Justise Winslow is expected to see a back specialist this week after leaving the Heat during their current road trip, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Winslow missed 15 straight games with a lower-back bruise before playing 16 minutes Wednesday in Indiana. However, he didn’t play last night and was already ruled out of tomorrow’s game.
“It didn’t respond the way we would have liked, so we’re going to take a step back,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But certainly we don’t feel comfortable.”
Injuries have limited Winslow to just 11 games in his first season after signing a three-year, $39MM extension. He is averaging 11.3 PPG, but shooting just 38.8% from the field. Most of his minutes have gone to Derrick Jones Jr.
There’s more from Miami:
- Expect the Heat to convert Chris Silva‘s two-way contract into a multi-year deal this week, a source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Silva is running out of NBA days on his current contract, and Tuesday is the first day that Miami can accommodate another player on a standard deal under its hard cap restrictions. The team may offer a contract three years or longer so it will have Bird rights on Silva, just as it did with Kendrick Nunn. Wednesday is the last day this season that players can be signed to two-way contracts, so the Heat will have to act quickly to lock up Silva’s replacement.
- Team president Pat Riley took a positive tone in a recent meeting with James Johnson and Dion Waiters, Jackson writes in a separate story. Riley was hoping to point both players in a better direction after Johnson failed to meet conditioning standards in training camp and Waiters racked up three early-season suspensions. “It was just the three of us,” Johnson said. “It was heartfelt, all encouragement. He’s got our back. That meeting was one of our new leaf-turners. It was an eye opener but also a relief.” A source tells Jackson that the Heat have decided not to risk a battle with the players union by attempting to void Waiters’ contract.
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich provided some motivation with his message to Bam Adebayo when he was cut from the U.S. World Cup team this summer, Jackson relays in another piece. “He said I wasn’t ready,” Adebayo said. “Everybody has their opinions, so I guess it was his opinion I wasn’t ready.” A strong candidate for an All-Star berth, Adebayo will face Popovich and the Spurs on Wednesday.