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Miami Heat

Spoelstra on McGruder Making Roster

 The Heat announcing that Rodney McGruder made the team’s regular season roster may have surprised some around the league, but coach Erik Spoelstra loves the player’s work ethic and grit, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. “You love his perseverance, his fortitude, the grit,” Spoelstra said. “These things you can’t teach, you have to go through life experiences to develop it. The way he came through is almost text book in how you would want to develop a player — go overseas, learn how to handle more responsibilities and then start the process of training camp and summer league. Then, play a season and a half with our D-League team under our staff and really develop there and then finish off with another summer league, a full summer of development, a training camp, all the way to the 11th hour. And he just pushed through and persevered and worked on just getting better as a basketball player. You really root for guys like that. By the end of it, he really felt like a veteran Miami Heat player through all those experiences. But a lot of guys don’t have the type of makeup to be able to go through all those experiences without getting discouraged.

Offseason In Review: Miami Heat

Over the next several weeks, Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2016 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2016/17 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Miami Heat.

Free agent signings:

Camp invitees:


  • Acquired Luke Babbitt from the Pelicans in exchange for the Pelicans’ own 2018 second-round pick (previously traded to Miami) and cash.

Draft picks:

  • None

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Check out our salary cap snapshot for the Miami Heat right here.

Jan 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson (8) passes around Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the second quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY SportsWhen LeBron James returned home to Cleveland two summers ago, the Heat moved on to Plan B, which was to rebuild a title contender around Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Now it’s time for Plan C.

Wade, the cornerstone of the franchise for the past 13 years, signed with the Bulls in July after a contract dispute. Bosh faces an uncertain future after failing his training camp physical because of a lingering problem with blood clots. The Heat underwent a massive roster overhaul during the summer and now seem like fringe playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Free agency got off to a great start for Miami, as center Hassan Whiteside opted in the early-morning hours of July 1st to remain with the Heat. Miami didn’t have Bird rights on Whiteside, who met with Dallas and had a session scheduled with Portland before making his decision. After being out of the NBA for two seasons, Whiteside signed with Miami in November of 2014 and quickly developed into a defensive force. He led the league in blocked shots by a wide margin last season with 3.68 per game, along with 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.

Whiteside’s new maximum-salary deal paved the way for Wade’s decision to leave Miami. Wade was angry that the Heat weren’t willing to give him a max offer as well, considering that he accepted less than his market value for years to give the franchise enough cap room to bring in James and Bosh. As negotiations with Miami deteriorated in early July, Wade accepted a two-year, $47MM offer from Chicago. His departure not only created a hole in the lineup at shooting guard, it left the psychological scar of losing the most accomplished player in franchise history.

That feeling was compounded last month when Bosh, the only remaining member of the Big Three, was unable to pass a physical administered before the start of training camp. Bosh, who has seen his past two seasons cut short by blood clots, had worked throughout the offseason to prepare for camp and had proposed taking a new medication that would be out of his system by game time. However, the Heat’s reluctance to accept that plan combined with his lack of medical clearance probably means that Bosh has played his last game for the franchise.

The other defining event of Miami’s offseason was a four-year, $50MM offer sheet the Nets extended to backup guard Tyler Johnson. The contract was backloaded to make it difficult for the Heat to match, with annual salaries of $5.628MM, $5,881,260, $18,858,765 and $19,631,975. Miami decided to match anyway and made a slew of moves beforehand. In one day, the Heat added free agents Wayne Ellington, James Johnson and Willie Reed, swung a trade with the Pelicans for Luke Babbitt, re-signed veteran big man Udonis Haslem and then matched Johnson. It’s up to the third-year guard to prove he can earn that big-money deal after playing just 36 games at the NBA level last season and averaging 8.7 points and 2.2 assists per night.

But the Heat weren’t done adding free agents. They also signed Knicks forward Derrick Williams for one season at $4.598MM and Thunder shooting guard Dion Waiters for two years at $5.926MM with a player option on the second season. In addition, Miami re-signed veteran point guard Beno Udrih, who accepted a controversial buyout last season that helped the Heat escape luxury tax penalties. Udrih was waived Saturday, but still received a guaranteed veteran’s minimum deal of $1.5MM, which was a nice reward for giving up $90K in the buyout. He has since been claimed off waivers by Detroit, which absolves the team of any cap hit.

After a summer of turnover, the Heat may not be done with roster moves. They were rumored to be discussing a deal with the Kings that would send Goran Dragic to Sacramento in exchange for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. Gay has made it known that he plans to opt out of his contract next summer and end his relationship with the Kings, but he might be interested in a long-term future in South Florida.

Draft night was quiet in Miami as the Heat didn’t have a pick in either round. Their first-rounder was shipped to Philadelphia, which used it to take Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at No. 24, and their second-rounder went to Boston, which selected Ben Bentil at No. 51.

After a seven-game loss to Toronto in the conference semifinals, the Heat entered the offseason hoping they could re-sign Whiteside to combine with Wade, Bosh and Dragic as the core of one of the East’s best teams. But keeping their star center was about the only predictable thing that happened since last season ended. The roster overhaul saw veteran free agents Luol Deng, Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire and Gerald Green all leave town, forcing the Heat to start rebuilding around their young talent.

Now that the Big Three era is over in Miami, fans can expect change to continue. None of the five outside free agents the Heat brought in has a commitment beyond this season. That gives the team lots of flexibility for deals during the year and a chance to chase elite free agents next summer if Bosh’s salary is cleared off the books. Regardless of this year’s win-loss record, fans shouldn’t get too comfortable with the current Heat roster. Chances are strong that it will look much different by next October.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Claim Udrih Off Waivers, Waive McCallum

5:50pm: Detroit has confirmed the moves via press release.

4:37pm: The Pistons have waived Ray McCallum to clear a roster spot for Udrih, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press reports (on Twitter).

4:17pm: The Pistons, who are in need of backcourt depth, have taken to the waiver wire to help fill that need, with the team claiming Beno Udrih off waivers from the Heat, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). Detroit is now responsible for the veteran’s cap hit of $980,431 as a result of the claim, which gets Miami off the hook for that amount. With Udrih earning the veteran’s minimum this season, Detroit did not need to use an exception to add him to the team. Udrih’s actual salary for 2016/17 is approximately $1.5MM.

Udrih played 36 games with Miami last season before agreeing to a buyout in February to help the team avoid the luxury tax, which certainly gained him some fans within the organization. In those 36 games for the Heat last season, Udrih averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per outing. He shot .434/.333/.882 from the field.

With starter Reggie Jackson likely sidelined until mid-November due to injury, Udrih will see minutes off the bench for Detroit.

Heat Rumors: Weber, Udrih, McGruder, Dragic

The Heat plan to send point guard Briante Weber to their D-League team in South Dakota if he clears waivers, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Weber was among five players released Saturday as Miami trimmed its roster to the limit of 15. The 23-year-old Weber is trying to come back from from tears in the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee that he suffered in January. He had 19 steals in 149 minutes during the preseason, but struggled with his shot and had 20 turnovers to go with 23 assists. Jackson writes that Miami officials believe Weber, who has a has a $328K guarantee, is an “intriguing” prospect, but needs regular playing time to develop his game.

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • Veteran point guard Beno Udrih, who was also waived Saturday, will receive the $1.5MM veteran’s minimum, Jackson notes in the same piece. That’s much more than the $90K he sacrificed as part of a controversial buyout last season that helped the franchise escape the luxury tax. Udrih reportedly passed up several overseas opportunities to re-sign with Miami.
  • Getting rid of Weber and Udrih leaves the Heat without a proven backup at point guard, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami opted to keep  6’5″ shooting guard Rodney McGruder, a key player for the Heat’s affiliate in Sioux Falls, which won the D-League title last season. McGruder had an impressive preseason, averaging 7.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 152 minutes of action. Winderman believes injuries to Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington could make McGruder a rotation player in three-guard lineups when the season starts.
  • The Heat have told Goran Dragic that they aren’t trying to trade him, but that situation could change as the season wears on, claims ESPN’s Marc Stein. A slow start could alter the front office’s thinking about the 30-year-old point guard, who still has four years and more than $70MM remaining on the contract he signed last summer. There have been rumors that Miami was talking about sending Dragic to Sacramento in exchange for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison.

Heat Part Ways With Five Players

3:06pm: The Heat have announced via press release that the moves are official.

1:40pm: The Heat intend to part ways with Briante Weber, Beno Udrih, Okaro White, Luis Montero and Vashil Fernandez, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays (All Twitter links). The team will be on the hook for $100K for White, $327,989 for Weber and $980,431 for Udrih, unless those players are claimed off waivers by another team.

Udrih played 36 games with Miami last season before agreeing to a buyout in February to help the team avoid the luxury tax, which certainly gained him some fans within the organization. In those 36 games for the Heat last season, Udrih averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per outing. He shot .434/.333/.882 from the field.

Weber, 23, appeared in a combined seven games with Miami and Memphis in 2015/16. He averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per outing while shooting .359/.000/.750.

White went undrafted out of Florida State in 2014 and then headed overseas, spending the 2014/15 campaign with the Italian club Granarolo Bologna, where he averaged 12.2 points and 6.9 rebounds on the season. White then headed to Greece, spending this past season with Aris BC, notching averages of 13.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.8 minutes per outing. He shot .465/.337/.791 from the field on the year.

A 6’7″ swingman from the Dominican Republic, Montero signed with the Heat after being waived by the Blazers earlier this month. He appeared in 12 games as a rookie last season for Portland, averaging 1.2 points and 0.3 rebounds per night in limited playing time. Montero played just one game this preseason for Portland before he was cut, scoring three points against Utah on October 3rd.

Fernandez went undrafted this June after spending his four-year college career at Valparaiso. The 6’10” big man averaged just 5.6 PPG during his senior season, but also chipped in 7.3 RPG and 3.3 BPG over the course of 36 games.

2016/17 NBA Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2016/17 NBA regular season will get underway next week, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from offshore betting site, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, and having you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic. Having looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, Central, and Southwest divisions so far, we’re moving on to the Southeast today…

Atlanta Hawks

(App users, click here for Hawks poll)

Charlotte Hornets

(App users, click here for Hornets poll)

Washington Wizards

(App users, click here for Wizards poll)

Orlando Magic

(App users, click here for Magic poll)

Miami Heat

(App users, click here for Heat poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (52.5 wins): Under (54.59%)
  • Toronto Raptors (50.5 wins): Over (54.63%)
  • New York Knicks (38.5 wins): Over (71.41%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (23.5 wins): Under (54.62%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (20.5 wins): Under (60.74%)


  • Utah Jazz (49 wins): Under (68.72%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (45.5 wins): Over (69.92%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (43.5 wins): Over (65.71%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (40.5 wins): Over (50.11%)
  • Denver Nuggets (37 wins): Under (68.81%)


  • Cleveland Cavaliers (56.5 wins): Over (66.5%)
  • Detroit Pistons (44.5 wins): Over (55.03%)
  • Indiana Pacers (44.5 wins): Over (73.06%)
  • Chicago Bulls (38.5 wins): Over (61.9%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (34.5 wins): Over (67.48%)


  • San Antonio Spurs (58.5 wins): Under (57.4%)
  • Houston Rockets (44 wins): Over (52.76%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (42.5 wins): Over (59.69%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (38.5 wins): Over (69.71%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (37 wins): Under (70.9%)

Goran Dragic Told Trade Rumors Are Untrue

  • Shannon Brown has signed with the NBA D-League and will be eligible for its draft, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor tweets. The 30-year-old guard last appeared in the NBA in 2014/15, when he played five games for the Heat.

Amnesty Clause Unlikely To Remain In Next CBA

There isn’t enough support among NBA owners to retain the amnesty clause in the new CBA, which could impact the Heat’s long-term decision on Chris Bosh, Brian Windhorst of reports.

The amnesty clause was included in the past two CBAs, which allowed each team to waive one of its player contracts and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from the team’s salary for cap and tax purposes. The team still had to pay that player.

Without an amnesty clause included in the next agreement, the Heat would lose one of their best options regarding Bosh. They refuse to medically clear Bosh, whose last two seasons have been cut short by blood clots, leaving Bosh in limbo. Bosh has three years and approximately $76MM remaining on his contract.

The two sides are close to finalizing the new CBA, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported earlier. Windhorst offers a few more tidbits on the negotiations:

  • Players are expected to have the ability to sign an extension two years after the date they signed their current contract, rather than three seasons.
  • Restricted free agents will be able to agree to offer sheets on the first day of free agency — July 1 — instead of waiting to July 7. The window for teams to decide to match offer sheets would be reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. That would make it more appealing for suitors to make those offers, since they are often hamstrung financially until a final decision is made.
  • Teams would no longer be able to pull qualifying offers from RFAs, which is currently allowed prior to July 31.

Rudy Gay Notes: Trade Rumors, Heat, Dragic

While Rudy Gay has been the subject of trade speculation throughout the offseason, given his apparent discontent with his situation in Sacramento, a Tuesday report provided the most concrete update yet on potential trade talks involving Gay. According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Kings and Heat have discussed a potential deal that would send Gay to Miami along with Darren Collison, with Goran Dragic heading to Sacramento.

While such a deal has been discussed, it’s believed to be in the “kicking the tires” stage, with nothing imminent. With that in mind, here’s the latest on Gay and the trade rumors surrounding him:

  • Asked about the latest trade whispers, Gay downplayed the talk, as James Ham of CSN Bay Area details. “I’m in the same place I was earlier in the day, I’m in Sacramento,” Gay said. “It is what it is, man, it’s the NBA, it happens. Rumors are going to happen and you’ve just got to go out there and play basketball.”
  • According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, both he and fellow Herald reporter Manny Navarro have heard nothing is happening with the Heat and Kings at this time. Jackson adds that Miami likes Gay as a “complementary player,” but wants to see how Dragic looks with the current roster rather than trading him right now. Per Jackson, Gay would “love” to play in Miami, and the Heat will consider him a secondary option in free agency next July, whether or not they trade for him.
  • Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel also explores the Gay rumors from a Heat perspective, suggesting the team probably wouldn’t do the rumored deal involving Dragic and Collison unless the Kings included a draft pick or Willie Cauley-Stein. Winderman also echoes what Jackson wrote, suggesting it’s too early at this point for Miami to make a major trade.

Spoelstra Excited By Addition Of Montero

  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is excited about the addition of swingman Luis Montero, who was signed by the team earlier today, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel notes (Twitter links). “We were actually surprised that he was available and wanted to take advantage of that,” Spoelstra said. “He’s one of these long,athletic, combo wing guys that we’ve had success with.

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