Justise Winslow

Heat Sign Justise Winslow To Three-Year Extension

OCTOBER 13: Winslow’s extension is official, per RealGM’s NBA transactions log.

OCTOBER 12: Heat forward Justise Winslow has agreed to a three-year, $39MM extension, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The agency representing Winslow, Roc Nation, hammered out the deal with Heat president Pat Riley a few days before Monday’s rookie scale extension deadline.

The extension includes a third-year team option, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The Sun Sentinel reported on Tuesday that the two parties were close to an extension agreement.

The agreement greatly reduces the possibility of Winslow being included in a potential trade with the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, as CBA rules would complicate his value for salary-matching purposes.

With Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns having already signed new deals, Winslow becomes the third player from the 2015 rookie class to secure an extension. There are still 2o players eligible for a rookie scale extension this year. If those players don’t sign new contracts by next Monday, they’ll be on track to become restricted free agents during the summer of 2019.

Winslow, the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, has not quite developed as quickly as the franchise hoped, though he showed some improvement last season. The extension will be well worth it if he effectively holds down a rotation spot during the life of the contract.

Winslow’s contract adds more guaranteed money to already hefty payroll. The Heat will now have approximately $133MM in salary commitments (including player options) for the 2019/20 season. They’ll have to make some moves to avoid paying luxury tax penalties following that season.

Winslow shot 38% from long range last season but only posted modest overall numbers, averaging 7.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG in 68 games (24.7 MPG). However, Winslow has the ability to defend multiple positions and averaged 1.6 steals last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Winslow: Extension With Heat “Getting Close”

The Heat and Justise Winslow have less than a week to reach an agreement on a contract extension before an October 15 deadline, but Winslow is optimistic that the two sides will find common ground, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.

“There’s been talks. We’re getting close,” Winslow said, per Winderman. “I think it should get done.”

With Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns having already signed new deals, Winslow is one of 21 players still eligible for a rookie scale extension this year. If those players don’t sign new contracts by next Monday, they’ll be on track to become restricted free agents during the summer of 2019.

While Winslow believes there’s a good chance he and the Heat will work something out, there are potential road blocks. Miami’s involvement in the Jimmy Butler trade talks represents one complication — if the Heat are able to complete a trade for Butler, it’s possible that Winslow would be included in the package, meaning the club may try to get resolution on that situation before finalizing an extension for the 22-year-old.

The Heat also have no shortage of lucrative multiyear contracts on their cap already, with approximately $120MM in guaranteed salaries (including player options) committed for 2019/20 without accounting for Winslow. The in-the-tax Heat may be reluctant to invest long-term in another player quite yet, unless the cost is team-friendly.

Winslow, the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, showed an improved three-point shot in 2017/18 (.380 3PT%), but only posted modest overall numbers, averaging 7.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG in 68 games (24.7 MPG). Assuming he remains in Miami, the team will be looking for him to claim a regular role in a crowded rotation this season and take another step forward on both ends of the floor.

Southeast Notes: Vucevic, Winslow, Hornets

With Nikola Vucevic entering a contract year and Mohamed Bamba aiming to become the starting center of the future in Orlando, Vucevic looks like a trade candidate for the Magic. However, Jeff Weltman says his club has “no designs on trading anyone right now,” per Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.

“That’s something that we’ll worry about later,” said the Magic’s president of basketball operations. “Vooch is a high-quality player and an even higher-quality person. He’s very valuable to our team today, and he’s very valuable to what we want to be about going forward. So I wouldn’t even entertain those thoughts yet.”

In a Q&A with John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com, Weltman touched on several more topics, including the Magic’s decision to hire new head coach Steve Clifford, Aaron Gordon‘s new contract, the Bamba pick, and many of the club’s other offseason moves. While Weltman knows that the Magic aren’t expected to make the postseason this season, he doesn’t mind being discounted by the pundits and hopes to see his roster stay healthy and “surprise some people.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Justise Winslow‘s name figures to come up frequently in trade speculation as long as Jimmy Butler is available, but assuming Winslow remains with the Heat, the club intends to explore a possible rookie scale extension. The two sides have yet to discuss financial specifics, but more talks are planned before the October 15 deadline, a team source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
  • The Hornets are one of several NBA teams that haven’t filled either their 15-man regular season roster or their two two-way contract slots. That’s by design, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, who tweets that GM Mitch Kupchak is keeping an eye out for possible roster casualties around the league who could fit with the Hornets.
  • The Hornets announced a series of additions to their basketball operations staff this week, including adding veteran NBA forward Matt Carroll as a player development assistant. Carroll, who spent most of his playing career in Charlotte, last appeared in an NBA game in 2012.

Heat Notes: Wade, Haslem, Winslow, Weber

Speaking to reporters today at the Heat‘s Media Day, Dwyane Wade admitted that he was “90-10” on retiring after last season, and is now ready to enter his final year in the NBA, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. No matter how Miami’s season plays out, Wade is comfortable and at peace with his decision, noting that he’d like to remain “around the game” after retiring as a player.

Meanwhile, longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem joked today that he’ll retire when Wade does, but later clarified that he has yet to make a decision on his own future, opting to take it year by year (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). Haslem and Wade both entered the NBA in 2003 and have been teammates for all but one season since then.

Here’s more out of South Beach:

  • Justise Winslow acknowledged today that it’s hard not to think about his contract situation with an October 15 deadline for a rookie scale extension looming (Twitter link via Ira Winderman). However, he said he’ll be fine with or without a new deal in place by that time. Winslow added that he has met with the Heat front office about an extension.
  • Briante Weber has spent most of his career in the G League, but he doesn’t feel like that’s an option as he tries to earn a roster spot with the Heat, relays Barry Jackson. “I’ve pretty much done everything I could in the G-League,” Weber said. “There’s nothing else for me to do down there. My game speaks for itself down there. I am here for the NBA.”
  • In another article for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson rounded up all of Erik Spoelstra‘s notable comments from today’s Media Day presser, including the head coach’s thoughts on Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Miami’s roster versatility.
  • Earlier today, we passed along word that James Johnson may not be healthy in time for the Heat’s regular season opener.

Latest On Jimmy Butler

It has been another busy day of Jimmy Butler rumors, with the latest whispers suggesting that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wants to make a deal soon, and that the Cavaliers are among the teams with interest in the All-Star swingman.

We have a few more Butler-related items to pass along to finish off the weekend, so let’s dive in and round up the latest….

  • Pat Riley and the Heat have been “as aggressive as any team” so far in pursuing a Butler trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who adds that Timberwolves ownership would still like to find a deal by early this week.
  • Noting that the Heat have long been fans of Butler, Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald confirm that the club is “aggressively” pursuing a trade for the 29-year-old. While Miami would likely be willing to give up Justise Winslow in a Butler deal, it’s not clear if the team would open to including Josh Richardson or Bam Adebayo, per the Herald report. As Jackson tweets, the Heat also wouldn’t be going after Butler unless they believed they could lock him up long-term.
  • The Timberwolves have told at least one interested team that they can get a good player back in a Butler deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Wolfson also hears that the Raptors are interested in Butler.
  • Despite the Timberwolves‘ lack of leverage, they should be able to do pretty well in a trade, given the number of teams that view Butler as their potential difference-maker, opines Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune (via Twitter).

Heat Notes: Winslow, Whiteside, Waiters, Butler

Justise Winslow‘s hope for an extension may fall victim to the Heat’s other recent financial decisions, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami already finds itself in luxury tax territory because of moves made during the past two offseasons and may not want to commit to a new deal with Winslow before the October 15 deadline.

After the Heat missed out on Kevin Durant in 2016 and lost Dwyane Wade to the Bulls, they responded by matching an offer sheet for Tyler Johnson and signing James Johnson and Wayne Ellington. A year later, Miami was a finalist for free agent Gordon Hayward, but once he chose the Celtics, the Heat used their cap space to add Kelly Olynyk.

The franchise could have more than $131MM in committed salary for 2019/20 if Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Goran Dragic all exercise their player options. Winslow will become a restricted free agent next summer if no extension deal is reached.

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • Whiteside may not be any happier with his playing time this season, Winderman adds in the same story. The center voiced his complaints about the coaching staff to the media last year as his minutes per game dropped to 25.3 after reaching a career-high 32.6 the season before. Whiteside is Miami’s highest-paid player at $25.4MM per season, but his usage has fallen as the Heat have transitioned to using smaller lineups. With Bam Adebayo, Olynyk and James Johnson all competing for minutes in the middle, it seems unlikely that Whiteside’s role will increase.
  • Dion Waiterslingering ankle injury takes away the Heat’s chance to see how he will work in tandem with Wade in training camp, Winderman notes in another piece. With no experienced backup point guard on the roster, Wade may inherit the role, similar to what he did in Cleveland. However, it’s going to be difficult to sort out all the backcourt candidates until Waiters is healthy enough to play.
  • The Heat have been mentioned among teams with interest in Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler, and they could offer the type of culture and veteran roster that Butler reportedly wants, Winderman tweets. However, they won’t have the cap room to add another star next summer, which might lessen Butler’s interest in coming to Miami. Winderman suggests that Richardson, Winslow, Olynyk and Adebayo could be among the players the Heat would consider moving in a Butler deal.

Heat Notes: Wade, Winslow, Ellington

The Heat should follow the Spurs’ lead in putting together a contract for Dwyane Wade, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. When Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were nearing the end of their careers, San Antonio gave them deals that were guaranteed for two years, even if they played just one more season.

Winderman suggests Miami should go all in on an effort to re-sign Wade, offering its entire $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception as the starting point for a two-year contract. That would give Wade more than $10MM in guaranteed money, which would be tough to turn down and would help compensate him for past years in which he played under his market value.

The downside is the effect the deal would have on the luxury tax. Miami is already about $5MM over the tax threshold without Wade on the roster and faces a similar situation for 2019/20 if Hassan Whiteside [$27MM], Tyler Johnson [$19.2MM] and Goran Dragic [$19.2MM] all opt in to their current contracts. Short of giving Wade all or part of the MLE, the only alternative is a veteran’s minimum deal that would pay him just $2.4MM.

  • If Wade doesn’t continue playing and Dion Waiters isn’t completely healthy when training camp starts, the Heat should contact some of the free agent wings who are still available, Winderman states in a separate column. The ideal situation, he adds, would be someone willing to join the team for camp without a guaranteed contract.
  • The Heat’s collection of large salaries may mean a delay in trying to re-sign Justise Winslow, Winderman states in another column. Winslow is eligible for an extension now, but with seven players already earning more than $10MM per year, Miami may decide to hold off on making an offer and deal with Winslow in free agency next summer.
  • Wayne Ellington didn’t get much interest on the free agent market, but he will serve a valuable role for the Heat once again, writes Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders in a season preview on Miami. Ellington, who re-signed with the team for $6.27MM, averaged 11.2 points per game last year and shot 39.2% from 3-point range.

Heat Notes: Draft, Richardson, Wade, Haslem

The NBA appears to be holding off a decision to eliminate the one-and-done rule until the 2022 draft, which would be good news for the Heat, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That would mean Miami wouldn’t miss out on a potential bonanza in the 2021 class with the top college prospects and high school seniors both available. The Heat are the only team that have traded their 2021 first-rounder, sending it to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic deal. The Suns moved it to the Sixers this summer as part of the package to acquire Mikal Bridges.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN recently reported that teams have been told by league executives that no change in the one-and-done rule will occur prior to 2022. The Heat haven’t appealed to the league to make the change in any particular year, Jackson adds.

Jackson shares more from Miami in the same story:

  • At least one unidentified team offered a first-round pick to Miami in exchange for Josh Richardson during the offseason. The Heat turned it down and have no plans to part with Richardson, who is entering the first season of a four-year, $42MM extension. The team also prefers to hang onto Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo, James Johnson and Justise Winslow.
  • Dwyane Wade has less than two weeks to make a decision before camp opens, but at least one Heat official believes he wants to play this season. Wade has been on vacation in California, but will return to Miami tomorrow to open a restaurant with Udonis Haslem, who has been part of the recruiting effort to get Wade to return.
  • Haslem said his “love for the organization” and his teammates was behind his decision to return for a 16th season. “If I was looking for playing time, I could have gone someplace else or played in China or something,” he said. “But at the end of the day, would it have made me as happy as being around this organization and being around these guys? No, I don’t think it would.” Haslem saw minimal action last season, averaging about five minutes per night in 14 games.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Winslow, Waiters, Howard

Hornets coach James Borrego is seeking to give his team a fresh identity this season, labeling pace and ball movement as two important factors that can help the team, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. Borrego was hired by the Hornets in May after spending the last three years under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, plus a stint with San Antonio from 2003 to 2010.

“When the ball is just being pounded and one guy has it in his hands for five or six seconds – when we’re just seeing him dance with the ball – the rest of the defense just gets to relax and load up,” Borrego said. “You’re not going to be perfect all the time, but let’s put pressure on the defense constantly. … We demanded it in San Antonio. My job is to sell that to the players to do what’s best for the team.”

The Spurs are known for picking apart defenses with crisp passing, spacing and off-ball movement, and that’s exactly what Borrego hopes to bring to the Hornets this season. Charlotte helped alleviate this issue by allowing Dwight Howard, a paint-oriented player, to depart for the Wizards this summer.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Although Heat forward Justise Winslow is eligible for a contract extension, it remains unclear how the team plans to use the 22-year-old, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel notes in an “Ask Ira” mailbag. The Heat signed Winslow’s teammate and starting forward Josh Richardson to an extension last summer.
  • Heat guard Dion Waiters continues to work his way back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of the 2017/18 season, but the Syracuse product has yet to be cleared by a doctor for full-contact play. “Once I’m cleared from the doc it’s on,” he posted on social media, according to the Sun Sentinel.
  • Dwight Howard could be the missing piece the Wizards have been seeking for quite some time, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington contests. Should he buy in, Howard’s ability to defend the rim, set effective screens and play in the pick-and-roll could pay dividends for Washington.

Heat Rumors: Winslow, Wade, Robinson, Weber

It remains to be seen how aggressive the Heat will be in trying to lock up Justise Winslow to a rookie scale extension this offseason, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, who writes that the team has yet to present an offer to the fourth-year forward. The Heat also haven’t indicated whether or not an offer will be forthcoming, but the two sides are expected to meet in the coming weeks, Jackson reports.

Miami will have until October 15, the day before the start of the regular season, to work out an extension with Winslow. Without a new deal in place, the former lottery pick would be on track to reach restricted free agency in 2019, and one GM tells Jackson that he could see the 22-year-old fielding offers starting at about $9MM per year. Of course, Winslow’s play in 2018/19 would go a long way toward determining his market value next summer.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • It doesn’t appear that anyone outside of Dwyane Wade‘s inner circle knows his intentions for the coming season, but two sources – one Heat person and one person who has spoken to Wade – tell Jackson that Wade “seems inclined to play” in 2018/19. That’s far from definitive though. The future Hall-of-Famer has been mulling a return to the Heat, but it’s still possible that he’ll follow fellow veterans Manu Ginobili and David West into retirement.
  • The Heat haven’t ruled out the possibility of converting Duncan Robinson‘s two-way contract to a standard NBA deal if he impresses the club during training camp and the preseason, writes Jackson. Even if Wade and Udonis Haslem re-sign with Miami, the team would have one open spot on its 15-man roster for the regular season.
  • Briante Weber finds himself in a familiar spot this fall, as he prepares to head to training camp with the Heat for the third time in his four-year professional career. Weber, who has only ever appeared in a single regular season game for the Heat, is hoping that his fourth overall contract with the club will be the one that sticks, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel details.