Two months ago, it seemed like the Heat might be on the verge of major changes, with Dwyane Wade pushing for a more lucrative deal than the Heat planned for him and uncertainty surrounding Luol Deng and his player option. Deng ultimately opted in, and while Wade opted out, he re-signed with the Heat on a one-year, $20MM deal. Miami also re-signed Goran Dragic and boosted its depth with the additions of Amar’e Stoudemire and Gerald Green. There’s news on Stoudemire amid the latest from South Beach:
- Stoudemire already feels comfortable with the Heat and said today that while he’ll accept whatever his role with the team might be, he feels he’s capable of playing like an All-Star again, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “From playing against Miami, the thing that you learn is that they always have a competitive spirit,” Stoudemire said. “There’s an aura around here that everyone works hard, that you have to be in top shape which is great because I want to be in the best shape of my life going into this season. I want to surprise the world and have a very, very productive year.”
- Hassan Whiteside, who figures to be a hot commodity among free agents in 2016, will likely see only 20-25 minutes per game most nights this season for the Heat, assistant coach Dan Craig tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. However, Whiteside probably wants to have an expanded role in a contract year this season, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in a mailbag column. While Craig cited small ball as a reason to keep the big man’s minutes low, the coach also said Whiteside has made progress toward becoming a better small ball player this summer.
- The Heat and the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce formally extended their one-to-one affiliation deal, the Heat announced. The Skyforce have been Miami’s exclusive D-League partner for the past two seasons even though Miami and Sioux Falls are separated by about 1,800 miles.