The Heat are starting to focus on the future as this season continues to unravel, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Dwyane Wade‘s departure for Chicago and Chris Bosh‘s ongoing battle with blood clots robbed Miami of two huge talents. On top of that, second-year forward Justise Winslow is out for the year after shoulder surgery and veteran big man Josh McRoberts is sidelined indefinitely with a foot problem. While this appears to be a lost season, Miami is in position to rebuild quickly. At 11-27 and third in our Reverse Standings, the Heat will have a high draft pick this summer. The final two seasons of Bosh’s contract will probably be cleared away by a medical hardship, making Miami a player on the free agent market again. “It’s a competitive league and everybody wants to be that last team, but who has a coherent plan? Who’s committed to that plan? Who’s disciplined for that plan when there’s a lot of noise and it’s not necessarily getting the results that you want?” said coach Eric Spoelstra. “We’re able to see great promise, hope, and progress with this team. If you know anything about our organization, we have a plan.”
There’s more news out of Miami:
- An MRI performed Saturday on guard Josh Richardson‘s left ankle was negative and he is listed as day-to-day, according to Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Center Hassan Whiteside, who has missed four games with a bruised retina, is expected back today.
- Willie Reed made an impression on Spoelstra with his play during Whiteside’s absence, Navarro writes in the same piece. The performance of the second-year center, who signed with Miami over the summer, “definitely earned him more minutes, more opportunities,” Spoelstra said.
- If the Heat are able to get two draft picks for point guard Goran Dragic, one may come well in the future, speculates Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. A scout told Winderman the Heat are unlikely to get a pick anywhere near the top of this year’s lottery by dealing Dragic.
- Miami shouldn’t hesitate to pick up Winslow’s $3.5 million rookie-scale salary for 2018-19, Winderman argues in a separate column. He notes that Winslow, the 10th pick in the 2015 draft, will only be 21 when training camp opens, and although he is coming off a poor shooting season he can contribute as a rebounder, defender and playmaker.