The Heat face three roster decisions this week that will determine how much flexibility they will have heading into training camp, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Thursday is a salary guarantee date for Derrick Jones Jr., Kendrick Nunn and Yante Maten, and with Miami operating under a hard salary cap, every dollar the team spends will be important.
Jones’ $1.6MM salary will become fully guaranteed August 1, and the Heat are almost certain to keep him, according to Winderman. Jones, 22, has made great strides since joining the organization as a two-way player in December of 2017. He was a rotation player last season, averaging 7.0 PPG in 60 games, and his promising future and low salary appear to make this an easy decision.
Nunn also seems likely to be retained, Winderman adds. He was signed on the final day of the regular season and played well in Summer League in both Sacramento and Las Vegas. He cashed in a $50K guarantee on his $1.4MM salary on July 1 and will have that guaranteed bumped to $150K on Thursday, then to $450K if he makes the opening-night roster.
Maten has already received a $100K guarantee and is due for another $50K on Thursday ($150K in total). Because he is already guaranteed more than $50K, he is ineligible for two-way status, and a shaky Summer League performance may make him expendable.
There’s more this morning from South Florida:
- The Heat are one of just two teams that haven’t filled any two-way slots yet, and Winderman suggests they could go to two of the three players who will come to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts — Chris Silva, Jeremiah Martin and Kyle Alexander. All three were signed at the end of Summer League.
- Even if the Heat had increased their offer for Russell Westbrook, it may not have been enough, Winderman observes in a separate story. The Thunder were willing to give Westbrook his first choice, which was to play alongside his long-time friend James Harden in Houston. Also, the Rockets parted with a generous package of draft picks that was better than what Miami had available.
- The invitation to Team USA’s World Cup camp gives more exposure to Bam Adebayo, which should boost his trade value at least slightly, Winderman writes in another story. Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will both have the chance to improve through this summer’s international competition.