A.J. Hammons

Heat Waive A.J. Hammons

4:10pm: The Heat have officially waived Hammons, according to a team release.

3:20pm: The Heat will waive center A.J. Hammons in order to clear a roster spot to complete their acquisition of Dwyane Wade, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

[RELATED: Heat to acquire Dwyane Wade from Cavaliers]

Hammons’ roster spot has been in jeopardy for much of his time with the Heat, ever since he was included in last offseason’s Josh McRoberts trade with the Mavericks for salary purposes. While the 25-year-old lasted over half the season on Miami’s roster, he didn’t appear in a single regular season game for the team. In 2016/17, Hammons averaged 2.2 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 22 games (7.4 MPG) for Dallas.

Hammons’ $1,312,611 salary for 2017/18 will remain on the Heat’s cap, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers. Miami will also be on the hook for the big man’s $1,544,951 salary for 2018/19, though the Heat could spread that cap hit across three seasons if they want to.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 10/23/17

NBA G League training camps open today, with the start of the 2017/18 season less than two weeks away. With camps getting underway, NBA teams have begun to assign players to their respective affiliates. However, as we detailed earlier this year, four teams are still lacking affiliates.

The Nuggets are one of those teams without an affiliate for 2017/18, which means their two-way players are headed to two different G League clubs. Denver announced today in a press release that Monte Morris will join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets‘ affiliate, while Torrey Craig will play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat‘s affiliate.

Here are today’s G League assignments:


  • After spending the day in the G League, Isaiah Whitehead has been recalled to the Nets, the team announced this evening in a press release.


  • The Nuggets have assigned first-round pick Tyler Lydon to the G League too, according to the team. Lydon will head to the Rockets‘ affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, along with Morris.
  • While the Rockets are adding a pair of Denver players to their G League squad, they’ll also send a couple players from their own NBA roster to the Vipers, announcing today (via Twitter) that Chinanu Onuaku and Troy Williams are G-League-bound.
  • Despite some minutes becoming available in the Nets‘ backcourt in the wake of Jeremy Lin‘s season-ending injury, second-year guard Isaiah Whitehead hasn’t cracked the rotation. Brooklyn is sending him to the Long Island Nets to get him some playing time, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • The Heat have assigned center A.J. Hammons to the G League, the club announced today in a press release. Head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Hammons is joining the Skyforce to work on his conditioning after he missed time with the flu, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Heat Notes: Nelson, Hammons, Olynyk, Winslow

Jameer Nelson may seem like an attractive option for a Heat team without a true backup point guard, but that doesn’t mean Miami will try to sign him, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel in a mailbag column. The Nuggets waived Nelson today to open a roster space for Richard Jefferson. If no one claims the 35-year-old and his more than $4.7MM salary before Friday, he will become a free agent and can sign with any organization.

The Heat’s option best option to back up Goran Dragic, according to Winderman, is probably Josh Richardson, who is being used as the starting small forward. Justise Winslow, James Johnson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson can all handle the ball, but none is a traditional point guard.

Winderman states that team president Pat Riley didn’t seem concerned about finding another backup when he was asked about the situation in preseason. “If we didn’t feel comfortable with Tyler and with Josh and also with Dion, then we would have gotten probably, exactly what you’re talking about — a veteran, 10, 12 years in the league, can really play, smart, can run an offense, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” Riley said. “But we don’t feel like we need that. And if we did, then it would have been easy for us to acquire that kind of player.”

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • A.J. Hammons‘ easier path to being traded may have helped him earn Miami’s final roster spot, Winderman adds in the same piece. DeAndre Liggins, who was waived Saturday, would have provided wing depth and probably would have played more than Hammons, whom Winderman ranks eighth among the team’s bigs. However, because Liggins signed with the Heat during the offseason, league rules wouldn’t have allowed him to be traded until December 15. Hammons, who was acquired in a July trade with Dallas, can be dealt at any time.
  • Miami plans to let free agent addition Kelly Olynyk show off his passing skills, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The Heat signed Olynynk with an eye toward allowing him to expand his game, just as they did with James Johnson. “They’re going to put the ball in my hands more and let me be myself and create plays and facilitate for others,” Olynyk said.
  • Rodney McGruder‘s injury means the Heat can’t afford to bring Winslow back slowly, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Winslow had surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and was limited to 18 games last season. “Obviously we don’t like to see teammates go down – that’s unfortunate – but our mentality is always next man up,” Winslow said. “So, most likely, that’s looking like me. My role is going to be increased earlier in the season. I’ve just got to be ready.”

Heat Rumors: Hammons, Liggins, Olynyk, Waiters

Rodney McGruder‘s injury could force the Heat to address the imbalanced roster, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. McGruder is out 3-6 months with a stress fracture in his leg, swinging the door open for Miami to keep or add another wing player, Jackson continues. The bottom of the roster is filled with power forwards and centers — Bam Adebayo, Udonis Haslem, Jordan Mickey and A.J. Hammons — and the Heat may have to waive Hammons and his guaranteed two-year contract to fortify the wing positions. Miami could keep either DeAndre Liggins or Matt Williams Jr. from its training-camp roster to fill the void, Jackson adds.

In other developments concerning the Heat:

  • Kelly Olynyk has made a strong case to be the starting power forward, even though James Johnson came into camp as the favorite to win the job, Jackson reports in another story. Olynyk has meshed well with center Hassan Whiteside in preseason action, which is making the decision tougher for coach Erik Spoelstra, Jackson continues. “Their skill sets really complement each other,” Spoelstra told Jackson and other media members. “Kelly does a lot of things very similar to JJ in his own personality, in his own way. We think it fits. We think it works whether he comes off the bench or not, I like the dynamic.”
  • Dion Waiters had to wait out the Gordon Hayward free agent saga before the Heat committed to him with a four-year, $52MM contract, Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni notes during an in-depth feature on Waiters. A confident Waiters opted out of his deal this summer and the gamble ultimately paid off when Miami lost the Hayward sweepstakes and instead spent a chunk of their free-agent money on Waiters. “He likes to say he bet on himself, but he also bet on the organization,” Spoelstra told Nadkarni. “We bet on him as well. We’re not only about reclamation projects. We wanted to develop a relationship that would last longer than a year.”

Heat Notes: Haslem, Bosh, Hammons, Lineup

Longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem is back in Miami for his 15th season with the team this year, but he admits that at one point this offseason he was unsure whether he’d re-sign with the Heat. As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald details, Haslem received interest from Cleveland in July and acknowledges that he considered signing with the Cavaliers.

“I got an interesting call from Cleveland,” Haslem said. “My son is out there [as a student and football player] at the University of Toledo in Ohio. It was something to consider.”

Although Haslem never paid a visit to the Cavs, his agent Leon Rose spoke to team management, writes Jackson. Ultimately though, Haslem decided that it wouldn’t make sense for him to leave the Heat at this point in his career, suggesting that he can’t imagine playing for another team — even one that now features his former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.

“It would have been funny [with Wade there], but I don’t regret the decision I made,” Haslem said. “I’m where I’m supposed to be, I’m where I need to be. I’m where I’m most effective, even though it’s not on the basketball court, I would like to think I impact this organization, this team just by bringing my presence and everything else.”

Here’s more on the Heat from Jackson:

  • Associates of Chris Bosh, who appeared at Lakers practice this week as a guest of his former agent Rob Pelinka, say the veteran big man hasn’t ruled out the idea of an NBA comeback, despite his blood clot issues. If Bosh were to make an NBA return, his salary wouldn’t go back on the Heat’s cap, Jackson notes.
  • Although A.J. Hammons has a guaranteed salary, his spot on the 15-man regular season roster isn’t necessarily a lock, in Jackson’s view. Hammons, who will be out for a week with the flu, has the advantage over camp invitee Matt Williams due to his guaranteed contract, but he was essentially a throw-in in the Josh McRoberts trade with Dallas, so if Williams proves more deserving of that roster spot, the Heat will face a difficult decision.
  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is interested in seeing Hassan Whiteside play alongside free agent addition Kelly Olynyk during the preseason, believing that their skill sets complement one another, says Jackson.
  • In the battle for the Heat’s starting small forward job, Josh Richardson isn’t concerned about whether or not he starts, but Rodney McGruder said that being in the starting lineup would be important to him, according to Jackson. “Who wouldn’t want to start in the NBA?” McGruder said. “It’s fun starting.”

Heat Notes: Winslow, Olynyk, Adebayo, Wade

For a team that brought back nearly all its key players over the offseason, the Heat head into training camp with a lot of unanswered questions. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines position battles and several other topics in his latest column:

  • The starting small forward position will be wide open when camp begins Tuesday, with Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder all having a shot at it. The Heat exercised their fourth-year option on Winslow this week as the former first-rounder tries to battle back from a shoulder injury that limited him to 18 games last season. Miami was only 3-12 when he started last year and he wasn’t part of the team’s surge after the All-Star break. Richardson, who received a four-year extension this week, came into the league as a guard, but played 80% of his minutes last season at forward.
  • James Johnson is the favorite to start at power forward, but free agent addition Kelly Olynyk will be an intriguing addition because of his outside shooting. Olynyk shoots .368 from 3-point range for his career, compared to .296 for Johnson, although he raised that number to 34% last season. Olynyk, who was used mainly in a reserve role in Boston, will see plenty of minutes in Miami whether he starts or not.
  • Johnson, Olynyk and Hassan Whiteside will take up most of the center/power forward opportunities, leaving little for first-round pick Bam Adebayo, whom the Heat believe has a bright future. Winslow may also be utilized as a stretch four in small-ball lineups, so Adebayo will need a strong showing in camp to earn playing time.
  • Okaro White and Jordan Mickey are likely to make the roster, with A.J. Hammons holding a slight edge for the 15th spot. However, the Heat have concerns about Hammons’ work ethic and he will be challenged by shooting guard Matt Williams. Former Michigan point guard Derrick Walton has been impressive over the summer, but he has a two-way contract and can’t spend more than 45 days in the NBA.
  • The front office isn’t unanimous in wanting Dwyane Wade back if he agrees to a buyout with the Bulls. There are concerns about his defense at age 35, and the Heat already have five guards who can make a case for playing time.

Heat Notes: Wade, Hammons, Mickey

Dwyane Wade may soon find himself on the free agent market if he and the Bulls can agree to a buyout. It was recently reported that a reunion with the Heat remains a realistic option, as the 35-year-old recently moved his children back to the Miami area.

The Heat appear to already have a starting shooting guard in place after inking Dion Waiters to a four-year, $52MM deal this summer, though the former No. 4 overall pick is open to playing alongside the future Hall of Famer. Waiter previously told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that he admires Wade and would like to learn from the experienced veteran.

Miami brought back Waiters along with other pieces from its 2016/17 lottery campaign after failing to land a star in free agency yet again. While Wade can no longer be categorized as a star, adding him to the unit should only help the team to climb higher in the standings. Regardless of whether or not the franchise adds Wade, it has a decent chance of avoiding the lottery this season, as ESPN statistician Kevin Pelton projects Miami to end up with the No. 7 seed in the conference.

As we wait to see where Wade ends up playing, check out some notes from Miami:

  • Assuming the Heat don’t land Wade, A.J. Hammons and Jordan Mickey are the front-runners for the team’s final two roster spots, Jackson writes in a full-length piece. The scribe adds that Matt Williams is a legitimate candidate for one of the spots should the team decide to waive one of its big men.
  • Jackson hears (same piece) that two separate scouts have concerns about Hammons’ maturity level and he identifies one of the scouts as a member of the Mavericks’ staff. Hammons was selected by Dallas in the 2016 draft, though he was traded to the Heat this summer.
  • Larry Drew II, who will go to training camp with the Heat, doesn’t appear to have a realistic chance at making the team, Ira Winderman on the Sun-Sentinel contends. The team currently has 18 invites for camp and with only 15 roster spots and a pair of two-way contracts, the point guard could be the odd man out.

Heat Paid $5.1MM To Mavs In McRoberts Deal

The Heat took full advantage of the increased limits for cash used in trades last week, sending $5.1MM to the Mavericks in the deal that landed Josh McRoberts to Dallas, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

In each NBA league year, teams are permitted to send up to a certain amount of cash in trades, and are permitted to receive no more than that amount as well. In 2016/17, that figure was $3.5MM, but it increased to $5.1MM in 2017/18. That means that the Heat have already used their limit for the current league year, and won’t be able to send out any additional cash in trades until July 2018. Miami could still receive up to $5.1MM in trades, however.

With the cash taken into account, the Mavericks come out ahead in the trade in more ways than one. McRoberts is earning $6,021,175 this year, and A.J. Hammons – who went from the Mavs to the Heat in the swap – is making $1,312,611, so the difference in their salaries is $4,708,564. Dallas received more than enough cash to make up that difference and received a future second-round pick from their troubles. Since they’re acting as an over-the-cap team, the Mavs didn’t sacrifice any cap room by taking on McRoberts, though they now won’t be eligible to receive any more cash in trades until next July.

Meanwhile, the deal is also a win from the Heat’s perspective, since the team had to use every last dollar of cap room to squeeze in new deals for Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk. Cash paid in a trade doesn’t count toward the cap, so by dumping McRoberts’ salary and only taking back Hammons’ modest contract, the Heat were able to just barely create the space necessary for their signings. They also landed Hammons, a player Riley spoke highly of earlier today.

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 Trade Josh McRoberts To Mavericks

The Heat and Mavericks have officially finalized a deal that sends veteran forward Josh McRoberts to Dallas, the Heat announced today in a press release. In addition to McRoberts, the Mavs will receive a 2023 second-round pick and cash considerations. Miami will acquire young center A.J. Hammons.

The move is a salary dump from the Heat’s perspective, and helps clear the way for the team to finalize its contract agreements with Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson. All three players reached deals with Miami this week that will reportedly pay them between $12-15MM annually.

[RELATED: Heat’s summer contract agreements, via our free agent tracker]

McRoberts has been limited by injuries for the last two seasons, and may not have a future with the Mavericks, who could stretch the final year of his contract if they so choose. Last season, the 30-year-old averaged 4.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 22 games (14 starts) for the Heat.

The Heat have already traded their second-round picks in each of the next four years, meaning the earliest pick Miami could have offered would have been its 2022 selection. The club hangs onto that pick in the transaction, sending its 2023 second-rounder instead. Meanwhile, the amount of cash changing hands isn’t known, but the cap for the 2017/18 league year on cash paid or cash received is $5.1MM.