A comment from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may provide a clue about the future of Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Spoelstra praised the professionalism of both players, who have been rumored to be on the trading block to ease the Heat’s luxury tax bill, but he added, “They know we care about them and they know it’s a business.” Winderman takes that to mean that if young point guards Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson can mature quickly and the Heat have enough quality big men, Chalmers and Andersen may both be gone by February’s trade deadline.
There’s more news from Miami:
- Spoelstra’s biggest task as Heat coach will be turning a talented fantasy league roster into a real winner, Winderman writes in the same story. During the offseason, Miami added Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green and Justise Winslow to an already productive roster, but concerns remain about pace of play, defense and a shortage of three-point shooters. “You have to be able to adapt in this business,” Spoelstra said, “and figure out where your strengths are and try to maximize those and minimize your weaknesses more than other teams.”
- Spoelstra said he has a better understanding of how to use Luol Deng, who is entering his second training camp with Miami, Winderman writes in a separate story. Deng, who will be a free agent next summer, averaged 14.0 points and 5.2 rebounds in 72 games after signing as a free agent in 2014 for two years at nearly $20MM. “We got together this summer” Spoelstra said, “and we both just kind of laughed, and kind of said, ‘You know even when you’re a veteran coach or a veteran player and you come together, it does take some time to build a relationship, build a comfort level,’ and we started to hit our stride in the spring last year.”
- Five league insiders all agree the Heat got good value in signing Gerald Green to a $1.4MM deal, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The paper assembled a panel of two scouts, two GMs and an assistant coach to rate the Heat’s offseason. The reviews were also mostly positive on Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, and most think Stoudemire will be productive, but only in limited minutes.