Gabe Vincent

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.”

Heat Notes: Butler, Adebayo, Achiuwa, Robinson

Heat star Jimmy Butler is eligible for a contract extension this summer, and according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, it’s likely he will seek a four-year, maximum-salary deal worth $181MM. The 32-year old wing is currently under contract through the 2022/23 season, but a four-year extension would align his contract with star center Bam Adebayo‘s recently-signed max extension, as both would expire following the 2025/26 season. Such an extension would pay Butler $50MM in 2025/26, when he’d be 36 years old.

Following a disappointing first round sweep at the hands of the Bucks, the Heat will be looking to add to their roster this summer. When asked if he would be taking a role in roster decisions, Butler said: “I don’t know. I’ve got to be active… Me myself, Bam, hell probably Tyler (Herro), some other guys, as well — they’re going to ask and we have to be honest. But at the end of the day, that’s not our job either.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • With the Tokyo Olypmics postponed until this summer, several Heat players will have important decisions to make, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Precious Achiuwa and Gabe Vincent are both potential members of the Nigerian national team, while Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo are in the player pool for the U.S. team and Omer Yurtseven is likely to represent Turkey. But with a short training camp this season, the possibility of missing out on yet another summer of training with the Heat represents a major decision, especially for young players such as Achiuwa and Vincent. The choice between Summer League and representing his nation in the Olympics is one Achiuwa isn’t rushing. “Right now,” he says, “I have time on my hands to kind of just weigh my options and see where I go from there.”
  • Not only do the Heat not have a pick in this year’s draft, but they have the fewest tradable future picks of any team in the NBA, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. As a result of trades for players such as Butler, Goran Dragic, and Victor Oladipo, a 2024 second-round pick is the only draft asset they have that’s available to be traded over the next seven drafts.
  • In a Q&A for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ira Winderman explains why Adebayo and Butler should be considered untouchable in trades, details the fallacy of the “Leastern Conference” idea, and discusses whether adding a three point shot should be the primary focus of Adebayo’s summer.
  • With the 2020/21 season in the rearview mirror, Winderman graded each team member’s performance, as well as sharing his thoughts for their futures in Dade County. In regards to Duncan Robinson‘s impending restricted free agency, Winderman views $15MM per season as a reasonable cutoff point.

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: Hawks, Vincent, Monk, Pierce

Earlier this week, Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk updated Mike Conti of Sports Radio 92.9 The Game (Twitter link) on the health and availability status of a handful of Atlanta players. Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo and center Onyeka Okongwu could be available later this week. Sharpshooting forward Danilo Gallinari, a pricey offseason acquisition, will not be traveling with the club on the road this week but is nearing his own return.

Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, however, will miss “several weeks” as he continues to rehabilitate from the avulsion fracture in his right knee. JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets that later examinations did not reveal further ligament damage.

Meanwhile, after requiring a walking boot following a December 29 right ankle surgery, Hawks reserve guard Kris Dunn had the boot removed today, Sarah K. Spence of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link). He’ll be reevaluated in two weeks.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • With the Heat lineup limited by coronavirus health and safety protocols and injuries, sharpshooting guard Gabe Vincent showcased his ability to perform at the NBA level, scoring a career-best 24 points in a 137-134 Tuesday overtime defeat to the Sixers. Vincent, signed to a two-way contract this season, could warrant a look even when all of Miami’s players return, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. “He is a very good basketball player,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That extends far beyond spot-up shooting … Can guard multiple positions, competes, good team defender. Rebounds at his position. Offensively, you can play him like we did last night as our point guard.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer posits that shooting guard Malik Monk might be just what the doctor ordered as the Hornets struggle on offense. Monk not been a part of the Charlotte rotation yet this season. The 22-year-old has appeared in just two games for Charlotte this season, averaging 5.5 MPG. Across his four-year career, he is averaging 8.5 PPG, 1.9 APG and 1.7 APG.
  • In a roundtable of NBA writers for The Athletic, Chris Kirschner opines that Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce will be on the figurative “hot seat” this season. After a blistering 4-1 start, the Hawks went 1-4 in their subsequent five games. Several of those defeats came at the hands of the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Hornets, hardly Eastern Conference powerhouses. The Hawks are currently hanging onto the No. 8 seed in the East, having lavished significant offseason money on veteran depth.

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.

Heat’s Gabe Vincent Signs Two-Way Qualifying Offer

Heat two-way player Gabe Vincent has signed his qualifying offer, according to the team (Twitter link).

The qualifying offer is a one-year, two-way contract with a $50K guarantee. So Vincent has secured that modest guarantee and currently occupies one of Miami’s two-way slots, though it wouldn’t be expensive for the team to eventually replace him with another two-way player if it so chooses.

Vincent was the G League’s Most Improved Player in 2019/20, averaging 20.9 PPG and making 40.3% of an impressive 10.3 three-point attempts per game in 31 contests for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He saw limited action for the Heat in nine games at the NBA level.