Heat Notes: Jovic, Adebayo, Smith, Bouyea

Heat forward Nikola Jovic was assigned to the G League for nearly a week, but will be back with the NBA club on Saturday, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. According to Chiang, Jovic saw plenty of time at the five during his stint with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and believes that he may have a clearer path to playing time if he can get accustomed to playing center.

“I think it’s going to be the fastest way to get on the court because we have a lot of fours,” Jovic said. “It’s something that everybody can see. At five right now, we have Bam (Adebayo) and Kevin Love is coming off the bench as like a stretch five. So I think and I think the coaches also think the fastest way for me to get back on the court will be just playing at the five.”

While Adebayo typically gets the brunt of the playing time in the middle, he has been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Brooklyn – the second in a back-to-back set – due to a left hip injury (Twitter link via the team). Adebayo’s absence could result in an immediate opportunity for Jovic to get some minutes. Still, head coach Erik Spoelstra indicated he won’t be viewing the 20-year-old Serbian only as a center.

“I want to get him minutes at both positions,” Spoelstra said, per Chiang. “… And when he plays five for us, it looks a little bit different than it does down there (in the G League). He’s got a lot more bigger wings and there’s a dimension that can really help Jimmy (Butler) that’s intriguing to us. So he has to gobble up all those different experiences and it will change game to game.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link), the Heat confirmed on Friday that Dru Smith will eventually require surgery on his ACL injury, which will sideline him for the rest of the season. Erik Spoelstra also reiterated his dissatisfaction with the sideline area of the court in Cleveland where Smith fell and suffered the injury. “Maybe this is something that can be addressed with the league moving forward,” he said (Twitter link via Winderman). “I doubt anything will change with the floor. It is a hazard in our mind and probably in a lot of other teams’ minds, too.”
  • After being cut by Portland and clearing waivers, guard Jamaree Bouyea is rejoining the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, tweets Winderman. Bouyea opened the season with the Skyforce before spending 10 days on a two-way contract with the Trail Blazers.
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype takes a closer look at the Heat’s roster, suggesting that if the team makes a trade before the deadline, the priority should be to try to bring some long-term stability to the point guard position.
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