After briefly discussing the Heat‘s offseason moves during an ESPN interview last week, head coach Erik Spoelstra went into more detail while taking part in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes, Spoelstra is looking forward to having former Heat wing Josh Richardson back on the roster in 2023/24.
“To be able to get somebody like J-Rich, who we are all really comfortable with, who we spent so many hours and years spending time developing him and where he feels also comfortable in our system and how we operate, we just feel very fortunate that we were able to get him when we were able to get him,” Spoelstra said.
“He’s already been in the gym working and it’s almost like, I mentioned to him the last time I saw him in the gym, it’s like the time away never happened. The relationship just started off right where we left it. That’s when you know you have strong relationships back and forth from our standpoint and his standpoint. Also, his versatility is going to be super important. His ability to play multiple positions.”
Here are a few more notes on the Heat, including Spoelstra’s thoughts on some of the team’s other recent additions:
- According to Spoelstra, newly added center Thomas Bryant is a player the Heat have had their eye on for several years. They worked him out prior to the 2017 draft and were fans of the big man at the time. “His time with (the Lakers last season), I thought was really important,” Spoelstra said of Bryant. “You could see how he could be effective in our system and how he can play with multiple guys. He’s big, he’s physical, he plays with a motor and he can also stretch the floor. So he can have a presence at the rim and in the paint, but he also can space the floor and be efficient behind the three-point line. We’re excited to be able to add him to our roster and add some depth to our frontcourt and some versatile depth.”
- Spoelstra expressed enthusiasm about forward Cole Swider, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the team earlier this month.“He has positional size, he has exceptional three-point shooting and range and versatility with his three-point shooting,” the head coach said. “He can shoot on the move, he can also space the floor and he has the size to be able to get his shot off with great accuracy. So we’re excited to be able to add him to our mix late into the summer. We’re looking forward to developing him and working with him.” Our Tristan Tucker recently identified Swider as a candidate to eventually earn a two-way or standard deal.
- Spoelstra also believes the Heat will see “bigger jumps” from Jamaree Bouyea, who remained with the club on another two-way deal. “He improved being able to run a team, get guys organized,” Spoelstra said, referring to Bouyea’s play in the G League. “And defensively and the things that he can do with his speed are just super unique. So we wanted to have an opportunity to continue his development and have a second year at it.”
- Following Damian Lillard‘s public confirmation of his trade request in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald breaks down that interview from a Heat perspective, noting that trade talks with the Trail Blazers have been “largely dormant” for several weeks.