Heat president Pat Riley reached out to Caron Butler‘s agent, but the team opted for younger players in its flurry of signings last Sunday, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Riley’s initial call came before Dwyane Wade decided to join the Bulls, Jackson reports, and he hasn’t called since. The Kings waived the 36-year-old Butler last week. He spent one season in Sacramento and appeared in just 17 games.
There’s more news today out of Miami:
- Riley also decided not to pursue Mario Chalmers, Jackson writes in the same piece. Chalmers spent seven full seasons with the Heat before being traded to Memphis in November for luxury tax relief. He ruptured his right Achilles tendon in March and was subsequently waived by the Grizzlies. Jackson says the Heat were concerned not only about the injury, but about how Chalmers would respond to reduced playing time as a backup for Goran Dragic.
- Miami would be taking a major risk by trying to trade for Russell Westbrook this season, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. There has been speculation that the Thunder point guard might be available because of his looming free agency next summer and the loss of Kevin Durant, but Winderman argues that the assets the Heat would have to give up in such a deal would make it less likely Westbrook would re-sign. The writer says Oklahoma City would want Dragic and Justise Winslow, which would create two big holes in Miami’s roster. Winderman doesn’t think Riley would consider that deal unless he was assured that Westbrook would stay in Miami past the 2016/17 season.
- Briante Weber‘s aggressive defense may make him a valuable part of the rotation next season, according to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Weber, who suffered a serious right knee injury as a senior at Virginia Commonwealth, spent most of this season with Miami’s D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls. The Heat briefly lost Weber in March when the Grizzlies signed him to a 10-day contract, but he returned to the D-League when that expired and joined Miami’s roster just before the playoffs. After playing just one game for the Heat — and seven total — during his rookie season, Weber has been making an impression in Summer League play. “He’s getting better and better at being our floor leader,” said Heat Summer League coach Juwan Howard. “They’re trying to get into him and make him uncomfortable with ball pressure and picking him up full-court, but Bri’s done an excellent job making decisions. At times he’s overly aggressive, but that’s his nature. I trust him.”