Avery Bradley

Heat Notes: Bradley, Dragic, Herro, Nunn

While Heat guard Avery Bradley is frustrated to be missing more time after dealing with a positive COVID-19 test and a knee contusion earlier in the season, he said this week that he’s relieved his calf strain – which will sideline him for about three or four weeks – wasn’t a more serious injury.

“I could just feel the pop, which really scared me because first thing you’re thinking with a non-contact pop is my Achilles,” Bradley said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “So I was nervous and really frustrated. Now I’m just happy that it wasn’t anything severe and I’ll be able to rehab it.”

If the Heat play it safe with Bradley’s recovery, he likely won’t get back on the court until sometime after the All-Star break, which will run from March 5-10. However, the veteran guard hopes to beat that timeline and “get some games under my belt before the break,” as Chiang relays.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Bradley won’t be back anytime soon, fellow guard Goran Dragic (left ankle sprain) could rejoin the Heat as some point during their seven-game, 13-day road trip, which begins on Thursday night in Houston, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
  • Within that same Herald story, Tyler Herro says he has had no problem readjusting to a bench role after opening the season as a starter. “I played the whole (2019/20) year off the bench,” he said. “Doing whatever works for the team (is most important). Everyone hates losing. Moving to the bench wasn’t hard for me. I’ll do whatever this team needs me to do to win.”
  • In a separate story for The Miami Herald, Jackson explores how the Heat could upgrade their roster in the coming months and how they could take advantage of their projected cap room in the offseason.
  • In a mailbag, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel explains why the Heat didn’t try to beat the Knicks to the punch to acquire Derrick Rose and notes that Kendrick Nunn is unlikely to retain the starting point guard role once Dragic and Bradley are ready to go. It’s worth noting that if Nunn starts three more games this season, he’d meet the “starter criteria,” bumping the value of his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent from $2.1MM to $4.7MM.

Heat Notes: FA Signings, Offseason, Nunn, 2020 Finals Run

The free agent role player additions the Heat acquired this summer, Avery Bradley and Maurice Harkless, have underwhelmed in Miami thus far, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Bradley, signed to a two-year, $11.6MM deal (with a team option for year two), is averaging 8.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.4 APG and 0.7 SPG in just 10 games, and will now miss at least 3-4 weeks of action due to a right calf injury. Forward Harkless, signed to a one-year, $3.6MM contract, is out of the Heat’s rotation. He has appeared in just nine games for Miami, averaging a career-low 10.7 MPG.

There’s more out of South Beach:

Avery Bradley Strains Calf, Out 3-4 Weeks

A strained right calf will sideline Heat guard Avery Bradley for three to four weeks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

The 6’3″ veteran combo guard has only appeared in 10 games with his new club, having been limited as a result of his recent contraction of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Bradley boasts a slash line of 8.5 PPG/1.8 RPG/1.4 APG, and is shooting a solid 47% from the field and 42.1% from the three-point line.

The Heat inked Bradley to a two-year, $11.6MM contract during the 2020 offseason. The second year is a team option.

As Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes (Twitter link), an extended absence for Bradley will likely open up more extended run for second-year guard Kendrick Nunn in the Miami rotation.

The news about Bradley marks the second recent major injury for a 2020 Heat free agent signing. Center Meyers Leonard, re-signed to a two-year deal worth up to $20MM in the off-season (the second season is a team option), suffered a season-ending left shoulder injury that required a Tuesday surgery.

Coronavirus-related absences and key injuries have combined to create a sluggish start to the Heat’s season. After a 2020 Finals run, Miami is the No. 13 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 7-14 record for 2020/21.

Avery Bradley Discusses Positive COVID-19 Test, Potential Return

Veteran guard Avery Bradley, one of several Heat players to miss time this month due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, confirmed in a conversation with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Bradley opted out of the NBA’s restart over the summer in large part because he has a seven-year-old son who suffers from a respiratory illness and didn’t want to risk his family’s health. When he tested positive during the second week of January, he had to self-isolate from his family members. He told Haynes that they continued to test negative, much to his relief.

While he was relieved not to have affected the health of his wife and children, Bradley was frustrated to have contracted the virus despite following all the required protocols, as he told Haynes.

“I was upset because I come to work and I do the right things, I come to work every single day and do all the protocols to make sure I’m protected so I can protect my family,” Bradley said. “To come up with the news knowing that I got it at work, I was a little frustrated to be honest. I was frustrated because I felt like it compromised my family’s safety.”

Bradley, who signed with the Heat in the offseason, was off to an impressive start with his new team before being sidelined, averaging 10.0 PPG on .490/.448/.778 shooting in seven games (22.9 MPG), while playing solid perimeter defense. He told Haynes he thinks he’ll be back in action for Miami on Wednesday night when the team faces Denver.

Heat forward Jimmy Butler is nearing a return as well, though Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel hears that the five-time All-Star is a couple days behind Bradley in the protocol process. If that’s the case, a Thursday or Saturday return may be more likely for Butler.

Southeast Notes: Butler, Bamba, Hawks, Len, Wizards

The Heat may not be without star swingman Jimmy Butler for much longer. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the expectation is that Butler – who hasn’t played since January 9 – will clear the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday.

The Heat will be in action tonight in Brooklyn, but Butler will need a little more time to get his conditioning back up to speed and to pass a cardiac screening before he’s cleared to play in a game. Jackson says there’s optimism that Butler will be able to return later this week and that the same is true of Avery Bradley, who has also been in the league’s COVID-19 protocols for over two weeks.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The sixth overall pick in 2018, Magic center Mohamed Bamba has an underwhelming NBA résumé so far, but it’s unfair to label him a bust since injuries and a lack of playing time have prevented him from showing what he can do, contends Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. The 22-year-old has been limited to 33 total minutes across four games so far this season.
  • In an official press release, the Hawks shared details on their plan to begin allowing fans into their home games at State Farm Arena. The club will initially only fill the arena to about eight percent of its capacity.
  • Alex Len was an ideal addition for the Wizards, who needed to fill a hole in their frontcourt and didn’t want to give up anything to do so, says Fred Katz of The Athletic. As Katz notes, the veteran big man was able to assume a rotation role immediately and looked comfortable in his first game with the team on Sunday.
  • While the Wizards were back in action for the first time in nearly two weeks on Sunday, it’ll be a little while longer before things are “back to normal” for the team, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post.

Eight Heat Players Unavailable Due To COVID-19 Protocols

3:58pm: In addition to Bradley, the Heat will be without the following players for Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Reynolds (Twitter link): Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Maurice Harkless, Udonis Haslem, and KZ Okpala.

That would leave the team with nine available players, assuming everyone else is healthy. Meyers Leonard (shoulder) is currently listed as questionable, while Kelly Olynyk (groin) and Gabe Vincent (knee) are probable, Reynolds notes (via Twitter).

2:14pm: The Heat are preparing to be without “at least five” players for the next several days due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, reports Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

Miami didn’t have the required minimum of eight players available on Sunday due to an inconclusive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. As a result, the team’s scheduled game in Boston was postponed. Subsequently, the Heat spent Sunday and Monday awaiting the results of the NBA’s contact tracing investigation to find out which players may be required to self-isolate for the next week, says Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Heat are arranging for the players who need to self-isolate due to contact tracing to fly back to Miami on a private plane. The player who tested positive for COVID-19 will be sequestered in a hotel, while the rest of the team flies to Philadelphia in anticipation of playing vs. the Sixers.

Based on Winderman’s report, it sounds like the Heat expect to have enough players to resume their schedule on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, though we don’t know yet who will and won’t be available. Avery Bradley‘s absence due to the league’s health and safety protocols was the only one reported on Sunday — all signs point to Bradley being the player who tested positive for the coronavirus, Winderman notes, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Avery Bradley Sidelined By Health And Safety Protocols

Heat guard Avery Bradley is the latest player to be sidelined due to the league’s health and safety protocols. He’ll miss Sunday’s game against the Celtics for that reason, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Bradley is expected to miss more games beyond Sunday’s tilt, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet.

Last week, Bradley was listed on Heat injury report due to health and safety protocols because of a stomach illness. His new status is related to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.

Bradley departed the Lakers and signed a two-year, $11.6MM contract with Miami in November. Thus far, Bradley is averaging 10.0 PPG and 1.7 APG in 22.9 MPG with the Heat. He opted out of last summer’s restart.

The Celtics will be even more shorthanded and might be down to the league’s minimum of eight players, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. They have three players listed as out due to COVID-19 protocols and another, star forward Jayson Tatum, listed as doubtful for that reason. Three other players are listed as questionable, including Jaylen Brown, due to those protocols. They also have two injured players on their roster.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Harden, Bradley, Richards, Anthony

When they were exploring a possible James Harden trade before the start of the season, the Heat were open to including “a couple” of their young players and their 2025 first-round pick in a package for the star guard, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, the Rockets‘ asking price was significantly higher.

According to Jackson, even if the Heat had offered Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, and first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 (along with Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk for salary-matching purposes), it’s not clear that would have been enough to satisfy the Rockets.

The Heat reportedly pulled out of Harden discussions on December 21. Jackson writes that team president Pat Riley thinks highly of Harden, but would only be willing to make a deal for the Rockets star at “a price that’s palatable to him and the organization.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Avery Bradley‘s defense has been as strong as advertised, and he’s also making an impact on offense in his first season with the Heat, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Bradley’s play in the early going has impressed his teammates, as well as head coach Erik Spoelstra. “Avery is a guy that can play in any system,” Spoelstra said. “As long as it’s a contending team, he fits. He’s a really good basketball player. He’s a winner. And he’s a two-way player, a legit two-way player.”
  • Rookie Hornets center Nick Richards has been ruled inactive for today’s game against the Hawks due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, the team announced (via Twitter). It’s not clear how long those protocols will keep Richards out of action, but it shouldn’t have an impact on Charlotte’s rotation, as he has logged just 11 total minutes so far this season.
  • The Magic have a spotty player development over the last decade, having set the franchise back years by failing to get the most out of the likes of Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and others, according Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who examines how the team is looking to avoid repeating those failures with 2020 first-rounder Cole Anthony.

Avery Bradley Misses Practice Due To COVID-19 Protocols

Avery Bradley missed a team practice with the Heat due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets.

Chiang adds that Bradley’s official status for Miami’s upcoming game against the Thunder tomorrow has yet to be determined.

The Heat and NBA haven’t supplied details on what transpired, but given the fact that Bradley may play tomorrow (as of this writing), it appears probable that he had a positive or inconclusive COVID-19 test result, as opposed to being put in the league’s seven-day contact tracing quarantine.

The newly-added Heat guard has been a bright spot in a generally disappointing 2-3 start for the defending East champs. In just 25.0 MPG, Bradley is averaging 14.3 PPG (on .571/.476/.778 shooting), 1.8 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.0 SPG.

Heat Notes: Bradley, Achiuwa, Butler, Bench

Heat guard Avery Bradley made the most of his opportunity on Christmas Day, recording 12 points, four assists and two steals in the team’s first win of the season, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

This was Bradley’s first action with Miami, who signed him to a free-agent contract last month. His pesky defense was notably effective against Pelicans guard J.J. Redick, holding the veteran shooter to just 1-of-7 from the floor.

“It’s something that just sort of happened,” Bradley said. “But this league is a league where you have to always be prepared. We’re professional athletes, and part of being professional is always staying ready.

“I knew if I got my opportunity, I was going to make the most of it and go out there and play as hard as I can and leave everything on the floor. And that was my goal, to play that way and live with any mistakes that I make.”

Bradley’s career has been predicated on hard-nosed defense, especially against smaller guards, though many wonder how productive he can be offensively. Should he continue playing as he did on Christmas, the 30-year-old would have a legitimate shot at becoming a regular rotation piece for the defending Eastern champs.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Heat rookie Precious Achiuwa is already impressing coaches and teammates alike during his first month in the NBA, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Achiuwa finished with 11 points off the bench on Friday, but the 21-year-old fouled out in just 19 minutes off the bench. Still, the Heat are enamored by his skillset, maturity and intangibles, envisioning him as a potential long-term fit next to Bam Adebayo.
  • Jimmy Butler exited Friday’s game early after experiencing stiffness with his injured ankle, Chiang writes in a separate article for the Miami Herald. Butler first sustained the injury against Orlando on Wednesday, attempting to play through it on Christmas. He managed to play 16 total minutes before exiting.
  • Miami’s bench could be exceptionally special this season, Chiang opines, noting how deep the team is for a second consecutive season. While the starting lineup still isn’t finalized, the Heat currently have Goran Dragic, Avery Bradley, Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk and others all coming off the bench. The team’s depth played a key role in its success last season and could prove to be effective once again this year.