Miami Heat Rumors

Heat Work Out Nazr Mohammed

September 1 at 8:56am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Heat brought in 16-year veteran center Nazr Mohammed for an audition and a meeting with team executives Thursday, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Heat would prefer to sign Emeka Okafor as they seek a backup big man, but he’s reportedly unlikely to sign with any team until midseason, as Jackson points out.

News about Mohammed, who’s four days shy of his 37th birthday, has been scarce this summer after a season in which he usually made no more than cameo appearances for the Bulls. He played in 80 of 82 regular season games this past year but averaged just 7.0 minutes per contest. Mohammed was nonetheless effective on the boards, grabbing 11.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, a rate better than in all but one season of his lengthy career. Chicago renounced its rights last month to the Excel Sports Management client, so the Bulls are limited to offering him no more than the minimum for this season, just like the Heat.

Mohammed appears to be one of several big men on the Heat’s radar. Miami has made preliminary inquiries about Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell and has kept an eye on Ekpe Udoh, as Jackson reported a couple of weeks ago. The Heat have also been in the market for a shooting guard, at least before signing Shannon Brown last week, and while they’d “love” to re-sign Ray Allen, the Heat know the all-time leader in three-pointers made is unlikely to return to Miami, as Jackson writes. A report earlier this summer indicated that Allen has ruled out a return to the Heat.

And-Ones: Flynn, Pistons, Love

August 30 at 10:55am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has signed a contract  with Capo d’Orlando of the Italian League, the team announced (translation by Sportando). Flynn last saw action in the NBA with the Blazers during the 2011/12 season. His career numbers are 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His career slash line is .400/.338/.809.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Greg Monroe likely to sign his qualifying offer, the Pistons‘ frontcourt trio of Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond will be together for another season. Coach Stan Van Gundy‘s challenge will be to figure out how to use them more effectively than they were last season, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Kevin Love has essentially traded places with Chris Bosh, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Love is now the third option on the Cavs, much like Bosh was alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Winderman notes, and it’s the statistical sacrifices of the third player that determines if these star trios are successful.
  • With the news that the Spurs are interested in Ray Allen, Nick Borges of ESPN.com runs down the free agent market for the future Hall-of-Famer. Borges notes that if Allen is seeking a title contender and the highest salary, then San Antonio is the best option. The Spurs can offer Allen the $5.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The Clippers, Mavs, Heat, and Cavaliers can only give Allen a veteran’s minimum contract.

Western Notes: Walker, Brown, Trade Demands

August 29 at 10:32pm CDT By Cray Allred

The West will surely be ultra-competitive again next year, and there could be some shuffling in the top tier. The Rockets have had an underwhelming offseason, while the Thunder and Spurs have had relatively uneventful summers. Meanwhile the Mavericks and Clippers have retooled in the hopes of forming championship contenders. Here’s a look around the conference:

  • Henry Walker, formerly known as Bill Walker, is considering a camp offer from the Grizzlies, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (all Twitter links). Walker, who has played internationally since spending the 2011/12 season with the Knicks, is also receiving interest from the Kings, Pacers, and Heat.
  • Bobby Brown‘s contract with his Chinese team is valued at over $1MM, tweets Pick. There is still no report on how much the NBA buyout clause is for Brown, who most recently worked out for the Lakers, but one at or below the $600K teams can pay outside of the cap would fall in line with that salary.
  • In a subscriber-only piece, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel wonders which star player could be next to force a trade from their current team, now that Kevin Love‘s situation has been resolved. He pegs Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins as some of the more notable hypothetical candidates.

Eastern Rumors: Brown, Allen, Mahinmi

August 29 at 9:21pm CDT By Cray Allred

Derrick Rose will be coming off the bench for Team USA, but the point guard and Team USA officials have insisted his limited role and rest patterns are about team fit and precaution, not physical concerns. Bulls fans certainly hope that is the case, and that the explosive Rose won’t be limited in any way when he returns to Chicago’s starting lineup for the 2014/15 season. Here’s a look around the rest of the Eastern Conference:

  • Shannon Brown‘s one-year deal with the Heat is completely non-guaranteed, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • Although Ray Allen is receiving interest from “several teams,” the shooting guard is still unsure if he wants to return for another season, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The Cavs have been considered a front-runner for the storied veteran’s services, although the Clippers are expected to take a run at reuniting him with former coach Doc Rivers.
  • Ian Mahinmi is expected to miss 2-3 months with a shoulder injury, the French national team’s doctor tweets (translation via the Indianapolis Star). Mahinmi withdrew from FIBA competition, and that timetable could cut into the Pacers’ season. Mahinmi’s status could affect Indiana’s willingness to shop starting center Roy Hibbert, although it’s worth noting that injuries can be overstated to reduce the negative reaction to a player opting not to represent their country.

Heat Sign Shannon Brown

August 27 at 5:15pm CDT By Chuck Myron

5:15pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

3:10pm: The Heat and Shannon Brown have come to terms, according to the Priority Sports agency that represents the free agent shooting guard (Twitter link; hat tip to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). Sam Amick of USA Today hears it’s a one-year, $1.3MM deal (Twitter link), so that appears to be rounded down from the $1,310,286 minimum salary for a veteran of eight years, as Brown is. That stands to reason, since Miami is limited to handing out only the minimum.

A report from about a week ago indicated that finding a shooting guard was a priority for the Heat, though Brown wasn’t among the players linked to the team. The rumor mill surrounding the 28-year-old has been quiet since the Knicks waived him rather than guaranteeing his contract last month. It remains to be seen whether the Heat are including any sort of guarantee in their pact with the Mark Bartelstein client.

Brown, a former 25th overall pick, spent the first half of last season out of the league after the Wizards let him go following the Marcin Gortat trade that brought him from Phoenix, where he’d put up back-to-back career highs in minutes per game. The Spurs brought him in on a pair of 10-day contracts in February, and the Knicks later did the same before signing him to a deal that covered the rest of the season with a non-guaranteed 2014/15 salary tacked on.

The Heat had been carrying just 14 deals with any guaranteed money, as our roster counts show, so Brown appears to have a strong chance to remain with the team come opening night.

And-Ones: James Jones, Sterling, Young

August 27 at 5:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years, leaving owner Glen Taylor to blame as the constant amid a changing cast of star players, coaches and executives, argues Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Taylor’s latest salvos, aimed at Kevin Love, reflect poorly upon him, too, Ziller believes. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat and James Jones had mutual interest in a new deal this summer and they spoke about the possibility before he chose to sign with the Cavs instead, as he tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Jones called his departure from Miami “the toughest professional decision I’ve had to make,” and while he previously cited a desire for more playing time as the reason why he left, he says to Winderman that he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward coach Erik Spoelstra.
  • Donald Sterling failed to petition the California Supreme Court by Monday’s deadline for review of a lower court’s decision to reject Sterling’s earlier petitions to halt or unwind the sale of the Clippers, according to Michael McCann of SI.com. That means Sterling has essentially run out of legal avenues to fight the sale, as McCann explains.
  • It was difficult to trade Thaddeus Young, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie admitted, citing the forward’s professionalism and positive attitude, as Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com chronicles. “Those things matter,” Hinkie said. “That’s why these decisions, while necessary, are still challenging.”

And-Ones: Drew, Antetokounmpo, D-League

August 25 at 10:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

Former Bucks coach Larry Drew was blindsided by his ouster from Milwaukee, telling Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was taken aback by the process. New owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens were already in discussions with Jason Kidd, who supplanted Drew on the bench, while he was participating in rookie Jabari Parker‘s introductory press conference.

“The whole Jabari thing, putting me in that position, I don’t think it was very professional. I wish it wouldn’t have happened that way, but it did,” said Drew, who is now an assistant with the Cavs. “It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo‘s agent tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that the forward turned down a two-year, $550K offer to play in Italy in order to accept the $25K salary he will receive with the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate. Agent Tim Lotsos says the sacrifice was made because his client is eager to prove himself as NBA-ready. “To my surprise, he passed on it,” said Lotsos. “He’s very ambitious and determined to make the NBA. I didn’t try to force him. I wanted him to make his own decision.”
  • A D-League expansion draft for returning player rights will take place on September 1, reports Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com. The draft will supply the Knicks‘ new affiliate with a starting roster, and each existing team will protect up to 12 current D-League players that the Westchester Knicks can’t obtain.
  • In the same piece, Pilato does a mock selection draft, projecting which players he sees each D-League team protecting and which players wind up in Westchester.
  • Plenty of people believe rookie Cavs coach David Blatt will become one of the best coaches in the league, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders in his look at rising coaching names. Brigham views Mike Budenholzer, Steve Clifford, Dave Joerger, and Jeff Hornacek as fellow up-and-comers in the NBA ranks.
  • In a LeBron James-centric mailbag column, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel asserts that it was James’ contract preferences that led to the Cavs receiving draft picks from Miami in 2010 through a sign-and-trade, and that it was also his contract desires that prevented the Heat from receiving any picks when he returned to Cleveland this summer.

And-Ones: Barea, Bledsoe, Bonner, Beasley

August 25 at 2:42pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavs are probably better off for having lost LeBron James in 2010 than they would be if he had never gone to Miami since it gave them the chance to accumulate assets through rebuilding, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller argues. That helps explain why the Sixers, one of the other teams in the Kevin Love deal, are so aggressively stripping their roster, Ziller suggests. Still, Cleveland was remarkably lucky in the lottery, nabbing three No. 1 overall picks in four years, so it’s tough to say that another team can easily mimic the path of the Cavs. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The only players on the Wolves who are off-limits for a trade are the ones who just came aboard in the Love deal, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes within a chat with readers. J.J. Barea remains on the block after the Wolves failed to convince the Sixers to take him on in the Love trade, Zgoda also writes.
  • The Wolves like Eric Bledsoe quite a bit, but it’s tough to see a scenario in which they’d sign-and-trade for the Suns restricted free agent, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Phoenix reportedly made a last-ditch effort at a Bledsoe-for-Love swap, but Minnesota rejected that idea.
  • Backcourt mate Goran Dragic is hopeful that Bledsoe will be back with the Suns next season, as he tells Erildas Budraitis of RealGM.
  • Matt Bonner says there were several teams that inquired about him during his free agency this summer, but he let all of them know that he was waiting to see about a deal with the Spurs first, as he tells Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News. Bonner re-signed with the Spurs last month to a one-year deal for the minimum.
  • The Heat let Michael Beasley know they wouldn’t rule out re-signing him, but that’s standard practice for the team, which hasn’t made any offer to the forward, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Heat isn’t high on bringing him back for several reasons, Jackson hears.

Emeka Okafor Drawing Widespread Interest

August 25 at 1:45pm CDT By Zach Links

MONDAY, 1:45pm: Teams had been taking a cautious approach in evaluating Okafor as of a few weeks ago, as J. Michael of CSNWashington says today, adding that the center has much to prove before doctors would declare him healthy (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether teams have become more optimistic since Michael last heard news on the center.

SUNDAY, 10:46pm: Emeka Okafor is in high demand even after missing all of 2013/14, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. In fact, roughly half of the league has registered interest this summer in the big man. Okafor is nonetheless unlikely to sign anywhere until midseason given the lingering effects of his neck injury, Stein also hears.

A number of teams, including contending clubs, would like to add the 31-year-old Okafor to their benches. The Cavs and Heat are among the teams to have checked in, according to Stein, echoing an earlier report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that identified the Heat’s interest in the 10-year veteran.

Okafor suffered his injury in the preseason while with Washington last October and was dealt to the Suns shortly before opening night in the trade that brought Marcin Gortat to the Wizards.  Okafor’s nearly $14.5MM expiring contract was linked in trade rumors to Pau Gasol and others, but the Suns never found a deal to their liking that would have allowed them to flip Okafor before his lucrative pact ran out.

Okafor was one of a handful of big men to reportedly audition for the Clippers earlier this month.

Eastern Notes: Heat, Cavs, Andersen

August 24 at 8:17pm CDT By Zach Links

In light of all the roster additions the Cavs have made this summer, the only way this coming season can be gauged a success is if Cleveland wins a title, writes Chris Fedor of The Plain Dealer.  More on LeBron James‘ current team as well as his former club..

  • Chris Andersen says that he re-signed with the Heat, in part, because Miami feels like home to him, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.  “It was definitely the loyalty from the fans and from the team,” said Andersen who signed a two-year, $10.3MM contract with the Heat last month. “That had a big part of it. And it’s matter of me ending my career in a place that I’d be happy at and am familiar with.”
  • With the Heat trying to prove they can make the playoffs without LeBron James, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel doesn’t think that the younger players on the roster, such as Shabazz Napier, Justin Hamilton, or James Ennis, will see significant minutes this season.
  • With Cleveland the prohibitive favorites to win the East, Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders looks at how the new-look Cavs stack up against the Western Conference contenders.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.