Southeast Notes: Heat Centers, Kispert, Hornets

The Heat will enter training camp next week with several options to back up starting center Bam Adebayo, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami’s roster could change dramatically with a Damian Lillard trade, but for now the candidates to be the second-string center are Thomas Bryant, Orlando Robinson and Kevin Love, who may be the starter at power forward.

Bryant signed a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract after spending last season with the Lakers and Nuggets. Winderman notes that the 26-year-old was the only big man added to the roster this summer, so it appears the organization is committed to giving him a steady role.

Robinson, 23, signed a standard contract in July after playing on a two-way deal as a rookie. He showed promise last season and during Summer League, Winderman observes, and may be able to earn rotation minutes if he can improve his defense and avoid foul trouble.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for Lillard isn’t the Heat’s only path to success, Winderman adds in a separate Sun Sentinel story. He contends that with the current roster, the team’s outlook will depend on how much improvement from Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith can offset the loss of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.
  • Wizards swingman Corey Kispert established himself as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters during his second season, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins consulted several NBA scouts to get their view of Kispert, who connected at 42.4% from long distance last year. “The one thing you want to look for often with young guys is: Does he have an elite skill? Does he have something that the coaches can rely on? (Does he have a skill where) they can say, ‘We’re going to put him out there and we know for sure he can do this,’” one scout said. “And Corey does, right? No one’s going to question his ability to shoot.”
  • Theoden Janes of The Charlotte Observer talks to country music star Eric Church about his love for basketball and how he became part of the Hornetsnew ownership group. He calls owning his favorite childhood team “beyond any dream I ever had when I was a young man.”
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