Omer Yurtseven

Southeast Notes: Strus, Vincent, Wizards, Suggs, Yurtseven

Heat third-year players Max Strus and Gabe Vincent believe they’re ready to contribute to the team’s title chase this season, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Strus and Vincent were on two-way contracts with the club last season, seeing sparse time off the bench. Miami decided to reward their hard work by signing them to standard deals this summer. Both have impressed during the first week of training camp.

“I’ve been working out with them all summer,” Heat star Bam Adebayo said of Strus and Vincent. “Just seeing the way they’ve grown. Vincent is becoming a better point guard. Putting dudes in the right spots, he’s getting to his spot and doing everything in between.

“Then Max is just shooting the piss out of the ball. That’s why we brought him here. He’s one of those sneaky athletic guys and he can defend. They’ve both just advanced their games to a whole other level than where it was last year.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Wizards used a players-only speech and meeting to improve their chemistry in training camp, Chase Hughes examines for NBC Sports Washington. The speech was led by star guard Bradley Beal, who averaged a career-high 31.3 points per game last season, while the meeting was called by Montrezl Harrell“(Beal) was talking about just being that one unit, doing everything together,” guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “Even today, we had a players-only meeting and that’s what we talked about; holding each other accountable and being there for each other.”
  • Magic rookie Jalen Suggs is excited for his first preseason action, Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando opens its preseason against Boston on Monday, giving Suggs the chance to play on an NBA court for the first time. “Super-excited to be starting up my rookie year,” he said. “It’s something you dream of, so this is another one of those first-time moments that you got to look forward to and you just got to take in. It only happen one time, the first time, and I’m excited, ready to get out there and ready to get up and down with the guys and be in front of a crowd.”
  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman explores whether the preseason is a chance for Omer Yurtseven to show that he can replicate the success he saw in Summer League. Yurtseven recently spoke to Hoops Rumors about his new contract, offseason and more, giving a detailed look at his situation as he gears up his first NBA season.

Omer Yurtseven Entering Season As Heat’s Latest Development Project

When longtime Heat president Pat Riley signed off on adding seven-foot center Omer Yurtseven to his roster last spring, it’s safe to say The Godfather did his homework first.

Yurtseven had been flying under the radar since going undrafted out of Georgetown in November. The Turkish center spent most of the 2020/21 season playing with Oklahoma City in the G League bubble, then signed with Miami in May. It didn’t take long for him to impress those within the organization.

“I’m pretty blessed to have had that opportunity,” Yurtseven told Hoops Rumors in a phone interview. “I was actually in Miami training after the Orlando bubble with the G League, and I just love the city and people. 

“It was such a right fit at the right time and everything just fit perfectly. I wouldn’t say it was a coincidence. It was definitely a blessing. It was an opportunity at first, then it was all about just doing what I had to do: turn it into a bigger blessing.”

The Heat signed Yurtseven eight days before they played Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs. The timing allowed him to travel with the team and sit courtside for the series, giving him an up-close look at the intense postseason atmosphere.

His contract was a two-year, non-guaranteed deal that included a team option in the second season. When he signed, Yurtseven and his agent, Keith Glass, asked the Heat to decline his option after the season and give the big man a chance to bet on himself during Summer League.

The signing was made with a mutual understanding: join the team, play in the summer and work for a new contract. Yurtseven delivered in the California Classic in Sacramento, pouring in 27 points and 19 rebounds during his very first Summer League outing. He followed that game up with a 25-point performance on 9-of-17 shooting.

While his production dipped slightly after dealing with blisters, Yurtseven still managed to average 20.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in three Las Vegas Summer League games.

“My performance dropped a little bit, but I just pushed through it because I wanted to play as many minutes as I could to be more involved in the system, understand how everything works, how the rotations work and how the offense works,” Yurtseven said.

“Of course, it’s going to be different with players such as Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler — just being around those players changes everything — but I was just getting a feel for the system, how our coaches want the sets to be run and the defensive schemes. I just wanted to take that opportunity and that’s what I did. I played through the obstacles.”

After successful Summer League stints in Sacramento and Las Vegas, the Heat rewarded Yurtseven with a two-year, $3.24MM contract. This season’s salary is fully guaranteed, while next season becomes guaranteed if he remains under contract through June 29. Several other teams expressed interest in his services before he signed the deal.

When Yurtseven returned from Las Vegas, he took four days off to recover and reflect on his new contract. After that, it was back to work.

“We’re already working for that third contract,” said Miami-based trainer Ben Bellucci, who has worked with Yurtseven for several years.

Those around Yurtseven rave about his work ethic, professionalism and maturity at just 23 years old. Those are attributes the Heat look for in the players they sign, so it makes sense that the two sides came together.

“Look, Pat Riley’s not going to bring in someone that’s not going to work,” Bellucci explained. “They don’t bring in guys that are going to be problems on and off the court. I think it’s a perfect fit, both personality-wise and culture-wise. I don’t think he could’ve gone to a better place that’s really going to push him.”

The Heat have a strong reputation in player development. Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson are two notable examples from recent years, but the list of players who’ve had their best years in Miami is long. Yurtseven is looking to become the team’s latest under-the-radar gem.

“I think this organization has a way of raising players, of finding diamonds in the rough,’’ Butler said at the start of his first season with the Heat in 2019 (hat tip to Justin Benjamin of “They’re absolutely incredible at that. They’re turning (Tyler Herro) into a real player. Everyone knows he has the talent, that mental edge about him, but teaching him how to work every single day, that organization is perfect for him.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also praised Yurtseven during the team’s media day this week, which is noteworthy considering the big man has yet to appear in a regular-season NBA game.

“Omer is unique because of his skill set, shooting touch, around the basket and with range,” Spoelstra said, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). “He has a feel you can’t necessarily teach. Good instincts for rebounding.”

Despite enjoying some success in the G League and Summer League, Yurtseven still has a long road ahead. He’ll have to show he can learn Miami’s system, rotate without fouling and defend the perimeter in a show-and-recover and switch-heavy NBA. Facing those challenges is part of his learning process.

“I think it’s all about just following the guidance of the coaches and the veteran players,” Yurtseven said. “Just taking it all in and absorbing it. They do a great job of developing players and have a reputation for that because of their system. Believing in it and going 100% is going to be the most important part.

“I think they just do a great job because of the commitment the players give and their ability to match it with intense workouts and basketball knowledge — how they know a certain player can fit into their system.” 

Besides learning from his teammates and coaches, the big man also spent a significant amount of time watching film and working on his jump shot this summer. Yurtseven mentioned on Media Day that he and Bellucci studied film on superstar centers Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

The pair also told Hoops Rumors that they watched clips of Carmelo Anthony and Hakeem Olajuwon, working on Yurtseven’s low-post, mid-post and three-point game. Bellucci estimates Yurtseven took 20,000 shots per month.

“He’s a kid who wants to get better. He’s never satisfied,” Bellucci said. “When you put him in a culture with the same mentality, it’s hard for me to say that this kid doesn’t have a chance to be an All-Star. He just has that work ethic and mentality. In order to be great, I think you always have to ask yourself, ‘What can I do next? How can I get better? What can I add to my game?’ And, on the Heat’s side, you have no choice! You’re coming in to work.”

Yurtseven said he’s been inspired by the stories of Robinson and Nunn, two undrafted players who found their footing in the league with the Heat. Robinson signed a new five-year, $90MM deal with Miami this past summer – the largest contract for an undrafted player in NBA history.

Former Pistons center Ben Wallace – another successful undrafted player – was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, Yurtseven noted. The success stories act as motivation to continue improving, something Yurtseven says he won’t stop doing anytime soon.

“I know the program and position that I’m in with being undrafted, but I think I have the talent to play at this level, the work ethic and the discipline,” he said. “When you put all of that together, it matches perfectly with the culture of the Miami Heat. And, as I said, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that these pieces came together. I now have the opportunity to be one of those inspirations.”

Heat Notes: Tucker, Morris, Yurtseven, Lowry, Battier

New Heat power forwards P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris believe they’re ideal fits on a team known for its work ethic and strong veteran culture, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Tucker called it a “match made in heaven,” while Morris said he had a strong sense that he’d eventually end up playing for the Heat.

“(We’re) going to bring toughness and will and dog (mentality), which they already have,” Morris said of the impact that he and Tucker can have in Miami. “We’re just adding to it. Me and Tuck played together a couple years in Phoenix; he’s one of my good friends. We’re both (NBA) champions.”

Here’s more on the Heat:
  • Young center Omer Yurtseven is receiving on-court mentoring from former Heat big man Alonzo Mourning, who is the team’s VP of player programs and development, Jackson writes for The Miami Herald. “He comes in and watches me play and gives me words of wisdom,” Yurtseven said. “It’s really helpful. He dominated his time. I hope to do the same.”
  • New Heat point guard Kyle Lowry joked during his Media Day presser that his good friend Jimmy Butler is “a little bit more crazy” than the stars he has played alongside in the past, as Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald relay. “He wears his emotions on his sleeves,” Lowry said. “(DeMar DeRozan) and Kawhi (Leonard) are very quiet. (Jimmy) makes sure everyone knows there’s no (messing) around. You appreciate players like that.”
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra is eager to see how the Heat’s new pieces fit together after adding Lowry, Tucker, and Morris to the roster this offseason, per Jackson and Chiang. “I’m just as curious to see as anyone how this all works together,” Spoelstra said. “We checked some boxes of things we wanted to accomplish from a personnel standpoint. We acquired some like-minded people.”
  • Shane Battier stepped down from his front office position with the Heat (VP of basketball development and analytics) earlier this year, but he’s still with the team in a less formal capacity, according to Chiang. Battier is now a strategic consultant for the club and was among the executives in attendance at Miami’s first practice on Tuesday.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Power Forwards, Martin, Camp Questions

New Heat starting point guard Kyle Lowry is looking forward to building an on-court relationship with incumbent stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Lowry, a six-time All-Star and 2019 title winner with the Raptors, inked a three-year, $85MM contract with Miami in a sign-and-trade deal this summer. Butler and Lowry have been friends since winning a Gold medal together for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics. Lowry is the godfather to Butler’s daughter.

“Having that common interest in the love of the game and how hard we work and how much we want to win, that was the first thing of us being on the same page,” Lowry explained of the origins of his relationship with the All-NBA swingman.

Lowry also expressed excitement about what Adebayo brings to the floor. “Bam can handle the ball,” Lowry raved. “He can make plays, super athletic. He’s high energy. He’s competitive.” Lowry expects that his own facilitating abilities will benefit the big man. The 35-year-old hopes that he can help Adebayo “be in better spots” and get “easier looks, layups and dunks.”

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • Questions remain about how much three-point shooting the Heat will be able to get out of their power forward corps, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The team’s two new power forward additions, recent champions P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris, have seen their long-range output dip recently. Tucker, 36, is a career 35.9% shooter, but his shooting fell to 32.2% from deep during the Bucks’ 2021 playoff run. Morris connected on 38.6% of his 3.9 triples per game with the Pistons and Lakers during the 2019/20 season, but saw that number fall to 31.1% in 2020/21. KZ Okpala and re-signed big man Dewayne Dedmon could also see time at the power forward position alongside starting Adebayo in Miami’s frontcourt, though both have been unreliable from long range. Dedmon had two seasons with the Hawks, in 2017/18 and 2018/19, in which he averaged 35.5% or better on a decent volume of three point attempts, but has not connected on more than 21% of his threes in a single season since. Seven-footer Omer Yurtseven, meanwhile, is a solid three-point shooter, but Jackson wonders if the Heat will trust him enough to give him meaningful minutes in their rotation.
  • With training camp just around the corner, new two-way player Caleb Martin will do his darnedest to prove his mettle as a candidate for legitimate Heat roster minutes, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel“At the end of the day, regardless if I’m on a two-way or if I was on an Exhibit 10, it doesn’t matter,” Martin said. “I’m just coming into training camp to try to play the best basketball I can and contribute any way I can and impact enough in a way to where I earn minutes.”
  • The Heat are figuring out rotational questions for the fringes of their roster ahead of training camp, says Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Winderman notes that, in the absence of Kendrick Nunn (now with the Lakers) and Goran Dragic (traded to the Raptors as part of the Lowry deal), Gabe Vincent looks like he will begin the season as the Heat’s prime backup point guard. 6’5″ backup shooting guard Tyler Herro could see an uptick in ball handling duties. The rotational fate of forward Okpala, on the last season of a three-year deal, could be figured out in the club’s preseason. Winderman anticipates that Micah Potter, Javonte Smart, Dru Smith and D.J. Stewart will have plenty to prove in the preseason, though they will most likely spend the majority of the 2021/22 season with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Each player will hope to intrigue the Heat enough in training camp to encourage a call-up to Miami during the season.

Eastern Notes: Jordan, Yurtseven, LaVine, Wizards’ Defense

The Nets offered a first-round pick to potential trade partners in order to shed DeAndre Jordan‘s contract but couldn’t find any takers, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. They instead dipped into their stockpile of second-rounders, forwarding four of them as part of the trade with the Pistons. The Nets still have second-rounders in 2024, 2026 and 2028.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Heat 7-footer Omer Yurtseven believes he can contribute in a number of ways, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. “The biggest focus has been on being big inside, and I think that’s the presence that the Heat can use and I can provide,” Yurtseven said. “Being able to do that and guard the pick-and-roll, be the big presence inside and rebounding obviously has been a huge emphasis, as well. Also, with my talent and skill set, being able to stretch the floor, being able to post up and use my touch around the rim and also the midrange and step outside, as well.” Yurtseven averaged 22.4 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 2.4 BPG in five summer league games, which earned him a two-year contract.
  • Zach LaVine will have a lot more pressure on him than in any other previous season in his NBA career, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Bulls’ front office has built the team specifically to emphasize his strengths and now LaVine has to produce with the team’s expectations ramped up. LaVine, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season, can prove he deserves to be compensated like a max player if he delivers.
  • The Wizards are capable of being an above-average defensive team this coming season due to the roster changes they made, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. They have upgraded their defense at the point and on the wings with the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle KuzmaAaron Holiday and Spencer Dinwiddie but could still face some challenges in the paint.

Heat Notes: Oladipo, Okpala, Vaccinations, Yurtseven

Victor Oladipo, who recently signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract to stay with the Heat, could be the key that unlocks Miami’s future, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

As Winderman details, because the Heat hold Oladipo’s Bird Rights, they can’t trade him this season without his consent, but they also can re-sign him next year without requiring cap space. Given the lack of star power on the 2022 free agency market, if Olapido is able to recover from his quad injury, that could be a bet that pays off in a big way, as his defense, slashing, and shooting ability fits perfectly alongside stars Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo.

Oladipo returning to form would also lessen the burden on offense-only players like Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro, Winderman writes, while insulating them to form a smothering defensive unit even with their presence.

We have more news from the Heat:

  • In a separate article, Winderman addresses the idea of a KZ Okpala extension, saying it’s “not even close to a factor,” while also rejecting the idea of giving Okpala extended time in the G League. Because Okpala is on the last year of his contract, Winderman writes, the Heat could easily be giving him those development reps for the benefit of another team.
  • Winderman also addresses the question of whether Summer League breakout star Omer Yurtseven could be a better prospect – and end up a better pro – than the recently-traded Precious Achiuwa. He writes that while Yurtseven has the potential, it’s unlikely he finds the playing time, as the Heat have Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, P.J. Tucker and even Markieff Morris blocking his way, whereas Achiuwa will be part of a more limited rotation with the Raptors.
  • The Heat have announced that all employees must have their first vaccination dose by September 1, aside from those with qualifying religious or medical exceptions, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Employees who are not fully vaccinated, or have not submitted a formal request for an accommodation that has been granted or is still in the evaluation process by the next phase of our return to work will be deemed to have resigned,” the Heat said in their statement (Twitter link via Chiang).

Heat Notes: Jarreau, Okpala, Stewart, Yurtseven

A strong Summer League performance has made DeJon Jarreau a leading candidate to grab one of the Heat‘s open two-way slots, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A thigh contusion forced Jarreau to miss the two games in Sacramento, but he was among the team’s best players in Las Vegas, averaging 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The 23-year-old guard played for Miami this summer after going undrafted out of Houston and finds himself in an open competition for a two-way deal. Both of last season’s two-way players, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, have received standard contracts.

“With DeJon, it’s just his makeup,” said Summer League coach Malik Allen. “He finds a way to put his imprint on the game … He has the vision and it’s just a matter of trying to harness the things that we see so he can keep growing and getting better as an NBA point guard.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • KZ Okpala went from the playoffs to the Olympics to the Summer League, and now he’s focused on trying to expand his role in his third NBA season, Chiang notes in a separate story. However, Okpala’s path to more minutes appears blocked after Miami added P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris in free agency. Okpala is heading into the final season of a three-year, $4.2MM contract.
  • The Heat see potential in D.J. Stewart, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract on Tuesday, Chiang adds. The undrafted guard out of Mississippi State is likely to end up with the team’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. “There is something there. He’s long. He’s got good athleticism. He’s competitive,” Allen said. “And offensively he’s got a little ways to go, but just continuing to develop. … He’s just one of those great intangible guys that has a lot of potential to keep growing in that type of role.”
  • Omer Yurtseven‘s impressive Summer League showing may give him a chance to become Miami’s backup center, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. That job currently belongs to veteran Dewayne Dedmon, but Winderman expects Yurtseven to see spot duty early in the season to determine which frontcourt combinations are most effective.

Southeast Notes: Yurtseven, Bouknight, Haslem, Magic

Heat center Omer Yurtseven has gone through his fair share of highs and lows during the team’s summer league in Las Vegas this month, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

Yurtseven, a promising 23-year-old from Turkey, recently signed a two-year contract with the Heat. Miami envisions him as part of its future, featuring him heavily throughout summer league to this point.

“I think it’s been a lot of learning, like watching the film and taking it all in,” Yurtseven said. “I’m still making those adjustments inside the game. All the coaches have been in my ear and also, OG, Udonis Haslem has been with us like for the last two, three games just giving advice.

“More reps and more reps, it’s just going to translate into the regular season.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hornets rookie James Bouknight was recently inspired by a surprise phone call from team owner Michael Jordan, Jonathan Alexander of the Charlotte Observer writes. The 20-year-old had a poor game on Monday, spoke to Jordan and bounced back for Thursday’s game against San Antonio. Bouknight finished with 23 points and eight assists against the Spurs.
  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman explores whether Udonis Haslem could get more minutes with the Heat this season. The 41-year-old Haslem recently re-signed with Miami, committing to his 19th NBA season.
  • The Magic‘s less proven players are looking to make their marks in summer league, Josh Cohen of writes. “I think it’s a great opportunity,” said coach Jamahl Mosley. “We talked about it coming into summer league. Talking about guys learning the habits, getting the fundamentals down. Try to see the things that we are putting in place and how do they respond to it. With Jalen [Suggs] being out, how do other guys get their opportunity to do things that we’ve asked them to do.”

Eastern Contract Details: Lowry, Birch, Heat, Dinwiddie, Niang, More

Kyle Lowry‘s new three-year, $85MM contract with the Heat is a standard increasing deal, starting at about $26.98MM and rising annually by 5%, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Based on Lowry’s 2021/22 salary, we now know the value of the traded player exception the Raptors created in their sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That TPE will be worth $4,832,848, which is the difference between Lowry’s new salary and the combined cap hits of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.

Murphy also confirms that Khem Birch‘s three-year, $20MM deal with the Raptors is a standard increasing contract with no options or partial guarantees — it eats up about $6.35MM of Toronto’s mid-level exception, leaving $3.187MM on that MLE.

Here are more contract details from around the East, courtesy of Smith:

  • As expected, the new deals for Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, and Gabe Vincent with the Heat are each two-year, minimum-salary contracts with one year guaranteed and the second year non-guaranteed (Twitter link). P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, got a two-year, $14.35MM contract that uses $7MM of Miami’s mid-level exception in year one. Tucker’s second year is a player option (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-year contract with the Wizards only has a base value of $54MM, rather than the previously-reported total of $60MM+ (Twitter link). The deal, which features unlikely incentives that could push its value higher, has a partial guarantee worth $10MM (of $18.86MM) in year three.
  • Georges Niang‘s deal with the Sixers came in at $6.765MM over two years, both of which are fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Trae Young‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Hawks includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The numbers are also in for the finalized deals between Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers (Twitter link), Bobby Portis and the Bucks (Twitter link), George Hill and the Bucks (Twitter link), and Danny Green and the Sixers (Twitter link), with no surprises among that group. As expected, Green’s second year is non-guaranteed and Portis has a second-year player option, while Allen and Hill have fully guaranteed salaries.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Offseason, Yurtseven, Investigation

New starting Heat point guard Kyle Lowry discussed his expectations for this offseason’s revamped Miami club with media on Friday and Saturday, as Couper Moorhead of details.

“On paper it looks great,” Lowry, a 2019 title winner with the Raptors, said of Miami’s new-look roster. “But you have to put the work in on the floor. I don’t ever try to say we can do this, we can do that. At the end of the day you have to go out there, lace ‘em up and do your job. Play defense, put the ball in the hole.”

Miami’s sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors that sent Lowry to the Heat is currently being investigated by the NBA, as the league is cracking down on violations to its anti-tampering stance on free agency.

There’s more out of South Beach:

  • In his latest notes roundup, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel discusses the re-signing of Victor Oladipo, plus the departures of Kendrick Nunn (after the team made him an unrestricted free agent) and Andre Iguodala (after the Heat did not pick up the second year of his contract). Winderman notes that Oladipo, Lowry, and new Heat power forward P.J. Tucker were all potential trade targets for Miami during the 2020/21 season, though Miami was unwilling to part with young players Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Winderman adds that Miami’s decision to move on from Nunn speaks to the team’s preference for Herro, regarded as having higher upside.
  • Now that the Heat have inked a two-year minimum deal with center Omer YurtsevenIra Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel examines the seven-footer’s fit as with a Miami team hungry to contend. After Yurtseven’s promising NBAGL 2020/21 season for the Oklahoma City Blue, Miami signed him for the rest of the year. He posted encouraging averages of 26 PPG and 13.5 RPG in two California Classic Summer League this year, and ultimately opted to return to Miami.
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald has further details on the NBA’s investigation into the Heat’s Lowry sign-and-trade with the Raptors. Chiang writes that the investigation is most likely being conducted as a result of at least one other NBA team complaining about the expediency of the deal, while Winderman tweets that it’s more about “gun-jumping” than tampering.
  • Within Chiang’s story, Bobby Marks of ESPN said the sign-and-trade for Lowry almost certainly won’t be voided. “I would say highly, highly unlikely that the trade will be voided and that Kyle is a free agent all of a sudden,” Marks said. “I think what will happen is if they’re found guilty, there will be some financial penalty and draft picks will be lost here.” Marks anticipates the investigation could last for around two weeks.