With a roster stuffed with expiring contracts, there is pressure on the Heat to win right away, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Projected starters Hassan Whiteside, Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade will all enter free agency next summer, as will reserves Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green, Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Tyler Johnson. “We have a lot of guys on one-year deals this season, and that’s something we have to acknowledge,” said Chris Bosh, one of the few Miami players with a long-term contract. “… The main challenge for us will be coming together as a team and making sure we define our roles and play our roles to perfection.”
There’s more today out of Miami:
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers may have killed the Jamal Crawford to Miami rumors with his declaration this week, Winderman writes in the same piece. In an interview with host Fred Roggin on The Beast 980 radio in Southern California, Rivers said Crawford will probably remain with the team through the end of the season, competing for playing time in a crowded rotation that now includes Paul Pierce, Wesley Johnson, Lance Stephenson and Pablo Prigioni. There had been rumors that the Clippers wanted to move Crawford’s $5.675MM salary to ease their luxury tax bill.
- Barring any trades or injuries, Josh Richardson and James Ennis will probably rotate between being inactive on game nights, Winderman speculates in a separate story. The columnist says Richardson would be more valuable in games where the Heat need better perimeter defense, and Ennis can be used against small-ball teams when Miami won’t need both Andersen and Haslem.
- The Heat have the luxury of keeping Haslem on the roster as mainly a mentor, Winderman contends in another column. The 35-year-old, now entering his 13th season in Miami, won’t be part of the rotation but will be counted on to teach the game to young players such as first-round pick Justise Winslow, along with Johnson, Richardson and Ennis. Haslem will make more than $2.85MM in the final year of his contract.