The Heat plan to send point guard Briante Weber to their D-League team in South Dakota if he clears waivers, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Weber was among five players released Saturday as Miami trimmed its roster to the limit of 15. The 23-year-old Weber is trying to come back from from tears in the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee that he suffered in January. He had 19 steals in 149 minutes during the preseason, but struggled with his shot and had 20 turnovers to go with 23 assists. Jackson writes that Miami officials believe Weber, who has a has a $328K guarantee, is an “intriguing” prospect, but needs regular playing time to develop his game.
There’s more this morning from Miami:
- Veteran point guard Beno Udrih, who was also waived Saturday, will receive the $1.5MM veteran’s minimum, Jackson notes in the same piece. That’s much more than the $90K he sacrificed as part of a controversial buyout last season that helped the franchise escape the luxury tax. Udrih reportedly passed up several overseas opportunities to re-sign with Miami.
- Getting rid of Weber and Udrih leaves the Heat without a proven backup at point guard, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami opted to keep 6’5″ shooting guard Rodney McGruder, a key player for the Heat’s affiliate in Sioux Falls, which won the D-League title last season. McGruder had an impressive preseason, averaging 7.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 152 minutes of action. Winderman believes injuries to Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington could make McGruder a rotation player in three-guard lineups when the season starts.
- The Heat have told Goran Dragic that they aren’t trying to trade him, but that situation could change as the season wears on, claims ESPN’s Marc Stein. A slow start could alter the front office’s thinking about the 30-year-old point guard, who still has four years and more than $70MM remaining on the contract he signed last summer. There have been rumors that Miami was talking about sending Dragic to Sacramento in exchange for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison.