Justise Winslow

Heat Notes: Richardson, Clark, Rose, Winslow

Starting Thursday, the Heat will be able to offer a contract extension to third-year guard Josh Richardson, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The offer can be as much as $43MM over four years, and Richardson would have until the start of the regular season to accept it. If he doesn’t, he will become a restricted free agent next summer.

Richardson has been valuable when he’s been in the lineup, but he was limited to 53 games last year because of injuries. Knee surgery forced him to miss training camp and the first four regular season games, then ankle problems sidelined him in midseason.

Jackson expects the Heat to offer at least $30MM over three years, with a player option for the final season. Given the decline in money going to mid-level free agents this summer, Richardson might find that offer appealing.

Here are some more Heat-related notes, courtesy of Jackson:

  • Miami seems likely to hold onto its $4.3MM mid-level exception for the buyout season. The Heat like former Warrior Ian Clark, who once played for Miami’s summer league team, but he’s looking for $8MM, well out of their price range. There’s also not an obvious role for Clark in an already-crowded backcourt.
  • The Heat also didn’t have playing time to give Derrick Rose, which is why they didn’t try to top Cleveland’s $2.1MM offer. Miami’s front office had interest in Rose, but the team is already committed to Goran Dragic as its starter as point guard.
  • Justise Winslow held a press conference this week and said his injured right shoulder will be fully healed by training camp. The second-year forward played just 18 games last year and had season-ending surgery in early January.
  • Free agent big man Luke Babbitt, who was acquired from the Pelicans in a trade last summer, is examining his options for next season. He made $1.227MM last year.
  • Willie Reed probably wouldn’t have opted out of his contract with the Heat if he knew he wouldn’t be getting a raise. The 27-year-old center agreed to a minimum-salary deal with the Clippers worth $1.5MM for one year, roughly the same amount he would have gotten in Miami. Reed said L.A. wants him to provide a defensive presence as a backup to DeAndre Jordan. “I felt like it was a comfortable position and it was kind of similar to the role that I played in Miami,” Reed said, “so it wouldn’t be difficult for me to adjust.”

Southeast Notes: Heat, Winslow, Hornets, Wizards

Justise Winslow would embrace playing alongside Kyrie Irving should the Heat make a trade for the point guard, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel relays.

“I’m good friends with Kyrie, but it’s not really like free agency. Kyrie doesn’t really have a huge say-so in where he goes,” Winslow said. “He’s going to get traded. So a lot of it is not in his hands, but I would love to play with Kyrie.”

Irving listed Miami as a preferred destination, though the organization is reportedly not optimistic about its chances of acquiring the four-time All-Star, and denied making an offer for him. It’s also worth noting that if the Heat were to acquire Irving, Winslow would almost certainly have to be part of the package heading to Cleveland.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Winslow added that he’s happy with the Heat‘s current composition, which includes Goran Dragic as the team’s current starting point guard, Winderman passes along in the same piece linked above. Dragic has three seasons left on his current deal, though he could become a free agent during the summer of 2019 if he decides to turn down his player option worth slightly under $19.22MM.
  • The Hornets brought in several free agent point guards earlier this week, but didn’t sign anyone following that group workout. Still, it sounds likely that they’ll do so soon, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.
  • The Wizards won’t have a G League affiliate this year, but one will be in place for the start of the 2018/19 season. As Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com outlines, team owner Ted Leonsis recently provided some information on that process, suggesting that details on Washington’s G League team name and branding should be announced this fall.
  • After his new deal with the Magic was officially finalized, Arron Afflalo spoke to reporters about why he made the decision to return to Orlando (video link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

At Least Six Teams Have Made Kyrie Trade Offers

10:37am: The Heat have made no offer to the Cavs for Irving, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Wojnarowski is as reliable as NBA reporters come, so this may simply be a question of semantics — perhaps the Heat conveyed to Cleveland what they’d be willing to give up for Kyrie without officially putting an offer on the table. Either way, Miami looks like a long shot.

8:37am: The Spurs, Clippers, Heat, Knicks, Suns, and Timberwolves are among the teams that have made trade offers to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to Wojnarowski, about 20 teams have inquired with the Cavs about Irving, but far fewer have made legit proposals — some clubs are just monitoring the proceedings, while others don’t have the assets necessary to make a deal happen.

As Wojnarowski explains, there’s a discrepancy between the sort of package the Cavaliers are seeking and what Irving’s potential suitors are currently willing to offer. New GM Koby Altman is looking at the package Denver received in 2011 for Carmelo Anthony as a point of reference. The Nuggets acquired young players, win-now veterans, and draft picks in that swap. However, Cleveland’s potential trade partners prefer a “scaled-down” version of that structure, with fewer players and picks, like what the Bulls received for Jimmy Butler.

Here’s more from Woj:

  • According to Wojnarowski, the Cavaliers haven’t ruled out the possibility of bringing Irving to training camp, or even extending the process beyond December 15, when most free agent signees become trade-eligible. However, other clubs are skeptical that the Cavs will let the Irving saga continue well into the fall.
  • Teams around the league view the Suns and Celtics as the teams best equipped to make a deal for Irving. However, Phoenix hasn’t been willing to include Josh Jackson, and it’s not clear how aggressive Boston would be with its assets.
  • The Heat are open to parting with Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow in an offer for Irving, sources tell Wojnarowski. Still, Miami would likely have to make an “overwhelming” offer to get something done, given the history between the two franchises, Woj adds.
  • The Pacers had Irving as the No. 1 target on their trade board when they were shopping Paul George, and would have done a one-for-one deal, but the Cavaliers declined that option multiple times, sources tell Woj. The ESPN scribe also notes that a separate deal for George – involving Kevin Love instead of Irving – fell apart when the Cavs insisted on including lottery protection on a first-round pick they’d send to the Pacers. Indiana wanted the pick unprotected.
  • Team executives around the NBA are doing a ton of homework on Irving, and have been encouraged by what they’ve found — there’s a consensus that Irving has a history of late nights and partying, but it never affected his play and he has curbed those tendencies into his mid-20s, says Wojnarowski.

Pat Riley Talks Offseason, Haslem, Babbitt, More

After an eventful week of free agency, Heat president Pat Riley spoke to local reporters and addressed a handful of subject related to his team and the offseason so far. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald passed along the highlights of that session, so let’s dive in and round up some of Riley’s most notable observations and comments…

  • Riley called the Heat’s pursuit of Gordon Hayward a “no-brainer” even though it didn’t ultimately work out. “The fact Gordon had an interest in us, we felt a need to pursue that but not at the risk of [not] negotiating hard with our own free agents,” Riley said.
  • The Heat went hard after Kelly Olynyk because the team viewed a stretch four or five as one type of player the roster was lacking. Riley also suggested that Olynyk “sets probably the best screens in the NBA” and is an ideal fit alongside Hassan Whiteside or Bam Adebayo.
  • The Heat have used “every last dollar” of the salary cap, but still have the $4.3MM room exception. Still, Riley doesn’t expect the team to use that exception right away. “We have 10 guys that we really like, 11 guys or 12 who will be fighting for rotation minutes,” Riley said. “I’m going to add another room mid level guy who is going to be fighting for 10 minutes? … If something pops up that’s really good, we’ll think about using it.”
  • Asked if the Heat need to add a backup point guard, Riley replied, “Absolutely not.” The Heat president pointed to Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson as possible ball-handlers.
  • Miami wants to re-sign Udonis Haslem and is “still talking” to Luke Babbitt. However, Willie Reed is unlikely to return, per Riley.
  • When it came to the Josh McRoberts trade, A.J. Hammons wasn’t just a throw-in for the Heat — Riley likes what he brings to the table. “He’s the kind of player that fits that mold of a stretch five or four,” Riley said. “We remember him from Purdue. That happened very quickly. We made that deal pretty quickly. We already had scouting reports on him.”

Heat Notes: Leaf, Collins, Reed, Aldridge

The Heat will be looking for size with the 14th pick, especially if Luke Kennard and Donovan Mitchell are both off the board, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. T.J. Leaf, who proved to be an effective outside shooter at UCLA, is a possibility, along with Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, who can also hit from 3-point range. Miami would like to find a stretch four to team with Hassan Whiteside, a traditional low-post center.

If Collins is off the board, Jackson says the Heat will look at Jarrett Allen of Texas and Justin Patton of Creighton. Both are 6’11” and are targeted for the back of the lottery or possibly later. A minor injury prevented Allen from working out for Miami, but he held an interview Sunday and reportedly impressed team officials. Patton did participate in a workout for the Heat on Sunday.

Jackson offers more insight into Miami’s strategy for tonight and beyond:

  • Drafting a backup center would protect the Heat in case Willie Reed leaves in free agency. The front office fears that Reed will get an offer significantly higher than the team is willing to pay.
  • Leaf could be a replacement for either Luke Babbitt or James Johnson, two forwards who are both headed for free agency.
  • Another big man to consider is John Collins of Wake Forest, who impressed the Heat in a workout last week. Miami will also look at Duke’s Harry Giles, but might be scared off by his history of knee problems. Giles canceled a workout in Miami and never rescheduled.
  • If the Heat decide to trade down, they will focus on UCLA center Ike Anigbogu and Kentucky power forward Bam Adebayo.
  • Miami is a possible destination if LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of San Antonio. The Spurs are seeking a top 10 draft pick and would like to cut salary to make a run at Chris Paul. Jackson says Miami could offer a competitive package of the 14th pick, Wayne Ellington, whose $6.27MM contract won’t be guaranteed until July 12th, Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts.

Heat Rumors: Hayward, Collins, Teodosic, Winslow

An ESPN report on Friday morning suggested that the Jazz view the Heat as a serious threat in this summer’s Gordon Hayward sweepstakes, and according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, that fear isn’t unfounded. Jackson hears from a source connected to Hayward that the Utah forward has “legitimate interest” in Miami.

Within Jackson’s latest dispatch on the Heat, there’s also word that the team will bring in former Wake Forest power forward John Collins for a pre-draft workout next Wednesday. Collins ranks 20th on DraftExpress’ big board, but has a chance to be selected in the lottery, meaning he could be an option for Miami at No. 14.

Here are a few more Heat-related items worth passing along:

  • The Heat are expected to be one of the teams with interest in Euroleague star Milos Teodosic this offseason, according to a report out of Russia (passed along by NetsDaily.com). The report also identifies Brooklyn and Sacramento as probable suitors for the CSKA Moscow point guard, though those teams have been mentioned previously — Miami’s potential interest is new.
  • Joe Beguiristain of Heat.com provides an update on Justise Winslow‘s recovery from shoulder surgery today, passing along recent comments made by Winslow: “The shoulder is doing well. Five months down, one more to go as far as the six-month process. But I feel great. I got all my range of motion. We’re just trying to get it strong enough that it can endure contact and falls.”
  • While some teams may stretch out their rebuilds in order to avoid battling the Warriors head-on within the next year or two, don’t expect Pat Riley to take that approach with the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Winderman’s recent Ask Ira series for The Sun Sentinel also includes a discussion on whether it makes sense for Miami to pay big bucks for both Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson.

Justise Winslow A Month Away From Return

Heat small forward Justise Winslow will need another month before he can fully return from shoulder surgery, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (link via Twitter). Winslow’s second NBA season was limited to just 18 games due to the injury. The former Duke Blue Devil started 15 of those contests, posting well-rounded averages of 10.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.4 SPG.

Winderman also tweets (link via Twitter) that Winslow is prioritizing improving his shooting mechanics.

Southeast Notes: Howard, Winslow, Porter, Weltman

Despite a strong regular season, Hawks center Dwight Howard was merely a struggling spectator for most of the team’s brief playoff run, which ended with a 4-2 series loss to the Wizards. Information in the days after the elimination revealed Howard was pulled over on the morning of Game 6, and he teased possibly leaving and joining a franchise where he’s a focal point.

In a recent interview with KL Chouinard of NBA.com, Howard expressed his desire to improve his game to benefit both himself and his hometown Hawks.

“I want to be the best for my team and this city,” he said. “This is why I came here. It is upsetting to me, I want to get out there and play. (It’s difficult) when you work hard for something and you watch it being taken from you (by Washington).”

The eight-time All-Star posted his highest RPG (12.7) in a single season since the 2011/12 campaign — his last with the Magic. Howard also said his body — which prevented him from playing in more than 71 games the past three years — felt its best in years. Now it’s just a matter of the 31-year-old staying consistent and healthy.

Here are additional notes around the Southeast division:

  • In his latest Ask Ira installment, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel answered a fan’s question in regards to Justise Winslow developing into a potent offensive and defensive player. While Winderman does not see Winslow developing into a Lebron James-like defender, he can envision the former 10th overall pick helping Miami in a hypothetical playoff matchup against the Celtics. Winslow missed most of the 2016/17 season, appearing in just 18 games, before succumbing to season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
  • Otto Porter is set to draw a lot of interest this offseason as a restricted free agent but the Wizards are not expected to let him walk. As J.Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes, Porter’s comfort in Washington, being a restricted free agent versus a unrestricted free agent, and his unselfishness on the court as reasons he will likely remain in the nation’s capital.
  • The Magic currently have a new president of basketball operations in Jeff Weltman and the team is remaining optimistic about the move, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel details. Unlike the man who held the position before him, Rob Hennigan, Weltman brings a pedigree; his father is a former general manager of the Cavaliers and Weltman, thirty years Hennigan’s elder, brings more experience to the role. While many around the team remain unsure of what type of impact he will have, optimism — which has not been prevalent in Orlando — is the goal.

Southeast Notes: Wizards’ Bench, Hawks’ FO, Winslow

The Wizards fell just shy of the Celtics in their Eastern Conference Semifinal showdown and now must look at ways to improve if they hope to take the next step as a potential contender. One place they can start, point guard John Wall tells Chris Miller of CSN Mid-Atlantic, is with their bench.

I think we have to add pieces to help our bench,” the Wizards All-Star said. “Just to be honest I think that’s been our downfall.

While Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27.2 and 24.8 respective points per game this postseason, mid-season trade acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic was their most potent reserve averaging a modest 8.8 points per game.

Brandon Jennings, another mid-season Wizards target charged with the task of jump-starting the second unit, posted averages of just 2.8 points and 1.8 assists per game in the playoffs.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks have interviewed Wizards VP of basketball operations, Tommy Sheppard and Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk in their ongoing search for a new executive, Marc Stein of ESPN writes.
  • A recent profile from the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman features Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon‘s and his background scouting internationally.
  • The Celtics may have offered a first-round pick to the Heat in exchange for Justise Winslow back on draft night in 2015 but it wasn’t the Nets pick, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel clarifies.
  • A column by George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel draws comparisons between Lonzo Ball and Shaquille O’Neal, citing the overbearing presence of their respective father figures.
  • The Magic have several options that could realistically be available to them at the No. 6 pick, including De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel breaks them down.

Heat Notes: J. Johnson, Waiters, Cap Space, Whiteside

Using their cap space to keep their own free agents is a better option for the Heat than chasing Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin, argues Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami will have about $37MM to spend this summer if it declines a $6.3MM option on Wayne Ellington. Issuing a max contract of more than $30MM would severely cut into that total and make it impossible for the team to re-sign James Johnson and Dion Waiters. The Heat may try to trade Josh McRoberts, who is expected to exercise a player option worth a little more than $6MM, but Winderman doesn’t expect them to find any takers. He recommends using that $37MM to keep Johnson, Waiters, Ellington and Willie Reed.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • The Heat’s decisions this summer will shape their roster for the next few years, Winderman writes in a separate piece. If Johnson and Waiters both sign three- or four-year deals, they will join Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson, who are all under contract through 2019/20. Those three already take up $62.7MM of Miami’s cap room for 2018/19, when the cap is projected at $102MM. Even assuming team-friendly contracts for James Johnson and Waiters at a combined $28MM, the Heat would be at $90.7MM, without considering $5.2MM cap holds for Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. Miami’s front office will have to decide soon if that core is worth locking up the salary cap for the next three seasons.
  • Despite recent comments from team president Pat Riley expressing loyalty to his players, the Heat would be willing to trade anyone on the roster, Winderman states in another column. The writer adds that Riley handled his press conference much better than Knicks president Phil Jackson did, but notes that if Dwyane Wade was allowed to leave last summer, then anyone is expendable.
  • After giving Whiteside a four-year, $98MM deal a year ago, the Heat want him to become a better low-post scorer, Winderman relays in another story. Whiteside continues to be among the league’s best rebounders and shot blockers, but the organization wants him to expand his offensive game and become a “championship” center. “Once you feed him that, he may be able to go there,” Riley said, “but you have to put him in that position. I think he has the ability to put up bigger numbers.”
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