Justise Winslow

Heat Rumors: Whiteside, Dragic, Winslow

While the Heat will explore trade scenarios involving Hassan Whiteside this offseason, a source in touch with the club’s front office said the odds of a deal are “considered 50-50 at best,” and are perhaps lower than that, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. As such, Miami is preparing for the possibility of bringing back Whiteside next season.

According to Jackson, the Heat are committed to ensuring that Whiteside and head coach Erik Spoelstra are on the same page in the vent that no trade can be made. That process has already gotten underway, Jackson says, though he acknowledges that Whiteside, Spolestra, and team president Pat Riley haven’t met for a “collective summit” yet.

For his part, Whiteside hasn’t requested a trade and is open to making things work in Miami, one NBA friend of Whiteside tells Jackson. Per the Herald’s report, the veteran center does want a larger role, but any disagreement with Spoelstra is professional rather than personal.

Here’s more on the Heat from Jackson:

  • Jackson offers up one hypothetical trade scenario involving Whiteside and the Bucks, suggesting that the inclusion of John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova could make it work. However, he cautions that there are no indications the two teams have discussed such a deal or that they’d both be interested — the Heat don’t want to move Whiteside simply for bad contracts.
  • While no one on the Heat’s roster is untouchable, the team has “no appetite” to move Goran Dragic, says Jackson. Miami would also like to hang onto Justise Winslow, but recognizes that he may need to be included in a potential package for a high-end player.
  • Which “high-end” player might the Heat make a run at this summer? Jackson names Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins, and even DeMar DeRozan as possibilities.
  • Briefly circling back to the 2017 free agent period, Jackson writes that the Heat committed four years and $60MM to James Johnson due to concerns that the Nuggets or Jazz would swoop in to sign him.

Heat Notes: Whiteside, Riley, Winslow, Dragic

The Pelicans may be a team to watch as the Heat try to trade Hassan Whiteside this summer, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. After DeMarcus Cousins‘ Achilles injury, New Orleans is having second thoughts about offering him a max contract covering five years, preferring a two- or three-year deal at a reduced amount. If that impasse can’t be resolved, Jackson proposes a sign-and-trade involving Whiteside and other players, possibly including Justise Winslow.

Jackson, who notes that there’s strong support in the Miami front office to move on from Whiteside, examines a few other options, stating that the Trail Blazers and Mavericks planned to contact Whiteside when he was a free agent two years ago, but may be less interested now.

Another consideration is whether the Heat want to open up cap room for 2019 by trading Whiteside, who has two seasons and $52MM left on his contract, for an expiring deal. Jackson adds that Miami has to unload Whiteside and at least one more significant salary to be able to compete for a stellar free agent class.

There’s more tonight from Miami:

  • If the Heat can’t find a trading partner for Whiteside, team president Pat Riley indicated he will intervene in any future disputes between his center and coach Erik Spoelstra, Jackson adds in the same story. Riley also stated that Whiteside will need to adjust his game to fit the modern style. “You’ve got these quintessential sort of centers that are being forced to play a certain game because the game has changed and there’s only one or two or three teams that can play that game,” Riley said, “because three or four transformative players can make that game effective. So, how do we make him effective?”
  • Among the Heat’s many offseason decisions is whether to offer an extension to Winslow or let him become a restricted free agent in 2019, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After missing most of 2016/17 after shoulder surgery, Winslow bounced back with a solid year, playing 68 games and putting together a strong showing in the playoffs. “I’m in a much better state mentally than I was a year ago,” he said. “But none of these things are easy, dealing with stuff throughout this year, just the mental aspect of the NBA is tough and you’ve seen a lot of guys speaking out about it.”
  • Although no one on the Heat roster is guaranteed to be with the team in the fall, point guard Goran Dragic told Riley that he definitely wants to stay in Miami, relays the Associated Press“This is where I want to be,” said Dragic, who has another season left on his contract, plus an option year. “Everything here, it’s the way I want it.”

Heat Notes: Waiters, Winslow, Dragic, Free Agents

The health of shooting guard Dion Waiters looms as one of the Heat’s biggest question marks heading into next season, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. Waiters has been hampered two seasons by an ankle injury, which required season-ending surgery in January. The Heat believe Waiters will be better than ever once he heals but it’s no slam dunk he’ll even be ready for training camp. Miami president Pat Riley believes the return of Waiters, who appeared in just 30 games after signing a four-year, $52MM contract last summer, will be akin to adding a quality free agent.

“He was playing hurt for a year and a half for the most part,” Riley said. “I’m glad he had the surgery. I hope the surgery is 100 percent successful. You got a very talented 26-year-old player that still wants to make his mark and we don’t have to go out and pay somebody $25 million to get him to play.”

In other news concerning the Heat:

  • It’s more likely that Justise Winslow will get traded than Josh Richardson, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Winslow, who is still on his rookie deal, has one more guaranteed year remaining at $3.45MM. Richardson signed a four-year, $42MM extension last September. The Heat could use Winslow as a chip in a package for a top-level player or as a sweetener to dump a bad contract, with Jackson citing Tyler Johnson’s deal as an example. In contrast, Richardson would probably only be traded for an All-Star caliber player, Jackson adds.
  • The Suns’ hiring of Slovenian national team coach Igor Kokoskov as their head coach doesn’t necessarily increase the possibility of Goran Dragic being reunited with Phoenix, Winderman opines in a blog post. Acquiring a 31-year-old point guard probably wouldn’t make much sense for the rebuilding Suns, Winderman notes. However, if the Heat can regain the unprotected 2021 first-round pick they dealt to acquired Dragic, that might make it worth their while, Winderman adds.
  • What does the future hold for the Heat’s free agents? Austin Kent takes a closer look in our free agent stock watch.

Heat Notes: Wade, Whiteside, J. Richardson, Winslow

Dwyane Wade has provided countless thrills for fans at AmericanAirlines Arena over the years, but the last ones may have come this afternoon, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Wade turned in a vintage performance with 25 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep Miami from suffering a 106-102 loss to the Sixers and falling into a 3-1 hole in the series.

“I don’t want to answer that right now,” Wade said when asked if he thought today might mark his final appearance on Miami’s home court. “I’ve got another game to play. I’m focused on the next game.”

Wade’s playoff performance has been the high point of his return to Miami after a trade from Cleveland in early February. He hasn’t publicly addressed the idea of retirement, but he turned 36 in January and isn’t signed beyond this season.

There’s more news to pass along from Miami:

  • The Heat came into today’s game looking to give Hassan Whiteside a greater role in the offense, writes Shandel Richardson of The Sun-Sentinel. Whiteside had averaged just 13.3 minutes during the first three games of the series and his production was limited to 3.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per night. He got 26 minutes today and responded with 13 points and 13 rebounds. “Coach gave me some minutes out there and I tried to make the most any time I got,” said Whiteside, who complained about reduced playing time last month. “Coach said no regrets.”
  • There were reports that Heat guard Josh Richardson sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder, but the team is classifying it as a contusion, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Richardson, who set a franchise record with seven steals during the game, said his shoulder was hurting afterward. “Just trying to be active,” he told Jackson, “trying to put my fingerprints on the game.”
  • Justise Winslow was fined $15K for stepping on Joel Embiid‘s facemask during Game 3, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. The act occurred in the second quarter when the mask was on the court. “He kept throwing [his mask] on the ground. I don’t know if he didn’t like it or what,” Winslow said. “I was talking to JoJo, we were smack-talking, trash-talking, going back and forth, but no love loss.” Embiid laughed off the incident, saying he has “about 50” masks available.

Southeast Notes: Wall, Winslow, Heat Roster

Injured Wizards point guard John Wall is off his crutches and walking without a noticeable limp. However, the star point guard, who was pulled from the All-Star Game due to knee surgery, is reluctant to put a timetable on his return, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post writes.

“I really don’t know because I’m just doing everything the doctors are telling me,” Wall said. “I haven’t really tried to get back on the court yet so, just doing the little things. And I haven’t started running yet. So whenever I get to that point I can kind of start grasping stuff and understanding what level I’m at but right now it’s between six to eight weeks. It might be longer but I don’t know. I haven’t got to that point.”

Wall also addressed his recent public spat with teammate Marcin Gortat. A tweet from Gortat after a Wizards game referred to their performance as a great “team” win. Wall took his own shot at Gortat later on but he said both men have spoken and any personal issues will not be brought to the court.

There are more notes from the Southeast Division below:

  • In his latest installment of Ask Ira, Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel addressed the possibility of Justise Winslow losing playing time once Kelly Olynyk and Rodney McGruder return from injury. While Winslow is a talented player, his role on the Heat will likely diminish now that Dwyane Wade has returned and other players are healthy, Winderman writes.
  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald spoke to a veteran NBA scout who said that the Heat must blow up their roster this offseason. “Let’s put it this way,” the scout said. Goran Dragic is their best player, but if you had a really good team that would contend for a championship, you would want him to be your fourth-best player, maybe [third if you had two superstars]. Jackson goes up and down the roster, with the veteran scout assessing each player’s value for next season.

Heat Exploring Deals For Wing Help

The Heat are exploring the trade market for help on the wing, and they’re among the teams that have expressed interest in Hawks swingman Marco Belinelli, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. While Miami has interest in Belinelli, he’s one of several wings that the team has done due diligence on, Jackson notes.

Here’s more on the Heat, as they consider their trade options:

  • Although the Heat want to add a wing player, they’re not desperate to make a deal before Thursday’s trade deadline, according to Jackson, who says he’d be surprised if the team parts with Justise Winslow for a rental.
  • Despite having signed Joe Johnson when he was bought out by Brooklyn two years ago, the Heat wouldn’t be the favorites to land the veteran forward if he’s waived by the Jazz this month, says Jackson.
  • The Heat were identified this week as a team that has expressed interest in DeMarre Carroll, prompting Jackson to explore whether Miami might be interested in trading Winslow and Tyler Johnson to the Nets in exchange for Carroll. It’s an interesting idea, since the Nets originally signed Johnson to his current contract, which will get much more expensive in 2018/19. Such a deal would allow the Heat to save some long-term money and would net Brooklyn another former lottery pick. However, Brian Lewis of The New York Post says the Nets have no plans to make that swap.

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Clifford, Cordinier

The Heat have watched Josh Richardson develop into a go-to perimeter player, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel says in a video published at the newspaper’s website. Richardson’s numbers are up across the board and his presence has helped the team weather the Dion Waiters injury.

Richardson has averaged 12.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Heat this season, up to 17.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per in 15 December contests.

Not only has the swingman been a revelation for the positionless Heat, he’s shown an ability to hang with large NBA small forwards despite weighing just 200 pounds and playing through college as a 6’6″ point guard.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks draft-and-stash prospect Isaia Cordinier will undergo season-ending knee surgery, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The 2016 second-round pick has been struggling with tendinitis since at least the summer.
  • The medical issue that Hornets coach Steve Clifford struggled with for over a month can be attributed to a combination of stress on the sidelines as an NBA coach and sleep deprivation, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes. The feature delves into the head coach’s decision and why he’s confident a similar setback won’t happen again.
  • The Heat have a number of options with which to replace Dion Waiters‘ production, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, including injured swingmen Justise Winslow and and Rodney McGruder. Players like Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington could also see larger roles.

Heat Rumors: Winslow, Whiteside, Dragic, Ellington

Although the Heat lack a superstar player, there’s optimism within the organization that the team is capable of winning upwards of 50 games and a playoff round or two. Still, the Heat are aware that they face “major questions” about their ceiling, Zach Lowe writes in his latest piece for ESPN.com. As such, Miami is a team that figures to be active as the trade deadline approaches.

According to Lowe, the Heat – who may be in the tax next season – are projecting optimism that they could trade the lucrative new long-term contracts handed out to the likes of Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk if they need to. However, rival executives are skeptical that all those deals would be easily movable.

Here’s more from Lowe on the Heat’s outlook and trade possibilities:

  • Justise Winslow has been surpassed by Josh Richardson as the Heat’s small forward of the future, while Johnson has emerged as Miami’s top small-ball power forward, according to Lowe, who suggests that Winslow is a potential trade chip for the Heat. Lowe adds that multiple rival execs are calling Winslow the Heat’s version of Jahlil Okafor, though he thinks that’s “a little much.”
  • The Heat’s best and most realistic trade package if they look to make a big splash would likely be Winslow and Hassan Whiteside, says Lowe. Neither player has been a major part of Miami’s best crunch-time lineup as of late, so the club could dangle that duo in search of a star center.
  • The Heat have shown no interest in trading Goran Dragic, per Lowe’s league sources.
  • Waiters’ ankle injury has created some tension in Miami, with Waiters seeking a second opinion after the team put him on a non-surgical rehab program. The two sides hope to get clarity on Waiters’ recovery this week or next, according to Lowe, who notes that the veteran guard “almost feels redundant” on a Heat roster that features several ball-handlers.
  • Long-term luxury tax concerns for the Heat may cost them Wayne Ellington. The veteran sharpshooter is in line for a raise when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July and Miami likely won’t be able to afford him, prompting Lowe to wonder if the club would consider trading him rather than losing him for nothing.

Southeast Notes: Heat Injuries, Hornets, Isaac

The Heat have dealt with a plethora of injuries this season but, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, the team is slowly but surely making progress. Hassan Whiteside, for example, has started doing on-court work for the first time since being sidelined eight games ago.

While there’s still no timetable for Whiteside’s return, Heat fans can take solace in the fact that head coach Erik Spoelstra seems convinced that Rodney McGruder will return to the court by the end of the season.

I will not answer [in more detail] because he will read it and take it as major progress and then start banging on my door and say I’m ready to play,” the Heat coach said. “He’s out of the boot and doing more work, all non-impact at this point.

Finally, there was hope that Justise Winslow would be able to return within the week for the Heat. The forward received optimistic MRI results after injuring his knee on Wednesday. Spoelstra, however, pumped the brakes on that one saying that he wouldn’t commit to that timetable. Winslow is currently limited to bicycle and pool work.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division tonight:

Heat Notes: Bosh, Spoelstra, Winslow

The Heat experienced some déjà vu during their game against the Nets in Mexico City on Saturday as former champion Chris Bosh was in attendance for the team’s 101-89 victory. It was a welcome sight for many of Bosh’s former teammates and coaches, including Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes.

“We’ve been in touch. He looks good,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “His family, his kids are doing well. I love CB. He’s Heat family for life but man it’s strange. You see him and it’s like you go back to 2012 just like that. You realize how fast times goes by in this league.”

Bosh has not played in nearly two seasons after his issue with blood clots was ruled career-ending following a medical review by the NBA and the players’ union earlier this year. Bosh reached a unique agreement with the Heat in July where his salary would longer count against the team’s salary cap after he was waived.

We noted last month that Bosh was “keeping his options open” regarding his future as an active player. However, given his medical complications, it remains a longshot that an NBA team will give him a chance to resume his career.

Check out other Heat news below:

  • Also from the Sun Sentinel’s Shandel Richardson, Heat forward Justise Winslow has taken a demotion to the bench in stride and is finding success in that role. “I didn’t really take it as a bad thing or a good thing,” Winslow said. “For me, I just see it as an opportunity to be even more of a playmaker with that second group especially with the great spot up shooters we have in Wayne [Ellington] and Tyler [Johnson].”
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes that Erik Spoelstra thrives under stability with the Heat, something David Fizdale and other recently dismissed coaches have not been afforded. Spoelstra has been the head coach in Miami through the era of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Bosh, and in recent years during a rebuilding stage. He feels that teams will need patience to compete and that stability with coaches is critical.