Assuming they want to remain below the luxury tax threshold for 2020/21, which is a safe bet, the Heat will be able to sign a 15th man to a rest-of-season contract as soon as Monday, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. However, Winderman suspects the team will wait a little longer to lock a player into that roster opening.
As Winderman explains, holding off on adding a 15th man would give the Heat more time to evaluate Victor Oladipo‘s health and to assess which position is the team’s greatest area of need heading into the postseason.
If the Heat ultimately determine they’re comfortable with their depth for the playoff rotation, they could instead use that 15th roster spot to sign a developmental player to a multiyear contract, Winderman notes. Miami has had success with that approach in the past, having signed Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson to three-year deals at the very end of the 2018/19 season — both Nunn and Robinson are still on those contracts today.
Here’s more on the Heat:
- The Heat and Victor Oladipo continue to seek opinions on how to treat the right knee soreness that is currently keeping him on the sidelines, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Both sides want to be cautious and don’t want to risk worsening the injury, but are still hoping Oladipo can return in the coming weeks and be available for the playoffs.
- With restricted free agency around the corner this summer, Kendrick Nunn has adapted well to a constantly-changing role this season, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes. After falling out of the rotation once again upon Oladipo’s arrival, Nunn returned to the starting lineup on Sunday and put up 15 points in a Heat win. “It just shows you his competitive character,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “… Kendrick’s a tough kid, tough-minded, and he really wants to be there for his team. So he’s handled it the right way, really put in a lot of time behind the scenes. And when he was given this opportunity again, he was ready for us.”
- The Heat have eliminated vaccination-only seating sections for fans at their home games and are no longer using COVID-detection dogs, team executive VP Michael McCullough told The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Maintaining the vaccination-only section proved to be an “operational challenge,” according to the team.