Although Heat rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. played in just one full Summer League contest and less than half of a second before being shut down due to a shoulder ailment, Miami already likes what it’s seeing out of the UCLA alum.
Heat general manager Andy Elisburg raved about Jaquez’ fit during an interview on WQAM, as recounted by Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“I think he’s our type of guy,” Elisburg said. “I think he comes from the same kind of ethos that we think we value, with players that we value. He has that kind of competitiveness and the work ethic that you want to see.
“… You’re excited to see what he’s able to do as he takes his game and grows it. At this point in time, he’s got things he does well, things he can do better at. And the great players take the things that they can do better at, and become better at that.”
There’s more out of Miami:
- Given how pricey the final two years of Damian Lillard‘s contract are, the Heat are currently not particularly inclined to increase their offer for the Trail Blazers point guard, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently revealed during an interview on the network (Twitter video link via ClutchPoints). “The Miami Heat, the team that is most motivated to trade for Damian Lillard, where he wants to end up, they don’t want to be in a situation where they’re bidding against themselves right now,” Woj said (hat tip to HoopsHype for the transcription). “They look out into the marketplace, they see teams that are – they know the market does not love the idea of paying Damian Lillard a $60MM average at 35 and 36 years old over the last two years of that deal. If this was a contract with two years left, it would be different, perhaps. So there’s no rush for either side to be real aggressive in their conversations with each other.”
- Drew Peterson, an undrafted combo forward out of USC, has been making waves as a sharpshooter while playing for the Heat’s Summer League club. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald wonders if the 6’9″ prospect could become Miami’s latest undrafted diamond-in-the-rough discovery. He will reportedly sign an Exhibit 10 training camp deal with the team. His size and shooting ability already appears to be intriguing the club. “Because he caught on to the team continuity and understood the concept of what we were trying to get accomplished,” assistant coach and Summer League head coach Caron Butler said. “From the spacing standpoint, playing off the other guys, the handlers, catch-and-goes, he’s done a remarkable job with that.” Across his three games with the Heat, Peterson is connecting on 57.1% of his 4.7 long range tries per contest.
- Butler, an All-Star in his playing days, has unexpectedly fallen in love with coaching, Chiang writes in another Miami Herald story. “I didn’t know that I was going to fall in love with the game and the teaching and all those things,” Butler told Chiang. “But it’s something that I just can’t see myself not doing now because of the connection with the players and seeing them get it and the information that you instill in them. That feeling is priceless.” After retiring from the league in 2016, Butler served as a TV analyst, first for the college game with ESPN in 2017, and subsequently for the Lakers, Wizards and the NBA at large with various networks. He joined Erik Spoelstra‘s coaching staff for the 2020/21 season.