Several “happy accidents” have accelerated the Heat’s rebuilding process, according to Ethan Skolnick of The Miami Herald. The emergence of center Hassan Whiteside, who was signed last November after being waived by Memphis, was one of those developments, as was the unexpected drop in the draft by No. 10 pick Justise Winslow. That caused team president Pat Riley to focus less on the 2016 free agent class and try to build a contending team right away. However, Skolnick cautioned that if things don’t go as expected and the Heat get off to a poor start, Mario Chalmers or Chris Andersen could be moved quickly to cut the luxury tax bill.
There’s more news out of Miami:
- It didn’t take Gerald Green long to earn the trust of coach Erik Spoelstra, Skolnick writes in a separate story. Green, who signed as a free agent in July, is with his eighth NBA franchise. He also spent time in China, Russia and the D-League, but thinks he has found a home in Miami. He plans to stay there by committing to defense. “I’m just trying to be the best defender I can be,” Green said. “Because I know offense comes easy for me. If I ‘D’ up, [Spoelstra] ain’t gonna take me off the floor, and then my offense is gonna show. As long as I ‘D’ up, I’m good.”
- Failure to significantly improve its three-point shooting over the summer could sink the Heat’s season, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Green offered some hope by hitting 15 of 35 during preseason, but the Heat know they lack a consistent three-point threat. Josh McRoberts, who has also been mentioned as a trade candidate, said he plans to help in that area. “I think it’s a possibility I may have to take more,” McRoberts said. “I think that was kind of why I took more and more threes in Charlotte when I was there, because we had kind of similar situation, where we didn’t a bunch of shooting.”
- Chalmers also vows to help with three-pointers, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. His shooting average from distance dipped to 29% last year after reaching 40.9% and 38.5% the two previous seasons. “I will never shoot 29 percent again [on three-pointers] for a season,” he said. “I can tell you that. I took 500 to 1000 shots a day, mostly threes, this summer. I got to work on my form, perfect my technique.”