Bam Adebayo

Heat Notes: Waiters, Whiteside, Adebayo

The Heat haven’t publicly expressed an interest in bringing Dion Waiters off the bench but that hasn’t deterred the 26-year-old from advocating for his role as a starter anyway. Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post writes that Waiters views himself as a starter in the NBA.

I’m a starter in this league, man, that’s who I am. We’re going to nip that in the bud right now. I’m not coming off no bench,” the guard said.

Waiters argues that he’s never enjoyed a reserve role and only reluctantly accepted it during previous stops in his career. Over the course of his six-year-career, Waiters has started nearly half of his games in the NBA.

There’s more out of Miami this morning:

  • The Heat are in a holding pattern with Hassan Whiteside‘s knee injury, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. “There is no time table, let’s make no assumptions about that,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s doing a lot better. He’s been working out two, sometimes three times a day.”
  • A lingering tendon injury in his shooting elbow continues to plague Dion Waiters. As a result, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes, he’ll experiment with a shooting sleeve for the first time in his career.
  • The Heat like what they see in Bam Adebayo but aren’t about to hastily ship Hassan Whiteside out of town to facilitate his long-term development. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel discusses the two big men in a question-and-answer feature with readers.

Heat Notes: Waiters, Adebayo, Winslow, Roster, Deadline

Dion Waiters has shown improvements to his game but Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wants to see his guard take further steps to improve his all-around game, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes.

“I really like the progress he’s making,” Spoelstra said of Waiters. “I know his shooting numbers aren’t showing it right now, not necessarily his turnovers. I think those will come down. I think his shooting percentage will come up because he’s starting to understand different reads, different coverages, the responsibility of having to make plays for our basketball team.”

Waiters, 25, is enjoying another solid season in Miami after he enjoyed a breakout campaign last season. Waiters signed a four-year, $52MM deal to remain with the Heat. While the improvements are noticeable, Spoelstra added that Waiters needs to maintain his focus throughout each game and not lose focus.

“Now, the other side of that is helping him improve all the other 45 minutes of the game offensively, which he is coming a long way,” Spoelstra said.

Below you can read more news out of the Miami Heat organization:

  • In his Ask Ira column, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel addressed the Heat’s decision to start both Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow. While neither man is a scoring threat, Spoelstra prefers to replace injured players with “someone who least impacts the overall rotation.” Thus, it allows the Heat to start with one lineup and gradually mix in other players throughout the game.
  • In another installment of Ask Ira, Winderman breaks down the Heat roster and examines why it has been difficult for the team to achieve consistency.
  • December 15 will be the first day teams can trade players who were signed during this past offseason. While the Heat have not made a December trade in their 30+ years of existence, Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel breaks down the likelihood of Miami swinging a deal and which players could be on the trading block.

Heat Notes: Whiteside, McGruder, Adebayo, Winslow

Heat center Hassan Whiteside returned to action tonight after missing five games with a bone bruise on his left knee. Although Whiteside’s absence has been part of the reason for a disappointing 2-4 start, there are other factors, explains Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Those include a defense that has slipped from fifth in points allowed last season to 23rd so far this year and 3-point shooting that ranks 27th in the league. Miami is also reeling from the loss of Rodney McGruder, who will miss three to six months after undergoing surgery for a left tibia stress fracture. “He’s always in the right spot, he’s always getting those 50/50 balls, even if it’s 70 against 30,” Goran Dragic said of the second-year shooting guard. “We don’t know how but he’s going to get that ball. Those are game changers.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat held a team meeting Sunday to let players discuss the reasons for the slow start, Jackson writes in the same story. Tyler Johnson said coach Erik Spoelstra opened the meeting, followed by the team captains, then other players. “Sometimes I forget what got me here is undeniable energy and hunger,” Johnson said. “Nobody can keep me from being able to do my job. Whoever is matched up in front of me, I didn’t care who they were, if they were an all-star. That Rodney McGruder type attitude. We definitely do need to get back to that.”
  • After posting his first double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds against the Timberwolves, rookie Bam Adebayo credited his time at Kentucky for helping him get ready for the NBA, Jackson adds. Adebayo said Wildcats coach John Calipari teaches players to put the organization above their own goals. “If you sacrifice for the better of the team, that means you care about the team more than yourself,” Adebayo said. “Kentucky is a blueprint for the NBA.”
  • Justise Winslow has relied on speed more than bulk while making the move to power forward, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The third-year player, who was limited to 18 games last season by wrist and shoulder problems, has dropped 10 pounds and embraced his new duties. “I think he’s quick, he’s faster, he’s able to get to the ball quicker,” Spoelstra said. “So much of having 12 rebounds in a game is quickness to the ball. And he’s got a knack to the ball, but now he can really get to it quickly.”

Heat Notes: Winslow, Olynyk, Adebayo, Wade

For a team that brought back nearly all its key players over the offseason, the Heat head into training camp with a lot of unanswered questions. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines position battles and several other topics in his latest column:

  • The starting small forward position will be wide open when camp begins Tuesday, with Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder all having a shot at it. The Heat exercised their fourth-year option on Winslow this week as the former first-rounder tries to battle back from a shoulder injury that limited him to 18 games last season. Miami was only 3-12 when he started last year and he wasn’t part of the team’s surge after the All-Star break. Richardson, who received a four-year extension this week, came into the league as a guard, but played 80% of his minutes last season at forward.
  • James Johnson is the favorite to start at power forward, but free agent addition Kelly Olynyk will be an intriguing addition because of his outside shooting. Olynyk shoots .368 from 3-point range for his career, compared to .296 for Johnson, although he raised that number to 34% last season. Olynyk, who was used mainly in a reserve role in Boston, will see plenty of minutes in Miami whether he starts or not.
  • Johnson, Olynyk and Hassan Whiteside will take up most of the center/power forward opportunities, leaving little for first-round pick Bam Adebayo, whom the Heat believe has a bright future. Winslow may also be utilized as a stretch four in small-ball lineups, so Adebayo will need a strong showing in camp to earn playing time.
  • Okaro White and Jordan Mickey are likely to make the roster, with A.J. Hammons holding a slight edge for the 15th spot. However, the Heat have concerns about Hammons’ work ethic and he will be challenged by shooting guard Matt Williams. Former Michigan point guard Derrick Walton has been impressive over the summer, but he has a two-way contract and can’t spend more than 45 days in the NBA.
  • The front office isn’t unanimous in wanting Dwyane Wade back if he agrees to a buyout with the Bulls. There are concerns about his defense at age 35, and the Heat already have five guards who can make a case for playing time.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Jersey Sponsor, Dragic

Don’t expect the Heat to shy away from utilizing Bam Adebayo in Year 1, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  Adebayo has already established himself as a defensive force and has even surprised team execs with his offensive range.

He can defend fours [power forwards] and fives [centers] at this point. For a man that has a great body, he has good feet and that’s so crucial defending the ball,” Miami’s vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer said.

It’s within reason, Jackson writes, that Adebayo could step up as the primary backup to Heat center Hassan Whiteside.

Jackson also relays a story that Adebayo surprised the team during his pre-draft interview when he suggested that he had three-point range. The squad, per Kammerer, later gave him a chance to prove it and were impressed with the results.

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat have agreed to a jersey sponsorship deal with Ultimate Software, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. Ultimate Software is the “official human resources/payroll provider” of the franchise.
  • The Heat will approach the luxury tax mark in 2018/19, even with Chris Bosh‘s contract coming off of the books, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Jackson breaks down the options Miami had heading into the summer and why they chose the path that they did.
  • Slovenia’s success at EuroBasket 2017 has further validated the trade that brought Goran Dragic to the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes, at least in the eyes of team president Pat Riley. “I’m proud that we have him. And he’s right now the player that I think Erik Spoelstra relies on as much as some of the other guys or maybe even more so in how he wants to play,” Riley said.

Heat Notes: LeBron, Free Agency, Adebayo, White

LeBron James caused some excitement in Miami on Saturday with Instagram posts featuring photos of himself in front of American Airlines Arena, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Even though James expressed a fondness for the city in a caption that read, “A ton of great memories riding past her today!! #AAA #striveforgreatness,” the Heat have no expectations that he will consider returning to Miami when he becomes a free agent next summer. Like most of the league, Jackson notes, Heat officials believe James will either go to Los Angeles or stay in Cleveland.

Jackson adds that there are no obvious free agents for Miami to chase next summer, even if the team could create cap room. He says they wouldn’t pay max money to Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles seems like the destination for Paul George, and other stars such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan play positions where the Heat are already set. They may have more interest in the 2019 free agent class, but will have limited cap room unless Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson or Hassan Whiteside opt out of their contracts.

There’s more today out of Miami:

  • With 11 games in two leagues, the Heat got a good look at candidates for two-way contracts this summer, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, it’s not certain that the players who get those deals will come from the summer league squads. Among those who made a positive impact, according to Winderman, are Virginia’s London Perrantes, Central Florida’s Matt Williams, Monmouth’s Justin Robinson and Colorado State’s Gian Clavell.
  • The Heat were happy with the performance of first-round pick Bam Adebayo this summer, Winderman writes in a separate story. The power forward out of Kentucky was held out of the final three games in Las Vegas, but showed enough to give Miami hope that he can be a contributor right away. “I think the seven games he played was a great first step as an NBA player,” said summer league coach Chris Quinn. “He did everything we asked. He showed us a skill set that is very versatile. He was able to do things that maybe he hadn’t done as much. But more importantly, he completely bought in to our player-development program. He’s listening to Coach Juwan [Howard] every single day and he’s really been great to work with. His attitude and his work ethic have been amazing, which, for a guy with his talent, is most important.”
  • Winderman adds that this summer was especially important for Okaro White, who faces a partial guarantee date for next year’s $1.3MM contract on August 1st. Quinn said White made “major strides” in the seven games he played.

Heat Sign Bam Adebayo To Rookie Contract

The Heat have officially signed former Kentucky big man Bam Adebayo to his rookie contract, the team announced today in a press release. Adebayo was the 14th overall pick in last week’s draft.

Because the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement calls for cap holds for unsigned first-round picks to count for 120% of their rookie scale amount rather than 100%, there’s now little reason for teams to wait to sign their first-rounders. As such, I expect we’ll see most of them signed earlier this year than they have been in the past. Adebayo is the first to make it official.

As the No. 14 pick, Adebayo will likely receive a contract worth $14,015,772 over four years. He’ll earn about $2.49MM in 2017/18, as our chart of rookie scale salaries shows. Those figures are based on Adebayo receiving the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale amount.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Adebayo, Satoransky

While he may be years away from reaching his true potential, the Magic are pleased with their Jonathan Isaac pickup in Thursday’s draft, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes.

In order to fully develop the sixth-overall choice, however, Orlando’s new front office will need to avoid some of the mistakes that their predecessors made, namely giving prospects playing time before they earn it.

Robbins adds that president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond should look to add quality players that will be able to compete with Isaac for minutes, something current and past Magic players like Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris and Elfrid Payton could have benefited from over the course of the last few seasons.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • A particularly impressive workout helped Bam Adebayo convince the Heat to take a chance on him with their 14th pick in Thursday’s draft, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. “We had already seen enough after 20 minutes. But he wanted to stay out there. He was the last one in the gym. We notice things like that,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
  • The Magic would be wise to mind the tone of their fan base and field a decent roster as soon as possible, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes. While a new front office may be just embarking on a five-year tenure with the organization, fans of the franchise have already endured five years of losing seasons.
  • On the surface, the Wizards trading for a backup point guard would appear to hurt Tomas Satoransky‘s stock with the franchise but Tim Frazier is a short-term solution, Chase Huges of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes. Satoransky remains the only guard on Washington’s bench signed past 2018/19.
  • In a podcast with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype, Wizards point guard John Wall that he’s like to remain with Washington for the rest of his career. The eight-year veteran and All-NBA Third Team guard also says that he still feels as though he’s underrated.

Heat Notes: Leaf, Collins, Reed, Aldridge

The Heat will be looking for size with the 14th pick, especially if Luke Kennard and Donovan Mitchell are both off the board, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. T.J. Leaf, who proved to be an effective outside shooter at UCLA, is a possibility, along with Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, who can also hit from 3-point range. Miami would like to find a stretch four to team with Hassan Whiteside, a traditional low-post center.

If Collins is off the board, Jackson says the Heat will look at Jarrett Allen of Texas and Justin Patton of Creighton. Both are 6’11” and are targeted for the back of the lottery or possibly later. A minor injury prevented Allen from working out for Miami, but he held an interview Sunday and reportedly impressed team officials. Patton did participate in a workout for the Heat on Sunday.

Jackson offers more insight into Miami’s strategy for tonight and beyond:

  • Drafting a backup center would protect the Heat in case Willie Reed leaves in free agency. The front office fears that Reed will get an offer significantly higher than the team is willing to pay.
  • Leaf could be a replacement for either Luke Babbitt or James Johnson, two forwards who are both headed for free agency.
  • Another big man to consider is John Collins of Wake Forest, who impressed the Heat in a workout last week. Miami will also look at Duke’s Harry Giles, but might be scared off by his history of knee problems. Giles canceled a workout in Miami and never rescheduled.
  • If the Heat decide to trade down, they will focus on UCLA center Ike Anigbogu and Kentucky power forward Bam Adebayo.
  • Miami is a possible destination if LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of San Antonio. The Spurs are seeking a top 10 draft pick and would like to cut salary to make a run at Chris Paul. Jackson says Miami could offer a competitive package of the 14th pick, Wayne Ellington, whose $6.27MM contract won’t be guaranteed until July 12th, Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts.

Draft Notes: Jackson, Bako, Collins

The Hornets worked out a handful of possible first-round draft picks Sunday, including familiar face Justin Jackson. Alongside video footage of Jackson following the workout, Diedra Laird of the Charlotte Observer writes that club additionally auditioned Bam Adebayo, Luke Kennard and more.

Jackson, a North Carolina product, is being forecast as the No. 19 overall pick in NBADraft.net‘s latest mock draft. Duke product Kennard, on the other hand, has been projected as the No. 12 pick. Adebayo, out of Kentucky, is currently forecast to go No. 17 in that same mock.

Although the Hornets will pick earlier than any of those projections at No. 11, it’s reasonable that they could elect to take a flyer on a blue chip prospect that played their college basketball in state.

There are more pre-draft workout notes from around the league:

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