Gabe Vincent

Southeast Notes: Strus, Vincent, Wizards, Suggs, Yurtseven

Heat third-year players Max Strus and Gabe Vincent believe they’re ready to contribute to the team’s title chase this season, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Strus and Vincent were on two-way contracts with the club last season, seeing sparse time off the bench. Miami decided to reward their hard work by signing them to standard deals this summer. Both have impressed during the first week of training camp.

“I’ve been working out with them all summer,” Heat star Bam Adebayo said of Strus and Vincent. “Just seeing the way they’ve grown. Vincent is becoming a better point guard. Putting dudes in the right spots, he’s getting to his spot and doing everything in between.

“Then Max is just shooting the piss out of the ball. That’s why we brought him here. He’s one of those sneaky athletic guys and he can defend. They’ve both just advanced their games to a whole other level than where it was last year.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Wizards used a players-only speech and meeting to improve their chemistry in training camp, Chase Hughes examines for NBC Sports Washington. The speech was led by star guard Bradley Beal, who averaged a career-high 31.3 points per game last season, while the meeting was called by Montrezl Harrell“(Beal) was talking about just being that one unit, doing everything together,” guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “Even today, we had a players-only meeting and that’s what we talked about; holding each other accountable and being there for each other.”
  • Magic rookie Jalen Suggs is excited for his first preseason action, Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando opens its preseason against Boston on Monday, giving Suggs the chance to play on an NBA court for the first time. “Super-excited to be starting up my rookie year,” he said. “It’s something you dream of, so this is another one of those first-time moments that you got to look forward to and you just got to take in. It only happen one time, the first time, and I’m excited, ready to get out there and ready to get up and down with the guys and be in front of a crowd.”
  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman explores whether the preseason is a chance for Omer Yurtseven to show that he can replicate the success he saw in Summer League. Yurtseven recently spoke to Hoops Rumors about his new contract, offseason and more, giving a detailed look at his situation as he gears up his first NBA season.

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.

Eastern Contract Details: Lowry, Birch, Heat, Dinwiddie, Niang, More

Kyle Lowry‘s new three-year, $85MM contract with the Heat is a standard increasing deal, starting at about $26.98MM and rising annually by 5%, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Based on Lowry’s 2021/22 salary, we now know the value of the traded player exception the Raptors created in their sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That TPE will be worth $4,832,848, which is the difference between Lowry’s new salary and the combined cap hits of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.

Murphy also confirms that Khem Birch‘s three-year, $20MM deal with the Raptors is a standard increasing contract with no options or partial guarantees — it eats up about $6.35MM of Toronto’s mid-level exception, leaving $3.187MM on that MLE.

Here are more contract details from around the East, courtesy of Smith:

  • As expected, the new deals for Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, and Gabe Vincent with the Heat are each two-year, minimum-salary contracts with one year guaranteed and the second year non-guaranteed (Twitter link). P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, got a two-year, $14.35MM contract that uses $7MM of Miami’s mid-level exception in year one. Tucker’s second year is a player option (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-year contract with the Wizards only has a base value of $54MM, rather than the previously-reported total of $60MM+ (Twitter link). The deal, which features unlikely incentives that could push its value higher, has a partial guarantee worth $10MM (of $18.86MM) in year three.
  • Georges Niang‘s deal with the Sixers came in at $6.765MM over two years, both of which are fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Trae Young‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Hawks includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The numbers are also in for the finalized deals between Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers (Twitter link), Bobby Portis and the Bucks (Twitter link), George Hill and the Bucks (Twitter link), and Danny Green and the Sixers (Twitter link), with no surprises among that group. As expected, Green’s second year is non-guaranteed and Portis has a second-year player option, while Allen and Hill have fully guaranteed salaries.

Heat Notes: Tucker, Oladipo, Haslem, Vincent, Okpala

P.J. Tucker was looking for the right situation in free agency and he believes he has found it with the Heat, according to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Tucker won a ring after being traded to Milwaukee in March, but the Bucks had limited resources to offer him. He wound up signing with Miami for $15MM over two years.

“When you’re a free agent, you’re looking for a fit, coaching styles, team styles, and this (team) is exactly what I do,” Tucker said after the signing was formally announced earlier today. “Last year, I trained in Miami. So this has been a long time coming. I’m super excited.”

Tucker averaged just 3.7 PPG last season with the Rockets and Bucks, but he has a reputation as one of the league’s best defenders. He’s expected to split time at power forward with fellow new addition Markieff Morris. Tucker thinks the Heat are positioned to become contenders again in the East after being swept in the first round last season.

“We have a tough team with guys that get after it. It’s going to be fun,” he said. “You look at our roster, we’re going to be a tough, gritty team, guys that play two ways, can switch multiple positions. More than anything, I can see us being united. Guys who are like minded and play the same way. If you have a bunch of guys like that on the same team, you have special things happening.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat are hoping Victor Oladipo may be cleared for full contact by November and could be ready to play in March, Jackson and Chiang state in the same story. A right knee injury limited Oladipo to four games after being acquired in a mid-season trade with Houston, and he underwent surgery on his quadriceps tendon in May. Oladipo re-signed on a one-year, minimum-salary contract that will pay him about $2.4MM.
  • Miami announced all its major offseason moves on Friday and Saturday, and one roster spot still remains open for veteran big man Udonis Haslem, the authors add. The 41-year-old hasn’t decided whether he will return for another season.
  • The Heat expect to have Gabe Vincent and KZ Okpala available when the Las Vegas Summer League starts on Sunday, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Both players represented Nigeria in the Summer Olympics and didn’t take part in this week’s Summer League in Sacramento.

Heat Re-Sign Gabe Vincent

AUGUST 6: Vincent’s deal is now official, the Heat announced today in a press release.

“Gabe has proven to us that he is more than just a point guard,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement. “He’s a two-way guard that can run the offense, make threes and pretty much defend any guard in this league. It’s good to have him as part of our young core of players that we feel blend perfectly with our veterans.”


AUGUST 3: The Heat are set to bring back free agent point guard Gabe Vincent on a two-year, $3.5MM minimum contract, Vincent’s agent Bill Neff informs Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Vincent, 25, appeared in 50 games for the Heat during the 2020/21 season, including seven starts. Vincent averaged 4.8 PPG, 1.3 APG and 1.1 RPG in 13.1 MPG last year.

After going undrafted out of UC Santa Barbara in 2018, Vincent played with the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s NBAGL affiliate, for the 2018/19 season.

He then latched on with the Heat as a two-way player for the 2019/20 season. Vincent appeared in just nine games for Miami during his rookie season, spending most of his time with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

He was named the Most Improved Player in the G League for 2019/20 while with Sioux Falls, after averaging 21.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG, while pouring in a .450/.406/.923 slash line. At the NBA level, he has been a gritty, defense-first option on the perimeter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Heat Extend QOs To Robinson, Nunn, Vincent, Strus

The Heat have extended qualifying offers to Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, making the quartet restricted free agents, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets.

The QOs for Robinson and Nunn are worth $4.736MM apiece, while Vincent’s QO is $1.67MM and Strus’ would be another two-way deal. Vincent’s offer includes an $84K guarantee as a two-way player over the last two seasons, while Strus’ guarantee would be $50K, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes.

Robinson will be one of the hottest restricted free agents on the market, and Nunn will also likely attract interest from multiple suitors. Miami will have to right to match offer sheets on both of those wing players.

The Heat still need to decide whether to exercise their options on the contracts of Goran Dragic ($19.4MM), Andre Iguodala ($15MM) and Omer Yurtseven ($1.5MM) by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Eight Current NBA Players On Nigeria’s 12-Man Olympic Roster

After making some noise in the exhibition schedule by upsetting Team USA, Nigeria will be looking to become the first African men’s basketball team to win an Olympic medal. And they’ll be doing so with a roster that features eight current NBA players, along with one former NBA player.

Here’s the 12-man squad that will represent Nigeria at the Tokyo games, per the Nigeria Basketball Federation (Twitter link):

Achiuwa, Nwora, Okafor, Okogie, and Okpala are all on guaranteed contracts for next season with their respective teams. Metu and Oni are on non-guaranteed deals, while Vincent will be eligible for restricted free agency after finishing the season on a two-way pact. Udoh, a former sixth overall pick who just finalized a two-year deal with Italian club Virtus Bologna, has appeared in a total of 400 NBA games (regular season and postseason)

While the Nigerian squad isn’t exactly loaded with star power, it’s worth highlighting since it’s rare for any country besides Team USA to send so many current NBA players to the Olympics.

Australia’s team will have seven players who finished the season on NBA rosters, while Spain’s roster features 10 players with at least some NBA experience. But the U.S. team is the only other one in Tokyo that will feature at least eight current NBAers.

Southeast Notes: Dragic, Heat, Unseld, Hornets

Goran Dragic has been with the Heat for over six seasons, and has played some of the best basketball of his career in Miami. He was arguably the third-best player during the Heat’s run to the Finals last season before a foot injury limited him to two games against the Lakers. But the 35-year-old point guard is coming off an injury-plagued season and owed over $19MM next season.

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Heat don’t want to trade Dragic this offseason. But if a deal for a star presents itself, the team would be willing to do so.

We have more news from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat have traded away both their picks in this year’s draft, but that hasn’t stopped team president Pat Riley for setting the edict to the scouting department to find and secure useful players from the draft, writes Winderman. “We don’t have any picks, but I can guarantee you we’ll probably get a couple of good players out of this year’s draft, somehow,” Riley said at the end of the season. The Heat have a track record of landing productive players like Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson despite scant draft resources. They’ll try to repeat history this year.
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald looks at how the Olympics experience could help the Heat‘s Nigerian trio of Gabe Vincent, KZ Okpala and Precious Achiuwa. Team Nigeria has been dominant during exhibition games, but if they don’t make the medal round, it’s possible the three young players will be back in Las Vegas for Summer League, looking to build off the momentum and confidence they’ve gained from this experience.
  • Wes Unseld Jr. is not just a familiar name, he’s also an experienced coach who has paid his dues, writes Fred Katz in a piece for The Athletic on the Wizards’ newest head coach. Katz writes that Unseld sold the Wizards based not only on his track record, but also on ideas for how to better utilize star Bradley Beal and last season’s lottery pick Deni Avdija.
  • The Hornets are working out six prospects today, per a tweet from the team: Derrick Alston Jr., Ian Dubose, Romeao Ferguson, Ariel Hukporti, Carlik Jones, and Ruot Monyyong. The Hornets have the 56th and 57th picks in the draft, the range in which most of said prospects may be available.

Olympic Notes: Nigeria, Morris, Nnaji, Team USA

The Nigerian national team, having originally invited more than 40 players to its training camp, has trimmed its roster to 15 players, according to an announcement earlier in the week (Twitter link).

Three more cuts will be required to set the official roster for the Tokyo Olympics, but it appears there will be no shortage of NBA players on the 12-man squad. Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, Miye Oni, Josh Okogie, Jordan Nwora, Chimezie Metu, Jahlil Okafor, and Gabe Vincent remain in the mix for the final roster.

One notable player missing from that list is Monte Morris. According to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link), the Nuggets guard has been bothered by a nagging knee injury and wants to focus on getting fully healthy for the 2021/22 season. He’s sitting out of the Olympics for precautionary reasons.

Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji received consideration for Team Nigeria as well, according to Singer (Twitter link), but the 2020 first-rounder decided to focus on individual development this season. Nnaji has interest in representing Nigeria in future international competitions, Singer notes.

Here’s more on the Tokyo games:

  • Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said on Wednesday that he has yet to decide on a captain for the U.S. squad (Twitter link via Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press). Given his résumé, his veteran status, and his previous international experience, Kevin Durant seems like the most obvious choice, though Draymond Green and Damian Lillard could also be candidates.
  • Asked how likely it is that members of the U.S. Olympic squad will talk during the next month about teaming up in the NBA, Bradley Beal acknowledged that “probably a lot” of those conversations will take place. “Depends on who’s a free agent or not,” Beal said (Twitter link via Fred Katz of The Athletic). “But for the most part, we can’t mix that in right now. We’re focused on one goal at hand, and that’s bringing back a gold medal. Granted, we all have our respective, individual goals and talents once this is done. We can address those issues then.”
  • Organizers confirmed on Thursday that the Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators due to a recent increase in coronavirus cases in the area. Ayano Shimizu of Kyodo News has the full story.

Southeast Notes: Dinwiddie, Vincent, Strus, Wizards, McMillan

After being swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Heat should be in the market for a point guard upgrade. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if free agent Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie could be a good fit. Dinwiddie, 28, missed all but three games in the 2020/21 season recovery from a partially-torn ACL.

A career 31.8% shooter from long range, the 28-year-old Dinwiddie may hurt the Heat’s already-cramped floor spacing playing alongside non-shooting stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Dinwiddie’s abilities as a ball handler and scorer, however, could counter some of the adverse impact his below-average three-point shooting could create.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Sioux Falls Skyforce, NBAGL affiliate of the Heat, will be returning in full force for the 2021/22 season. The Heat will now have to make some decisions on the fates of 2020/21 two-way players Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Winderman notes that Miami could tender qualifying offers to both players to make them restricted free agents. This way, the club could match any contracts they field from other teams. Vincent in particular emerged as one of the club’s best on-ball defenders, while Strus showed promise as a three-point shooter.
  • The Wizards are hoping to add a 2021 second-round draft selection, as they have in both the 2019 and 2020 drafts, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Hughes notes that the club’s recent interviews with Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix of the G League Ignite would suggest that the club is on the hunt for a second-rounder.
  • After being let go by the Pacers following a first-round playoff sweep in 2020, Nate McMillan initially considered sitting out the 2020/21 season. His mind was changed when then-Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce reached out to him. Now, McMillan himself is the club’s interim head coach, leading Atlanta to a 1-1 record in the Eastern Conference Finals. Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports details McMillan’s roller-coaster 2020/21 season. “I still wanted to coach [after the 2019/20 season], and after talking with Coach Pierce and hearing his vision, he wanted to get to the next level,” McMillan said. “Which was win. They were rebuilding, but they wanted to win. I thought it would be OK, go down and assist and not deal with the other stuff.” When Pierce was let go following a 14-20 start, McMillan was wary of the optics should he take over midseason. “They wanted to name me head coach; I had to take some time to think about that,” McMillan said. “I talked with Coach Pierce, he basically said he thought that I should take it and move forward.”