Jarnell Stokes, who was traded from Miami to New Orleans at the deadline and then waived by the Pelicans, has rejoined the Heat’s D-League affiliate, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Despite the trade, Sioux Falls retained the rights to Stokes under a D-League provision because he appeared in more than 10 games for the Skyforce this season. (Twitter link). The 6’9″ center/power forward has played five games for Miami, scoring 7 points in 14 minutes. Stokes is not eligible to rejoin the Heat this season, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, as traded players cannot go back to the team that dealt them away.
There’s more news out of Miami:
- Tyler Johnson, who hasn’t played since undergoing surgery on his left shoulder February 3rd, hopes to be back on the court by the end of the season, Winderman writes in the same story. The Heat haven’t set a timetable for the backup guard’s return, which was initially estimated at three months. However, Johnson is encouraged by how much he has recovered so far. “I feel like I’m progressing really well,” Johnson said. “I’m going to shoot to get back. Even if it was possible, it would probably be in April.”
- Former Net Joe Johnson, who is rumored to be signing with Miami this weekend, is the best talent available in this year’s buyout market, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Johnson, who was waived by Brooklyn on Thursday after agreeing to a buyout, has been a durable player who was the focus of the offense with both the Nets and Hawks, Bontemps writes.
- One way for free-agent-to-be Hassan Whiteside to increase his value is to improve his free-throw shooting, and Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post suggests he is doing that. The 7’0″ center recently changed his approach at the line and is hitting 67.9 percent over his last six games. He averages 53 percent for his career and 56.4 percent for the season. “You know that feeling when you get under the covers in the bed and you snuggle up? You know that comfortable feeling?” Whiteside said in explaining his improved performance. “I feel that. I feel comfortable.”