Jimmy Butler

Heat Notes: Dedmon, Robinson, Herro, Adebayo

With Orlando Robinson sidelined due to a fractured thumb and Omer Yurtseven not yet ready to return from ankle surgery, the Heat will have to figure out how they’ll handle their backup center minutes for the seven games before the All-Star break, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Inserting Dewayne Dedmon into Robinson’s role would perhaps be the simplest option, but the veteran big man hasn’t seen any action since being suspended for a game without pay last month, and Jackson hears from a source that the Heat is looking to trade him. If they move Dedmon before next Thursday’s deadline, the Heat could perhaps get another center back in that deal — otherwise, the team could turn to veteran Udonis Haslem for a few games before the All-Star break.

For his part, Dedmon said he hasn’t heard from the club whether he’ll be reinserted into the rotation or whether he’ll be traded, and is just taking things day-by-day for now.

“It’s the business of basketball,” Dedmon said, per Jackson. “Just like you show up to work, I show up to work every day. Whatever the team decides to do in the future, or whatever may happen, you roll with the punches. I’m going to be professional about what I have to do do with my approach to every game and make sure I’m prepared if my team needs me.”

Robinson, meanwhile, told reporters on Thursday that he’s hoping his recovery timeline following his thumb fracture doesn’t have to be measured in weeks, suggesting he’s hoping for a speedy return (Twitter link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • While the Heat will almost certainly stay out of luxury tax territory this season, next season’s payroll will likely blow past the tax line if the team intends to retain free agents like Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, and Gabe Vincent, Jackson writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Jackson would be surprised if ownership signed off on a huge tax bill for the current version of the team and suspects that something will have to give, which could affect how the front office approaches next week’s trade deadline. Moving off Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson now or in the summer would put the Heat in a better financial position, Jackson observes.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro said this week that he never sought clarity from the Heat on whether the team included him in any trade offers for Donovan Mitchell during the 2022 offseason, according to Jackson. “I was curious; I didn’t ask,” Herro said. “I’m sure I was.”
  • Within the same Miami Herald story, head coach Erik Spoelstra expressed confidence that both Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler will be among the seven players voted by coaches as Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. “I think they’ll both make it,” Spoelstra said. “The coaches vote on that, and I think they’re recognized, both those guys, how much they impact winning.” The All-Star reserves will be revealed on TNT on Thursday night.
  • Addressing the possibility of trying to recruit players to Miami in the future, Adebayo said he has mixed feeling about the issue — he would be willing to to it for the “greater good” of the team, but would feel uncomfortable asking Heat management to bring in a friend for the sake of it, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It would be if it results in winning, and not, ‘Oh, we just want to be on a team just so we can play together,'” Adebayo said.

Injury Updates: Anunoby, Simmons, Warren, James, Doncic, Young, Butler

OG Anunoby is one of the bigger names churning through the trade rumor mill, so the latest injury news regarding the Raptors forward could complicate those discussions.

The team has ruled out Anunoby for the remainder of its road trip, a seven-game journey which concludes with stops in Utah, Houston and Memphis this week, Michael Grange of Sportnet.ca tweets. He sprained his left wrist against Golden State on Friday.

We have more notable injury updates:

  • The Nets’ Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) sat out Monday’s win over the Lakers, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Coach Jacque Vaughn is hopeful both will be “ready to go” for Wednesday’s matchup against Boston, Adam Zagoria tweets.
  • LeBron James sat out that game with what Lakers coach Darvin Ham describes as “some really significant soreness” in his left foot, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. The Lakers play against the Knicks on Tuesday.
  • Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic returned to action after a one-game absence due to an ankle sprain and continued his scoring rampage. He notched 53 points against Detroit, his league-best fourth 50-point game this season, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press notes (Twitter link).
  • Hawks guard Trae Young sat out Monday’s game against Portland due to right ankle soreness, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. He had 31 points in 36 minutes against the Clippers on Saturday.
  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler (right quad contusion) is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against Cleveland, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Butler scored 28 points against Charlotte on Sunday.

Eastern Notes: Trent Jr., Butler, Yurtseven, Isaac, Brown

Gary Trent Jr. has been one of the hot names on the rumor mill due to the Raptors guard’s ability to opt out and become a free agent this summer. However, it’s no lock that the Raptors will trade him, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.

The organization has been impressed with Trent’s professionalism and production after enduring an early-season shooting slump. The Raptors have signaled they are willing to re-sign him and Grange’s sources indicate Trent would like to re-sign with them during the offseason. Trent is likely to decline the $18.56MM option on the final year of his three-year contract.

We have more Eastern Conference news:

  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler says he’ll play against Orlando on Friday, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. He was a late scratch against Boston on Tuesday due to lower back tightness. Center Omer Yurtseven, who hasn’t played this season after undergoing ankle surgery, did some shooting after practice on Thursday, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Yurtseven still has a splint on his ankle and his return is not imminent.
  • Magic big man Jonathan Isaac scored 10 points in 10 minutes against Boston and five points in eight minutes against Indiana on Wednesday. He hadn’t played since 2020 due to a serious knee injury and admits that he struggled through a 4 1/2-minute stint in the first half of his first game back. “That kind of first wind got to me. That last minute I could barely talk I was breathing so hard,” Isaac said to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez and other media members. “But the second rotation in the second half, that four minutes, I started to just relax and just feel good.”
  • Pacers’ second-round rookie Kendall Brown is back in action with the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants after sitting out six weeks due to a stress reaction in his right tibia. He absorbed a lot on information during his recovery, he told Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. “It’s been a lot of rehab, sitting on the bench watching my teammates play,” he said. “Being off, I spent a lot of time with the Pacers — in the film room and courtside just watching everything. It was really good to see everyone play and the speed of the game. I think it helped me a lot.”

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Highsmith, Strus, Butler

Bam Adebayo is a long shot to start the All-Star Game, but the Heat center is confident that he belongs there, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Adebayo was outside the top 10 among Eastern Conference frontcourt players in the latest round of fan voting, which accounts for 50% of the final total. Coaches will choose the seven reserves in each conference, with the selections being announced February 2.

Adebayo has a strong case for All-Star consideration, averaging career highs with 21.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while anchoring Miami’s defense. He dismisses the results from the fans, but believes the coaches understand how good he is.

“I’m going to be (upset) about if they tell me somebody else has played better than me this year considering I’m leading the NBA in paint points and I’m one of the reasons why we’re winning,” Adebayo said. “So for me, it’s just that fan voting is fan voting. I’ll let that be. But when it comes to coaches voting, that’s when I feel like I deserve to be in it.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Haywood Highsmith earned extended minutes with his performance in Tuesday’s win over the Celtics, Chiang states in a separate story. The third-year small forward has excelled with Jimmy Butler battling injuries, and he put up 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench against Boston. “H played so well, I just couldn’t take him out of the game,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Those are the kind of things that you want from a head coaching standpoint. Make us play you because you’re playing so hard and you’re making so many things happen.”
  • The Heat weren’t expecting to use Max Strus as a starter this season, but injuries have forced him into that role, Chiang adds. Strus has started 25 of the 47 games he has played, including Tuesday night when Butler was a late scratch. “You could look at it either positively or negatively,” Spoelstra said. “That’s why I tell him, ‘Isn’t this what you’ve always wanted? To come in there and play a big role whether you’re coming off the bench or starting. What else could you want?’ I think that’s great to be able to plug and play in a lot of different roles.”
  • The lower back tightness that prevented Butler from playing against the Celtics occurred during pre-game warmups, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Heat Notes: Butler, Jovic, Garrett, Martin

Jimmy Butler has missed 10 games this season due to right knee soreness and injury management and he’s still dealing with it, he told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I still got some work to do,” the Heat forward said. “It’s not where it needs to be.”

Butler, who has been medically cleared to play back-to-backs, and the Heat’s staff will continue to monitor the situation. “I can go out there and compete.” he said. “I can’t say that I’m fully healthy. .. The more rest that I have and able to get that recovery that I need is always going to be better.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Rookie big man Nikola Jovic has returned to South Florida for further evaluation of a back injury, Winderman reports in the same story. Jovic experienced back soreness after playing Saturday with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
  • Guard Marcus Garrett has played two games with the Skyforce, Winderman notes. Garrett underwent surgery in October for a right wrist fracture and the Heat subsequently waived him. They may consider bringing him back on a two-way deal depending upon how he performs in the G League.
  • Caleb Martin said after the Monday shootaround that he’s a game-time decision against the Clippers, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. He has missed the last two games with a quad strain.

Southeast Notes: Butler, Lowry, McDaniels, Oubre

A consultation with a Los Angeles doctor over the weekend resulted in good news on the state of Heat All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler‘s sore right knee, reports Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Butler sat out Miami’s narrow 126-123 victory over the Jazz last night but has been cleared to play in back-to-backs going forward, a source tells Chiang.

In 23 games this year, Butler is averaging 21.8 PPG on .528/.340/.829 shooting splits. He’s also chipping in 6.7 RPG, 5.8 APG and 2.1 SPG for the 19-18 Heat.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • $28.3MM Heat starting point guard Kyle Lowry may need to step up his game or risk being rotated out of the team’s closing lineups for good, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida South Sentinel. The 36-year-old was recently sat for the entirety of the fourth quarter in the Utah win, after experiencing consecutive down nights in back-to-back games against the Nuggets and Jazz.
  • Fourth-year Hornets reserve small forward Jalen McDaniels recently spoke with Alex Kennedy of Basketball News about his long road to major rotation time. “Playing in the G League [for much of his rookie season], it just got me real confident — just letting me play through my mistakes and play a lot of minutes,” McDaniels said. “I learned a lot of the game, coming from the G League, playing in a lot of games and just knowing what to expect. I feel like my game is just locked in and I know where I’m supposed to be.” This season, McDaniels is averaging a career-most 10.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.0 SPG in 25.9 MPG.
  • Starting Hornets small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will be sidelined for at least a few games as he grapples with a sprained left hand, reports Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “He’s working, doing as much as he can now to try and get back,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “Hopefully we’ll know more in the next couple of days. The hand is funny, it just got banged a bunch of times, and this was twice in a short period of time. It was really sore. You could see he was struggling to catch the ball. He definitely needs time for sure.”

Heat Notes: Robinson, Butler, Adebayo, Oladipo

Duncan Robinson is the Heat‘s new career leader in three-pointers, but it’s not a record he expects to keep very long, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Robinson sank three shots from long distance Friday at Denver to give him 807, one more than Tim Hardaway, and while it’s a function of the way the league has changed, it’s notable that Robinson was able to reach his mark in 265 games, while it took Hardaway 367.

Robinson savored the accomplishment, but he acknowledged that the record will eventually belong to Tyler Herro, who already has 491 career three-pointers in his fourth NBA season.

“Tyler is on my heels,” Robinson said. “I just told him that I got it for now, but you’re going to get it soon. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.”

The record comes amid a season of adjustments for Robinson, who has returned to a reserve role after being a starter for the past three seasons. Robinson also faces an uncertain future in Miami, as he’s considered to be an important trade chip as the franchise tries to land another star.

“I haven’t really taken too much time in the process of it. But yeah, I’m proud of the journey,” Robinson added. “A lot of people helped me along the way. A lot of people in this organization, a lot of teammates, a lot of people in my corner. It’s not just me, so I celebrate it with them, for sure.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Instead of accompanying his teammates to Utah for Saturday’s game, Jimmy Butler flew to Los Angeles to have a doctor examine his right knee, Chiang adds. Butler hopes to receive medical clearance to begin playing in back-to-back games.
  • Friday’s loss to the Nuggets left Miami with a .500 record through 36 games, and center Bam Adebayo is among the players frustrated at the regression after having the best record in the East last season, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. “The thing about it, we don’t want to be mediocre,” Adebayo said. “We don’t want to be in the middle of the pack.” 
  • Victor Oladipo is still a valuable defender, but his contributions on offense have been minimal since returning from left knee tendinosis, Winderman states in a separate story. In the 10 games he has played this season, Oladipo is shooting just 36.4% from the field and 24.4% from three-point range. Winderman also observes that Oladipo’s first step seems slower and he’s not as controlled on his drives to the basket.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Heat, Banchero, Magic, Beal

Hawks point guard Trae Young was ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Brooklyn due to a left calf contusion, per Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Starting small forward De’Andre Hunter will also be sidelined for the second straight game with a left ankle sprain.

Young, who is averaging 27.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 9.9 APG on .414/.316/.896 shooting through 31 games, was injured in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss to Indiana, which dropped the Hawks to 17-17 on the season.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Heat stars Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) and Bam Adebayo (illness) were both out for Monday’s victory over the Wolves, but were back in action for Wednesday’s game against the Lakers, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscriber link). However, point guard Kyle Lowry was ruled out for personal reasons, the first time he’s missed a game with that designation in 2022/23 after missing extended time last season due to personal reasons. Gabe Vincent was moved into the starting lineup in Lowry’s place, Winderman adds.
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra suggested that backup center Dewayne Dedmon could miss an extended period of time for the Heat as he continues to be hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Winderman writes in another subscriber-only story for The Sun Sentinel. “There’s no point in resting him and then if we’re going to be right back to where he is where we’re managing it every single day,” Spoelstra said. “He would like to put it behind you. I don’t know necessarily if he’ll be able to fully put it behind him the way Gabe [Vincent] was with the week or two weeks rest. But our hope is that it will be a lot better than it was.” Still, being down Adebayo and Dedmon on Monday showed the that Heat might have decent depth in the middle, with rookies Nikola Jovic and Orlando Robinson capably filling in, according to Winderman, who notes that Omer Yurtseven shouldn’t be overlooked going forward either, despite being sidelined following ankle surgery.
  • The Magic have won eight of their past 10 games, and No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero has played a big part in their recent surge, as Kelly Iko of The Athletic details. The 6’10” forward says he’s hoping for both team and individual success for the rest of ’22/23. “Hopefully we can make the playoffs or the play-in, get there and win Rookie of the Year. That’s my goal,” he said. The Magic currently trail the Raptors by two-and-a-half games for the final spot in the play-in tournament.
  • Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who exited Tuesday’s win over Philadelphia with left hamstring soreness, likely won’t be out for long, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Beal was officially ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Phoenix (Twitter link via Ava Wallace of The Washington Post), but Charania says he is considered day-to-day and could be back for Friday’s contest in Orlando.

Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo Out Monday For Heat

Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been ruled out for Monday’s contest against the Timberwolves, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Butler, who recently expressed his frustration with his inability to stay on the court due to a variety of injuries, suffered a right ankle sprain in Friday’s loss to Indiana. The veteran forward was previously listed as questionable, but was ruled out after testing the ankle during Miami’s shootaround on Monday morning, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Adebayo is dealing with a non-COVID illness. Unlike Butler, he has been mostly healthy this season — this will be his fourth missed game, with the Heat going 1-2 in his three absences thus far, per Winderman.

Unfortunately, Adebayo’s primary backup at center, Dewayne Dedmon, was also ruled out Monday due to “ongoing plantar fasciitis in his left foot,” Winderman adds. The team will likely lean on a pair of rookies (first-rounder Nikola Jovic and two-way big man Orlando Robinson) to fill minutes in the middle.

The Heat have been dinged up seemingly all season long, and being without their two best players certainly won’t help matters tonight. They are currently 16-17, the No. 9 seed in the East.

Eastern Notes: Butler, Barnes, Harris, Simmons

Jimmy Butler has dealt with a variety of injuries this season. The Heat forward is frustrated that he can’t consistently stay on the court, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

“You know what I’m saying, it’s tough whenever I’m in and out of the lineup so much,” Butler said. “I don’t choose to do that, obviously. But at this point, it’s frustrating. I can only imagine how my teammates feel, how my coaches feel, (Heat president) Pat (Riley) and them feel. But I want to be out there, honestly, because I think that I can help.”

The Heat are listing Butler as questionable to play against Minnesota on Monday due to a right ankle sprain, the team tweets. He has missed 12 games so far this season.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Scottie Barnes has not progressed from his strong rookie campaign and the Raptors forward will need to work harder on his game next offseason, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. His statistics haven’t improved and he’s not having the same impact on the game as last season, in part due to a lack of enthusiasm. Barnes has the talent but may have been guilty of resting on his laurels, Smith writes.
  • Nets forward Joe Harris won’t play against Cleveland on Monday due to left knee soreness, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Harris also missed Friday’s victory over Milwaukee.
  • Ben Simmons has sparked the Nets’ defense during their current eight-game winning streak, including a workmanlike performance against Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ethan Sears of the New York Post notes. Milwaukee’s franchise player committed seven turnovers with Simmons as the primary defender. “Giannis is the most physical guy in the league, so there’s going to be some questionable (foul calls) there,” Kevin Durant said. “I think he stayed with it all game. Made life tough and I think we all did a solid job of showing him a crowd a little bit, making him kick out and forcing him to turn the ball over. Seven turnovers, so Ben was the catalyst for that.”