Heat Notes: Herro, Martin, Adebayo, D. Smith, Garrett

The Heat unveiled their new-look starting lineup for the first time this preseason in Wednesday’s victory over the Pelicans, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin have joined Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in the first unit and they were impressive in their first outing, outscoring New Orleans 60-48 in the 20 minutes they were on the court together.

Herro, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, has the starting job that he said he wanted after the end of last season. His future in Miami is secure after receiving a contract extension that could be worth $130MM over four years, and he’s ready to take on a slightly different role in the offense.

“Having Jimmy, Kyle, Bam out there with me allows me to play off the ball a little bit more,” Herro said. “It allows me to just be a spacer. If I’m open, they kick to me and I just knock it down or play out of a close-out. It’s hard to guard me when guys are closing out to me.”

Martin moved into the starting role that opened when P.J. Tucker left for Philadelphia in free agency. He’s undersized for the power forward position, but he’s athletic enough to be an asset on a team that switches frequently on defense.

“I think Caleb has been doing exceptionally well,” Butler said. “I’m talking about switching, making shots, being aggressive, being a great teammate. It’s tough to do what P.J. does, but I think Caleb does it extremely well.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat want Adebayo to assume a larger role in the offense, and his preseason numbers are pointing in that direction, Chiang tweets. Per 36 minutes, Adebayo averaged 31 points on 19.4 shots and 12.1 free throws in three games, compared to 21.1 points, 14.4 field goal attempts and 6.7 foul shots last season.
  • Signing Dru Smith to a two-way contract is likely the team’s last personnel move before the start of the season, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, he notes that five players held two-way deals with Miami in 2021/22, so those spots could change as the season progresses.
  • The decision to waive Marcus Garrett was related to his fractured wrist, but his role with the team was already shaky because his offense hasn’t improved, Winderman adds. Once Garrett recovers, the Heat may consider sending him to the G League or bringing him back in a two-way role.
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