James Ennis is the only incumbent Miami player at risk of being cut, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Ennis is scheduled to make $845,059 next season, but none of that is guaranteed if he doesn’t make the opening-night roster. Jackson speculates that Greg Whittington could challenge Ennis for the final roster spot, or the Heat could decide to carry just 14 players in hopes of finding someone later in the season. Veteran forward Rasual Butler has reportedly expressed interest in coming to Miami, and former Georgetown center Joshua Smith has a workout scheduled for this week. Jackson says Ennis had a disappointing summer league and is lucky that the Heat haven’t already signed a veteran free agent such as Will Bynum, Carlos Boozer, Ben Gordon, Willie Green, Jordan Hamilton or Luke Ridnour. Jackson notes that Ennis’ situation could change if Mario Chalmers or Chris Andersen is traded for luxury tax relief.
There’s more this morning from Miami:
- Pat Riley marked his 20th anniversary with the franchise this week, and that stability has helped make the Heat a consistent contender, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Riley was hired as coach and team president in 1995, six months after Micky Arison took over as managing general partner. Riley last coached the team in 2008. He and Arison have formed a successful partnership for two decades, with Arison focused on business and Riley focused on basketball. Winderman says this week’s celebration of that milestone shows Arison and Riley are still enjoying the situation too much to move on to anything else.
- Rookie Justise Winslow says his ankle is back to normal after limiting his availability at the end of summer league, Winderman writes in the same piece. “I feel pretty good,” Winslow said. “I took some time off, but really just strengthened my body so I can last a full season, no injuries. I’m just working on all aspects of my body, trying to take care of myself, eat better.”