There are signs that the Heat have lost confidence in Josh McRoberts, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Instead of turning to McRoberts when backup center Willie Reed suffered a hyper-extended knee recently, coach Erik Spoelstra rushed Hassan Whiteside back into the game. He used James Johnson and Luke Babbitt as reserves instead of McRoberts. Part of the problem is McRoberts’ lack of aggressiveness on offense, as he is averaging just 1.3 points in the three games he has played. He has a player option worth more than $6MM for next season.
There’s more news out of Miami:
- The Heat look like they made a wise investment when they signed promising guard Rodney McGruder to a long-term contract, Winderman writes in the same piece. McGruder, who is averaging 4.8 points in 18.0 minutes through the first 11 games, signed a three-year deal in July with a small guarantee for next season and none for 2018-19. Miami will own his Bird Rights when that contract expires.
- Former Heat player Antoine Walker thinks the team may suffer long-term damage from letting Dwyane Wade leave in free agency, Winderman writes in another story. “I think the situation with Dwyane Wade rubbed a lot of superstars the wrong way, to let Dwyane Wade walk out the door,” Walker said in a recent appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I think Dwyane Wade played excellent last year. I think he played good enough where he could have deserved a big-time contract. It was a no-brainer. He was healthy pretty much the whole season.”
- The Heat are getting defensive value out of two of their offseason signings, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. James Johnson leads all forwards in the league by holding the players he guards to 27.7% shooting. Dion Waiters is second among starting NBA shooting guards, limiting opponents to 36.4%.