Don’t be surprised if the Heat keep their current roster together for a while despite a flurry of trade rumors surrounding the team, Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel writes in a mailbag column. Numerous Miami players have been mentioned in possible deals, with Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson among the most prominent.
Winderman notes that team president Pat Riley indicated in a media session that month that he would like to keep the current core together to see what it can accomplish. A deal could still happen before training camp opens in late September, but Winderman believes it would be more of a surprise, rather than something that has been rumored for weeks.
There’s more today out of Miami:
- Derrick Walton may go on to better things with the Bulls, but the Heat didn’t have playing time to offer him, Winderman adds in the same piece. The 23-year-old guard is close to a deal with Chicago after Miami pulled his qualifying offer last month. The Heat have a crowded backcourt with Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder all established, Waiters returning from ankle surgery and Dwyane Wade possibly wanting to play another season. Walton appeared in 16 games last year as a two-way player.
- The Heat are giving up a roster spot by holding onto veteran forward Udonis Haslem if coach Erik Spoelstra refuses to play him, Winderman states in a separate mailbag. Haslem, 38, has developed into a virtual assistant coach, getting into 14 games last season and 16 the year before. Even so, he has a standing offer to return to the team if he wants to keep playing.
- The Heat don’t have much playing time to offer combo guards or big men, which is why Mario Chalmers and Jahlil Okafor didn’t consider Miami before signing elsewhere, Winderman writes in another mailbag. Along with the logjam in the backcourt, the Heat have Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo all competing f0r playing time in the middle. Winderman speculates that the team could look for help at small forward if either Wade or Haslem doesn’t return.