudemire has changed his mind about the Heat in the past five months, Jackson writes in a separate story. Stoudemire said Miami “can be a contender in the East for sure” after signing as a free agent July 10th. However, after his February buyout with the Knicks, he didn’t consider the Heat because he wanted to join a team with a shot at a championship. Stoudemire wound up signing with Dallas.
- Winslow, Miami’s first-round pick in last month’s draft, has been getting advice from veteran guard Dwyane Wade about life in the NBA, Jackson writes in the same story. “He’s just helping me get adjusted from everything from the lifestyle to the duration of the season,” Winslow said, “how to take care of my body, diet and nutrition. Everything has been helping me make a smoother transition.”