Dewayne Dedmon

Heat Notes: Lowry, Power Forwards, Martin, Camp Questions

New Heat starting point guard Kyle Lowry is looking forward to building an on-court relationship with incumbent stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Lowry, a six-time All-Star and 2019 title winner with the Raptors, inked a three-year, $85MM contract with Miami in a sign-and-trade deal this summer. Butler and Lowry have been friends since winning a Gold medal together for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics. Lowry is the godfather to Butler’s daughter.

“Having that common interest in the love of the game and how hard we work and how much we want to win, that was the first thing of us being on the same page,” Lowry explained of the origins of his relationship with the All-NBA swingman.

Lowry also expressed excitement about what Adebayo brings to the floor. “Bam can handle the ball,” Lowry raved. “He can make plays, super athletic. He’s high energy. He’s competitive.” Lowry expects that his own facilitating abilities will benefit the big man. The 35-year-old hopes that he can help Adebayo “be in better spots” and get “easier looks, layups and dunks.”

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • Questions remain about how much three-point shooting the Heat will be able to get out of their power forward corps, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The team’s two new power forward additions, recent champions P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris, have seen their long-range output dip recently. Tucker, 36, is a career 35.9% shooter, but his shooting fell to 32.2% from deep during the Bucks’ 2021 playoff run. Morris connected on 38.6% of his 3.9 triples per game with the Pistons and Lakers during the 2019/20 season, but saw that number fall to 31.1% in 2020/21. KZ Okpala and re-signed big man Dewayne Dedmon could also see time at the power forward position alongside starting Adebayo in Miami’s frontcourt, though both have been unreliable from long range. Dedmon had two seasons with the Hawks, in 2017/18 and 2018/19, in which he averaged 35.5% or better on a decent volume of three point attempts, but has not connected on more than 21% of his threes in a single season since. Seven-footer Omer Yurtseven, meanwhile, is a solid three-point shooter, but Jackson wonders if the Heat will trust him enough to give him meaningful minutes in their rotation.
  • With training camp just around the corner, new two-way player Caleb Martin will do his darnedest to prove his mettle as a candidate for legitimate Heat roster minutes, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel“At the end of the day, regardless if I’m on a two-way or if I was on an Exhibit 10, it doesn’t matter,” Martin said. “I’m just coming into training camp to try to play the best basketball I can and contribute any way I can and impact enough in a way to where I earn minutes.”
  • The Heat are figuring out rotational questions for the fringes of their roster ahead of training camp, says Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Winderman notes that, in the absence of Kendrick Nunn (now with the Lakers) and Goran Dragic (traded to the Raptors as part of the Lowry deal), Gabe Vincent looks like he will begin the season as the Heat’s prime backup point guard. 6’5″ backup shooting guard Tyler Herro could see an uptick in ball handling duties. The rotational fate of forward Okpala, on the last season of a three-year deal, could be figured out in the club’s preseason. Winderman anticipates that Micah Potter, Javonte Smart, Dru Smith and D.J. Stewart will have plenty to prove in the preseason, though they will most likely spend the majority of the 2021/22 season with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Each player will hope to intrigue the Heat enough in training camp to encourage a call-up to Miami during the season.

Heat Notes: Jarreau, Okpala, Stewart, Yurtseven

A strong Summer League performance has made DeJon Jarreau a leading candidate to grab one of the Heat‘s open two-way slots, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A thigh contusion forced Jarreau to miss the two games in Sacramento, but he was among the team’s best players in Las Vegas, averaging 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The 23-year-old guard played for Miami this summer after going undrafted out of Houston and finds himself in an open competition for a two-way deal. Both of last season’s two-way players, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, have received standard contracts.

“With DeJon, it’s just his makeup,” said Summer League coach Malik Allen. “He finds a way to put his imprint on the game … He has the vision and it’s just a matter of trying to harness the things that we see so he can keep growing and getting better as an NBA point guard.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • KZ Okpala went from the playoffs to the Olympics to the Summer League, and now he’s focused on trying to expand his role in his third NBA season, Chiang notes in a separate story. However, Okpala’s path to more minutes appears blocked after Miami added P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris in free agency. Okpala is heading into the final season of a three-year, $4.2MM contract.
  • The Heat see potential in D.J. Stewart, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract on Tuesday, Chiang adds. The undrafted guard out of Mississippi State is likely to end up with the team’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. “There is something there. He’s long. He’s got good athleticism. He’s competitive,” Allen said. “And offensively he’s got a little ways to go, but just continuing to develop. … He’s just one of those great intangible guys that has a lot of potential to keep growing in that type of role.”
  • Omer Yurtseven‘s impressive Summer League showing may give him a chance to become Miami’s backup center, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. That job currently belongs to veteran Dewayne Dedmon, but Winderman expects Yurtseven to see spot duty early in the season to determine which frontcourt combinations are most effective.

Heat Re-Sign Dewayne Dedmon

AUGUST 6: The Heat have officially re-signed Dedmon, the team announced today in a press release.

“We love Dewayne and his aggressive attitude at the center position,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement. “He’s a great screener, rebounder and can stretch the floor. He came in after missing most of the season and had a tremendous impact for us. His veteran presence and physicality are going to help anchor our defense and with a whole year under his belt, he will be even better.”


AUGUST 3: Dedmon’s new deal will be worth the minimum, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.


AUGUST 2: The Heat have agreed to terms with free agent center Dewayne Dedmon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that it’ll be a one-year contract.

Dedmon, who will turn 32 this month, joined the Heat for the home stretch of the 2020/21 season and played well, averaging 7.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG with a .708 FG% in 16 games (13.1 MPG).

Miami reportedly had interest in re-signing him but wasn’t sure about its chances, since the team only held Non-Bird rights and Dedmon had been on a minimum-salary contract, limiting his ability to get a raise. While the details of the deal haven’t yet been reported, it seems likely it’ll be either another minimum deal or something close to it.

It has been a busy first day of free agency for the Heat, who have now secured commitments from Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker, and Dedmon. The team is also lining up a maximum-salary extension for Jimmy Butler.

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, DeRozan, Knicks, Graham, Jackson, More

Now considered to be favorites to land Kyle Lowry in free agency, the Heat may try to bring in DeMar DeRozan as well, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN, confirming a series of reports from the last 24 hours.

Lowry and DeRozan were backcourt partners in Toronto for many years and have remained close friends. Miami is looking at a sign-and-trade as the best way to add Lowry, and is hoping that DeRozan might be available for the mid-level exception. That represents a big pay cut, but sources tell Schultz he might be interested if it means a chance to play alongside Lowry again.

If DeRozan turns down the MLE, the Heat will focus on finding a stretch four, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). There is support among the front office for Jeff Green, according to Jackson, who mentions Bobby Portis, Rudy Gay and Otto Porter as other options.

Meanwhile, Goran Dragic is expected to be part of a sign-and-trade with Toronto for Lowry, but the Raptors are unlikely to keep him. The Mavericks will be among the teams with interest in Dragic, according to Jackson (Twitter link).

Miami would also like to bring back reserve center Dewayne Dedmon, but he may get better offers, says Jackson (Twitter link). The Heat, who only hold Non-Bird rights on Dedmon, may have to offer part of their $3.6MM biannual exception to be competitive.

There’s more as the start of free agency draws closer:

  • The Knicks have some mutual interest with DeRozan, as well as Celtics shooting guard Evan Fournier, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley also hears that Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky would be part of the potential return in a sign-and-trade if Chicago lands Pelicans RFA Lonzo Ball, while rival teams expect Duncan Robinson to re-sign with the Heat.
  • While he isn’t necessarily their Plan A or B, Cameron Payne is one of the free agent point guards on the Knicks‘ radar, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York has considered a Payne/Derrick Rose tandem at point guard for next season, Berman adds.
  • The Thunder are seen by rival executives as a possible suitor for Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Graham is a restricted free agent, so Charlotte can match any offer, but Oklahoma City has the cap flexibility necessary to put pressure on the Hornets.
  • The Pelicans, Knicks, Celtics, and Nuggets are among the teams expected to express interest in point guard Reggie Jackson, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • EuroLeague standout Tyler Dorsey, who previously played for Atlanta and Memphis, is positioned for a return to the NBA and is drawing interest from several teams, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Southeast Notes: Zeller, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Magic, Dedmon

Cody Zeller has been in the NBA since 2013, but since the Hornets center signed a rookie scale extension in 2016 that tacked four years onto his four-year rookie contract, he has never been a free agent. Zeller, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, acknowledged that it’ll be a new experience for him, as Sam Perley of Hornets.com details.

“It’s crazy – my first free agency,” Zeller said. “I’ve only played for one team, so I don’t know how it’ll go or even logistically how it goes. I am eight years into my career and who knows how much longer I’m going to do this.

“I think the biggest thing is just being somewhere where I’m valued. I just want to win. I think we can make that step here if we’re all healthy and make that jump to becoming a competitive team that can make a deep run.”

Although Zeller referred to Charlotte as “home” and said he’s had a “great eight years” with the Hornets, he recognizes that his future is somewhat up in the air. The Hornets have identified center as a position they want to upgrade, so if they bring in a new big man or two, it’s possible there won’t be a spot for Zeller.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) have both been listed as questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Bogdanovic has started every game of the playoffs so far for Atlanta, while Reddish has yet to make his postseason debut.
  • After winning just 20 games a year ago, the Hawks are an unlikely final-four team, but they’ve succeeded this season by finding the exact contributions they need from every corner of their roster, says Rob Mahoney of The Ringer.
  • The degree of difficulty for the Magic‘s rebuild increased a little on Tuesday, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. As Robbins writes, Orlando was fortunate to get the No. 8 pick from Chicago, but the team’s own pick slipping outside the top four will make it more challenging to land a future All-Star in the 2021 draft.
  • Heat center Dewayne Dedmon said at season’s end that he’d like to remain in Miami. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald takes a look at whether that’s a realistic possibility.

Heat Notes: Olympics, Dedmon, Robinson, Haslem

Nine Heat players spoke to reporters today as part of the team’s end-of-season media availability, and many of those players intend to represent their countries in international play this summer, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald details.

Nigeria, one of the eight countries to have already clinched its spot in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, has talked to Precious Achiuwa about playing this summer, but he has yet to make a final decision. Teammate Gabe Vincent will train with Nigeria and hopes to make the Olympic roster.

Nemanja Bjelica, meanwhile, plans to play for Serbia at the Tokyo Olympics, while Omer Yurtseven – who signed with the Heat at the end of the season – intends to be part of the Turkish team as the club looks to secure an Olympic berth in next month’s qualifying tournament.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Veteran center Dewayne Dedmon said that he’d like to return to the Heat next season, but added, “That’s up to the people upstairs.” While Miami’s front office would probably reciprocate Dedmon’s interest, given how he played down the stretch, he’ll only have Non-Bird rights, limiting the team’s ability to give him much of a raise beyond the veteran’s minimum, as Jackson notes.
  • Asked about his priorities in free agency, Duncan Robinson offered the following response: “First and foremost, a fit, a place I can really feel comfortable. Winning is a priority for me. And also a business and there’s an opportunity to take care of people that I love.” Robinson will be a restricted free agent, so the Heat will have the ability to match if he signs an offer sheet.
  • Udonis Haslem remains undecided on whether he’ll retire or return to the Heat for 2021/22, but he made it clear he doesn’t take his spot on the roster for granted, as Jackson writes. “I don’t have an offseason. I’m 40 years old. If I have an offseason, I might as well retire,” Haslem said. “Straight from the season to back in the gym. I’m calling Bam (Adebayo); his (butt) is coming with me. I’m calling Precious. He’s coming with me.” Haslem added that he doesn’t have interest in coaching, but suggested he wants to eventually own part of a franchise, according to Jackson.

Southeast Notes: Westbrook, Wizards, McMillan, Heat

It was a rough night for Russell Westbrook in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Wizards guard left the blowout loss in the fourth quarter after injuring his right ankle, then had popcorn dumped on him by fan as he limped toward the locker room. Addressing the incident after the game, Westbrook called on the NBA to better protect its players with fans now permitted back in arenas, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes.

“To be completely honest, this s–t is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f–k they want to do — it’s just out of pocket,” Westbrook said. “There are certain things that cross the line. Any other setting … a guy were to come up on the street and pour popcorn on my head, you know what happens. … In these arenas, you got to start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”

The Sixers announced today in a press release that the fan who poured popcorn on Westbrook has had his season ticket membership revoked and will be banned indefinitely from attending events at Wells Fargo Center. While that’s a good first step, it’ll be interesting to see if the league takes any further action.

LeBron James (via Twitter) echoed Westbrook’s call for the NBA to protect its players, and the incident in Philadelphia isn’t the only one involving fans this week. A Knick fan appeared to spit on Hawks guard Trae Young on Wednesday (link via Bleacher Report), and Jason Quick of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that multiple Trail Blazers players took issue with some Nuggets fans as the team was leaving the court in Game 2.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Westbrook’s impressive play in the second half of the season was crucial in propelling the Wizards into the playoffs, but the team will need more from him in this series in order to have a chance at upsetting Philadelphia, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. First and foremost, the Wizards will need Westbrook healthy — his status remain up in the air after Wednesday’s ankle injury.
  • Hawks head coach Nate McMillan found his rotation decisions under the spotlight following Wednesday’s loss, but he said he was happy with his game plan, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “Our starters played 35-plus minutes. That’s a lot of minutes for those guys,” McMillan said. “Trae plays 35. Bogi (Bogdan Bogdanovic) plays 35. Clint (Capela) is at 36. That’s a lot of minutes for starters. … I thought we got a little gassed in that first half. I think we have to give those guys a little breather. They’re not going to be able to play 40-48 minutes.”
  • Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley was aware that his club probably needed more firepower to have a chance to return to the NBA Finals this year, says Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. However, Riley was unable to land Kyle Lowry at the deadline and his acquisition of Victor Oladipo didn’t work out, which could contribute to an early postseason exit for the defending Eastern champs.
  • With the Heat trailing the Bucks 2-0, Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald explore whether a frontcourt pairing of Bam Adebayo and second-half addition Dewayne Dedmon might be a viable solution to counter Milwaukee’s size.

Southeast Notes: Hunter, Magic, Hawks, Heat

Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter, limited to just 21 games this season due to a pesky right knee injury, has seen the knee responding well after returning to the court for Atlanta Monday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

Kirschner tweets that Hunter will miss Wednesday’s contest against the Wizards for scheduled maintenance on the knee, but will be available on the second night of the Hawks’ latest back-to-back, Thursday against the Magic.

Hunter had a nonsurgical procedure last month to treat remaining soreness in the knee. The 23-year-old forward out of Virginia, selected with the fourth pick in the 2019 NBA draft, has averaged career highs of 15.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.5 BPG in his second NBA season with the Hawks.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Though the Magic have been eliminated from playoff contention and appear to be prioritizing high lottery picks in a packed draft, there are still plenty of intriguing chemistry elements the club can evaluate among its current young players down the stretch, writes Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel.
  • Chris Kirschner and John Hollinger of The Athletic assess the offseason of the seemingly playoff-bound Hawks, including decisions facing the club on restricted free agent big man John Collins and disappointing 2019 lottery selection Cam Reddish. Kirschner and Hollinger wonder if Reddish should be flipped now should an improvement at the bench small forward position become available via trade, or if Atlanta should wait to see if he improves while still on his rookie deal. Collins has evolved into a valuable two-way contributor, and the speculation revolves more around the price point at which he will be re-signed rather than whether or not he’ll be brought back.
  • The Heat have seen a performative uptick lately, despite several backcourt absences. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald takes a look at how the in-season additions of veterans Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon, both 2021 unrestricted free agents, have benefited Miami. Ariza, 35, has started in 24 of the 27 games he has appeared in with the Heat, during which the team went 15-12. In a smaller but still crucial role as the team’s reserve big man willing to do the dirty work on defense, Dedmon has averaged 13.5 MPG across his 13 appearances with Miami — the club has gone 9-4 in those games.

Southeast Notes: Avdija, Young, Huerter, Dedmon

The Wizards never really found out what rookie Deni Avdija could add as a secondary playmaker in his rookie season, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes. Avdija’s rookie campaign was cut short by a right fibular hairline fracture.

Avdija didn’t have many ball-handling opportunities starting alongside Wizards stars Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Avdija ascended in last year’s draft as a top-10 selection due to his passing skills, but Washington didn’t get a full picture of what the Israeli forward could produce long-term in that area as the team heads into a crucial offseason, Katz adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Grade 2 ankle sprain that Trae Young is dealing with typically takes about two-to-four weeks to heal, says Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The high-scoring Hawks point guard suffered the injury against the Knicks on Wednesday. Spencer consulted Dr. Kenneth Jung, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, to come up with a projected recovery period for Young.
  • Even though the Hawks spent a lot of money to bring in sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter felt he could slide into a variety of roles. Huerter spoke to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic about how his season has gone. “I’ve been in the starting lineup. I’ve been out of the starting lineup,” he said. “My minutes have been up and down. You go into the day and treat it the same. You’re always ready and available. You have to have that approach.” Huerter is eligible for a rookie scale extension prior to the start of next season.
  • Dewayne Dedmon has given a nice boost to the Heat‘s frontcourt since he signed with them earlier this month, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. The 31-year-old center is averaging 7.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 13.8 MPG while appearing in four contests.

Southeast Notes: Dedmon, Porter Jr., Snell, Gafford

Heat center Dewayne Dedmon is ready to help his new team in any way he can as Miami looks to establish playoff positioning in the coming weeks, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes.

Dedmon, 31, signed a rest-of-season contract with the Heat earlier this month and is available to make his season debut on Sunday against Portland. He’s expected to provide depth for a Miami team that also has Trevor Ariza, Bam Adebayo, Andre Iguodala, Nemanja Bjelica and Precious Achiuwa in the frontcourt.

“I feel like I fit on the defensive end, helping with the rim protection, helping rebound, getting more opportunities for these shooters we’ve got here,” Dedmon said of his fit with the club.

“So I come in, block a couple of shots, get a couple more offensive boards, provide a little more offense for the guards. I feel like that will help a lot. … I’m not Bam. I’m not looking to come in here and do what Bam does. I come in here and try to fill a defensive void that I feel like they need.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Magic and forward Otto Porter Jr. didn’t hold any buyout discussions prior to Friday’s playoff eligibility waiver deadline, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports (via Twitter). Orlando acquired Porter in a deal with Chicago featuring Nikola Vucevic last month. The 27-year-old – who also didn’t have any buyout talks with the Bulls, per Stein – has appeared in three games with the team so far and is set to become a free agent this summer.
  • Hawks guard Tony Snell has suffered a right ankle sprain and bone bruise, the team announced (Twitter link). In addition to Sunday’s game against Charlotte, Snell will also miss Tuesday’s game against Toronto and will be re-evaluated when the club returns to Atlanta.
  • The Wizards were encouraged with the return of center Daniel Gafford against the Suns on Saturday, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Gafford had missed the last six games with a sprained ankle. He finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes against Phoenix, playing off the bench. “It felt great,” Gafford said. “With the limited time that I was out there, it felt natural and it felt good to be out there after this six-game stretch where I’ve been missing. It was kind of sore at the end, but other than that I just felt good being able to get up and down the floor.”