Heat Notes: Crowder, Big Three, Player Options

Heat forward Jae Crowder hopes to stay with the team past this season and re-sign in free agency, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Miami traded for Crowder, along with Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill, in a deal that sent Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis in February. Crowder played just 13 games in a Heat uniform, averaging 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.

“I’m just very happy to be a part of this organization because I’ve always envisioned that, but I never knew if it could come true,” Crowder said. “But I always wanted to play for this city.”

Crowder, an eight-year veteran, is a proven three-and-D forward who can provide major minutes in traditional or small-ball lineups. It’s unclear whether he’ll play for the Heat again, with the NBA currently waiting to see if it will be possible to proceed with the season and postseason.

“I’m a Southern guy for the most part. I’m from Atlanta, but I just didn’t want to live back home,” Crowder said. “Whenever I was coming here and my agent was here and I was able to train here when I’m not doing my workouts and stuff, it just felt right. It just felt like home. I quickly adjusted and I made it home. I didn’t want to live in Atlanta. … Then I was able to make some money here and I bought a house. Once I did that, it was like a no-brainer that this is my home.”

There’s more out of Miami tonight:

  • Former Heat superstar LeBron James thought a loss to the Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals could’ve ended the famous “big three” consisting of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as relayed by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. A loss to Boston would’ve marked the second consecutive dissappointing season for Miami, with the well-documented 2011 Finals collapse coming less than one year prior. “My mentality was if we lose, [Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up. And I [didn’t] want that,” James said. “It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history.” Miami ultimately bounced back from a 3-2 deficit to win the series, advancing to the Finals and defeating Oklahoma City 4-1.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether some NBA player options will become moot this offseason in his latest mailbag. Heat big man Kelly Olynyk is among the talents who have a player option for next season, valued at $12.2MM. Winderman speculates that just about every player with a sizable player option (i.e. DeMar DeRozan, $27.8MM), will strongly consider staying with their team due to the current state of economics and lack of salary cap space that clubs are set to have.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines where the Heat’s young talent — Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn — would be selected if each of their respective drafts were re-started. All four players have proven their worth this season, with Adebayo making his first All-Star selection, Herro showing promise as a scorer, Robinson transitioning into one of the league’s best three-point shooters and Nunn playing as one of the top rookies.

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