Jamal Cain

Jamal Cain Signs Two-Way Deal With Pelicans

JULY 13: The Pelicans have officially signed Cain, per the transaction log at NBA.com.

JULY 12: Free agent wing Jamal Cain has agreed to a two-way deal with the Pelicans, Adrian Wojanrowski of ESPN reports (Twitter link).

Cain, 25, spent the first two seasons of his career with the Heat. He appeared in 44 games with the Heat from 2022-24, averaging 4.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.

The 6’6″ guard/forward has impressed in limited stints with Miami, averaging 8.0 points and 5.3 boards in a three-game win streak in 2022/23 as well as recording 18 points and six rebounds in a win over the Warriors in ’23/24.

Cain played the first four seasons of his collegiate career for Marquette before transferring to Oakland. After going undrafted in 2022, he joined the Heat and earned a two-way contract.

While he played sparingly for the Heat in the regular season, he saw much more playing time in Summer League, preseason and the G League in Miami’s system. He averaged 10.9 PPG across nine games in two seasons with Miami in preseason games and then averaged 21.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 1.6 SPG on .540/.372/.815 shooting splits in two years with the Skyforce.

Cain angled for a standard contract last offseason but ultimately didn’t receive one before re-upping with Miami on a two-way deal. Due to the Heat’s roster crunch with their young two-way players, Cain didn’t receive a promotion from his two-way deal over the two seasons he spent in the organization. After the Heat filled out all three of their two-way spots early in free agency and then filled out their regular roster, it was clear Cain wouldn’t be returning.

Now, the Pelicans land a productive wing who spent two years in Miami’s successful development program. As our two-way contract tracker for 2024/25 shows, the Pelicans only have one such spot filled — with Malcolm Hill occupying a spot. For what it’s worth, No. 47 overall pick Antonio Reeves hasn’t signed his rookie contract with the Pelicans, so it’s possible he will fill one of those two open spots alongside Cain.

QO Updates: Heat, Magic, Quinones, Lundy, Williams, Nuggets

The Heat have issued qualifying offers to two of their three two-way players, announcing in a press release that they’ve made forward Cole Swider and guard Alondes Williams restricted free agents. Miami’s other two-way player, forward Jamal Cain, isn’t mentioned in the announcement, with Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald tweeting that Cain isn’t expected to receive a qualifying offer.

Because Cain has finished each of the past two seasons on a two-way contract with the Heat, his qualifying offer would have been a one-year, minimum-salary contract with a small partial guarantee, whereas the QOs for Swider and Williams will be for one-year, two-way deals.

According to Chiang, the expectation is that Cain won’t be back with the Heat next season. Not getting a QO means he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

We have more qualifying offer news from around the NBA:

  • It appears that guard Trevelin Queen will be the only Magic two-way player to receive a qualifying offer this offseason. Orlando put out a press release (via Twitter) confirming that Queen has been given a QO, making him a restricted free agent. However, swingman Kevon Harris won’t get a QO and Admiral Schofield – who also wasn’t mentioned in the Magic’s announcement – has signed to play in France next season. Harris and Schofield both would’ve been eligible for minimum-salary qualifying offers, while Queen’s QO is for another two-way contract.
  • The Warriors aren’t tendering a qualifying offer to guard Lester Quinones, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Quinones will become an unrestricted free agent after averaging 4.4 points per game on .397/.364/.690 shooting in 37 appearances off the bench for Golden State.
  • The Hawks have made a qualifying offer to guard Seth Lundy, tweets Scotto. Lundy, who was on a two-way contract this past season, had a strong year in the G League, averaging 20.4 points per game and making 40.0% of his three-point attempts in 25 regular season and Showcase Cup contests for the College Park Skyhawks. His qualifying offer is the equivalent of another two-way deal.
  • The Rockets are issuing a two-way qualifying offer to shooting guard Jeenathan Williams, according to Scotto (Twitter link). Williams appeared in 22 games for Houston and 10 for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League in 2023/24.
  • Nuggets two-way players Collin Gillespie and Braxton Key aren’t expected to get qualifying offers from the team, so they’ll become unrestricted free agents when the new league year begins, sources tell Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter link).

Heat Notes: Draft, Two-Way Players, Bam, Jones, Cap, More

The Heat began hosting prospects for pre-draft workouts this week, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, who reports that Providence guard Devin Carter, USC guard Isaiah Collier, Indiana center Kel’el Ware, Arizona forward Keshad Johnson and UConn guard Tristen Newton are among the players who are taking part. The Heat control one first-round pick (No. 15 overall) and one second-rounder (No. 43).

One of the draft’s risers, Carter was a standout performer during athletic testing at the combine. The 22-year-old is rumored to have a lottery promise, with the Heat reportedly viewed as his floor at No. 15. The son of former Heat guard and assistant coach Anthony Carter, Devin is ranked No. 13 on ESPN’s big board.

Collier (No. 22) and Ware (No. 24) are other possible options with Miami’s first-round pick, Chiang notes, while Johnson (No. 50) and Newton (No. 68) are viewed as potential second-rounders.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • In a separate article for The Miami Herald, Chiang examines what’s next for the Heat’s trio of players — Jamal Cain, Cole Swider and Alondes Williams — on two-way contracts. All three players will be free agents this summer. As Chiang writes, Cain was dominant at the G League level in 2023/24 and he’s hoping to be promoted to a standard deal, whether it’s with Miami or elsewhere. Swider and Williams, meanwhile, are expected to play for Miami’s Summer League team and will continue to work out with the team in the offseason, Chiang adds.
  • Appearing on the Point Game podcast with John Wall and C.J. Toledano, big man Bam Adebayo discussed how he views the Heat’s culture. “To me, it’s just a standard,” Adebayo said, according to Chiang. “People try to make up these myths and [expletive] like that. The biggest thing I could say about it is it’s a standard. Every year, [Heat coach Erik Spoelstra] comes in and is like, ‘This is what we’re trying to get. We’re trying to get the trophy.’ Sixteen wins, whatever that may be, but it’s a standard because every day our coach walks in and challenges us. Every day, he walks in and is like, ‘You’re going to be prepared for what’s about to happen in this season.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to execute. But it’s the standard of always having to be that way, having to come in there and really lock in every day to the point where like you get in the playoffs, it’s second nature.” Adebayo also talked about his potential role with Team USA at the upcoming Olympics in Paris, among other topics.
  • Former Heat forward Derrick Jones has “found new life” with the Mavericks, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Ever since I stepped foot in Dallas, they tell me to be me, play my game, go out there and be the best defender I can be,” Jones said. “Whenever I get shots, opportunities, I take the shots, I drive the ball, I finish the ball, make another play for a teammate.” Jones, who signed a one-year, minimum salary deal with Dallas as a free agent last summer, will be an unrestricted free agent again this offseason.
  • In a pair of subscriber-only mailbag articles for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman answers questions about the Heat’s postseason potential going forward as well as the team’s future cap outlook. According to Winderman, Miami has no viable way to move off their top players to free up cap space without becoming a lottery team. And since the Heat have already traded away two future first-round picks, rebuilding probably isn’t a realistic option, as Miami is constantly striving to be as competitive as possible.

Heat Notes: Play-In Territory, Cain, Jovic, Rozier

The Heat are spending their second straight year trying to close out the season by clawing their way out of play-in territory. Sitting at seventh in the East at 40-33, this wasn’t where the team expected to be after becoming the first No. 8 seed to make the Finals in a non-lockout-shortened season in 2023, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

On their path to the NBA Finals last year, the Heat lost to the Hawks in their first play-in matchup and trailed against the Bulls in a winner-take-all game with about four minutes left. Miami would prefer to not have to endure that uphill climb again, Chiang writes, but it’s very much a possibility for a Heat team that’s a game behind the Pacers for sixth and two game back of Orlando for fifth in the conference.

The opportunity is still there for us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what we have to continue to understand. There can be disappointments during the season, there are ups and downs. You ultimately are where your record says you are. But there’s an opportunity in front of us if we can take advantage of it and that’s what we’re focused on right now.

Chiang explores the reasons why the Heat have gotten to this point, including injury woes, struggling against the league’s best teams, and more. Miami entered Thursday with the league’s fifth-highest total of games missed due to injuries (250) and has set a new franchise record with 35 different starting lineups this season. Additionally, the trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro have played just 21 games together this year.

We have more on the Heat:

  • While developmental prospect Orlando Robinson and two-way players Alondes Williams and Cole Swider are in the G League ahead of the playoffs, two-way wing Jamal Cain remains with the Heat, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes. Cain is set to finish his second straight season on a two-way deal with the Heat after seeking a standard contract in the offseason and not getting one. As Winderman notes, Miami opted to give Dru Smith a standard contract after training camp to address their point guard depth and then picked up Delon Wright and Patty Mills instead of promoting Cain when more roster spots opened up. Cain has impressed when it counts and has more appearances in the NBA than G League this season, but as part of his two-way deal, he won’t be eligible for the playoffs. He’ll be a restricted free agent again this offseason.
  • Second-year Heat forward Nikola Jovic exited Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers with a right knee contusion and did not return, as relayed by Winderman (Twitter link). After playing sparingly in his rookie season and beginning this year outside the rotation, Jovic has turned into a key rotation piece for the Heat. He has started in each of his last 17 games, averaging 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds while connecting on 40.6% of his 4.1 three-point attempts per game. According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Jovic’s injury isn’t considered anything serious.
  • Heat guard Terry Rozier always envisioned playing in Miami and the possibility of landing with the team appealed to him, Chiang writes in a separate story. Much of that comes down to his well-documented respect for franchise legend Dwyane Wade, who swapped jerseys with Rozier during his farewell season in 2019. Rozier further discussed that relationship with Chiang: “I just look back to when I was 6, 7 years old, I was just in the gym by myself. Me going to shoot the ball, going to the hole, I used to fall on purpose. I used to try to copy D-Wade, I used to think I was D-Wade all the time. Just fast forward to now, it’s kind of full circle where I can put on a Heat uniform and I can give the best version of myself.

Southeast Notes: G. Williams, D. Wright, Cain, Wizards

New Hornets forward Grant Williams has “quickly woven himself into the team’s fabric” since being traded from Dallas to Charlotte 15 days ago, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

The Hornets have won all four games Williams has played, and he has scored at least 15 points in each of those victories, averaging 18.8 PPG on .490/.429/.929 shooting. Charlotte also has an impressive +16.7 net rating in Williams’ 118 minutes on the court.

“In these four games, when he’s been on the floor we’ve been really good,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “He plays well at both ends of the floor. And that’s what you need — two-way players. Creates a lot of offense for his teammates with his space shooting and the way he plays on offense. And then he’s very much, he’s like the middle linebacker back there that organizes your defense, and he also plays with great physicality.”

A report after the trade deadline claimed that Williams quickly wore out his welcome in Dallas by rubbing people the wrong way, but his new teammates have been impressed by what he has brought to the Hornets so far.

“Just everything,” Miles Bridges said. “Leadership, toughness, greater IQ, talk, all that. Everything that we needed. He’s been great for us. Hopefully, he can keep it going.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Practicing with his new team on Thursday for the first time, veteran guard Delon Wright called it a “no-brainer” to sign with the Heat, adding that his brother Dorell Wright helped push him in that direction and might be even “more excited than I am” about it, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Dorell was Miami’s first-round pick in 2004 and won a title with the team in 2006. “This was probably the best opportunity for me to play and help a team reach the Finals again,” Delon said. “And obviously the culture here. And how long I’ve known everybody here (factored in). If I want to transition in the middle of a season, Miami was probably the best place to do that for obvious reasons.”
  • Wright’s addition to the Heat‘s roster clears the way for two-way player Jamal Cain to be active for up to 50 games (teams without full 15-man rosters are limited to 90 combined games for their three two-way players). However, it also means the door is closed for now on the possibility of a promotion to the 15-man roster. While he’d love to sign a standard contract, Cain says he’s not disappointed by the development, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscription required). “I see all the contract spots are filled. It’s not a burden on me. I just don’t want to take the wrong mentality,” Cain said. “I’m still here with the team. They still like me; I’m still here. So that’s all that really matters.”
  • Wright gave up $947,205 as part of his buyout agreement with the Wizards, reducing his dead money on Washington’s books to $7,247,917, Hoops Rumors has learned. That figure of $947,205 is the same amount he’ll earn on his minimum-salary contract with the Heat.
  • Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network takes a look at five Wizards storylines to follow down the stretch, including how the team divvies up the point guard minutes and the ongoing development of Deni Avdija and Bilal Coulibaly.

Heat Notes: Butler, Two-Way Players, Richardson

After losing seven games in a row for the first time since 2008, the Heat‘s coaches and players centered a plan around Jimmy Butler to save the team’s season, writes the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. Butler upped the ante on his aggression, and he’s now scored 24 or more points four times in a row for the first time this season.

He’s averaging 27.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals during this stretch and — as also noted by Ira Winderman of South Florida’s Sun Sentinel — is getting 10.3 free throw attempts per game.

When he does that, when he really gets himself going, gets in attack mode, whether he’s shooting the ball or getting to the free throw line or setting up other players, that’s when we’re at our best,” Heat forward Kevin Love said.

Forty-one of Butler’s last 56 shots have come from inside the paint and he’s shooting 72.7% from the restricted area, according to Chiang.

He’s been more aggressive than he was in the beginning of the season,” center Bam Adebayo said. “We know what that man can do when he’s tapped in and is locked in. I feel like he’s starting to get his groove.

The Heat have won back-to-back games behind Butler’s aggressiveness.

We have more Heat notes:

  • Responding to NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins, who suggested Butler and the Heat should part ways, Butler’s agent Bernard Lee pushed back strongly against that notion on Twitter. “Put simply he’s never going anywhere.. EVER,” Lee tweeted. “He’s going to win a championship in Miami.” Butler and the Heat are 26-23 entering Saturday, good for seventh in the Eastern Conference and half a game back of the Pacers for sixth.
  • Because the Heat only have 14 players on standard contracts, their players on two-way contracts are limited to a total of 90 NBA appearances. If they were carrying 15 standard players, their two-way players would be eligible to be active for 50 games each. The clock is currently ticking for Miami’s trio of Jamal Cain, R.J. Hampton and Cole Swider, who only have 25 games left between them if the team doesn’t add a 15th man, Winderman observes. Games in which players are active but don’t play count against their limit “It’s tough, because you mentally prepare like you’re ready to play,” Cain said of being active on a game night and not playing. “When your number is not called, of course it’s going to take a mental, emotional toll on you. But that’s the beauty of the game, because you’re still getting those mental reps on those games when you’re active, as part of it.
  • Guard Josh Richardson was out of the rotation when the Heat played the Knicks last week. “I mean, it’s never easy,” Richardson said of being benched, per Winderman. “It’s hard. We got a lot of guys that can play, contribute, so I really had to go home and like think, like figure it out, like, ‘What do I have to do better to get minutes?’ And, ‘How can I help the team win games?’” Then, after Duncan Robinson suffered a concussion, he was right back in the following game. Richardson impressed in his subsequent outings, highlighted by a 24-point performance against the Kings to snap Miami’s losing streak.

Heat Notes: Hampton, Cain, Jovic, Love

Guard R.J. Hampton, who is on a two-way contract, made his first start with the Heat on Thursday, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel observes (via Twitter), Hampton became the 14th player to make at least one start for Miami through 31 games in 2023/24.

It was just the fourth NBA appearance this season for the former first-round pick, who finished with seven points, three assists and two rebounds in the victory over Golden State. Hampton finished with a positive plus/minus (+8) in his 25 minutes.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Hampton, Jamal Cain and Nikola Jovic have spent most of the season in the G League, but they all made key contributions on Thursday with several players injured, Chiang writes for The Miami Herald. Cain, another two-way player, recorded seasons highs in points (18 on 7-of-14 shooting) and rebounds (six) while tying his season high with two steals. Jovic, the Heat’s 2022 first-round pick, had 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 20 minutes. “The three young guys in particular, it’s not easy,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They go often times weeks without playing, but they have to stay ready, as UD [Udonis Haslem] always says, to be ready. And then they also have to improve. So they can’t just be the same players they are because they’re trying to prove themselves and really establish themselves in this league.”
  • Winderman takes a look at Jovic’s up-and-down second season, with the 20-year-old learning a new position (center) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate.
  • Big man Kevin Love has primarily come off the bench in his first full season with Miami, which is a role he grew accustomed to with Cleveland, per Winderman (subscriber link). Love enjoys the freedom of being a reserve. “You’re playing free,” Love said of getting to enter without expectation of a specific niche. “I’m on the perimeter, I’m low, I’m catching the ball in different spots, I get to play pretty free within it. So, for me, it’s been finding myself shooting the ball. But as far as being effective and finishing, I feel like I can do that every night, even if I’m not scoring the ball.”

Heat Notes: Jaquez, Two-Way Players, Butler, Herro

With Jimmy Butler missing a third straight game, Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez turned in a Butler-style performance with 31 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s win over Philadelphia, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. It marks the latest achievement in a remarkable first season for Jaquez, who has long dreamed of being part of the NBA’s Christmas showcase.

“Definitely special,” he said. “Great to get a win. Career night, on Christmas … I grew up watching these games. To be able to play and have a career night, it just, I just go back to all the hard work, late nights in the gym, just preparing for moments like this.”

Jaquez is proving that he entered the NBA ready to play right away after spending four seasons in college. Injuries have given him opportunities on a team coming off a Finals appearance, and he has found ways to contribute without being a focal point of the offense.

“I don’t think I called one play for him tonight, literally,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I mean, they were in his zone most of the second half. But throughout the rest of the course of the game, I definitely did not call it one play for him. And he did with offensive rebounding, transition, cuts, timely threes, just a lot of plays in between, so you don’t really think that it’s, you know, a 30-point game.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Caleb Martin is the latest injury concern for a Heat team that has been shorthanded all season, notes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Making his 10th straight start after missing the beginning of the season with a knee injury, Martin was ruled out of Monday’s contest after spraining his ankle midway through the first quarter. Two-way players Jamal Cain and R.J. Hampton saw double-digit minutes Monday and may have expanded roles while the rest of the roster heals. “They have prepared for that,” Spoelstra said. “It’s not easy for the players in their situation where you don’t know if you’re going to play. And most nights, you probably have an idea that you’re not going to play. But you still have to stay ready and things change so quickly in this league.”
  • Butler will travel with the team as it begins a five-game road trip and Heat officials are optimistic that he will be able to return soon, Chiang adds. There was hope that his calf strain had healed enough for him to play Monday, but an illness prevented that from happening.
  • Tyler Herro has been a steady presence since returning from a sprained ankle that caused him to miss 18 games, Chiang states in a separate story. Herro is averaging career highs with 24.0 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting a career-best 45.9% from the field and 42.7% from three-point range.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Herro, Jovic, Hampton, More

Time is no longer on Heat center Bam Adebayo‘s side when it comes to potentially earning a super-max contract extension after the season, writes The South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.

In order to be eligible for a super-max deal worth 35% of the cap, Adebayo has to either earn a spot on the All-NBA team or be named the league’s MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. And in order to be eligible for any of those honors, he must play in at least 65 games as a result of changes made in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Adebayo has already missed nine games this season, including six in a row. That means he can only miss up to eight more before he’s deemed ineligible for those awards. Adebayo is nearing a return to the court and is expected back sometime in December, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, but another injury or two in the coming months could cost him a shot at super-max eligibility in 2024.

Adebayo is in the middle of a strong season, averaging 22.3 points and 9.9 rebounds for the 14-11 Heat. If he’s able to stay healthy, he should be a candidate for both an All-NBA nod and for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He’s finished in the top five in voting in the latter in each of the past four seasons.

We have more from the Heat:

  • Adebayo isn’t the only key player the Heat are expecting back soon. We recently wrote Tyler Herro is expected back soon and Jackson says he’s targeting a Dec. 18 return. Herro hasn’t played since Nov. 8. R.J. Hampton also recently returned for the Heat, logging roughly nine minutes against the Bulls on Thursday in his first action since Oct. 28.
  • In the second of a three-part series, Jackson explores potential trades the Heat could make with Western Conference teams. However, there aren’t many options that are either easy or make much sense. Jackson mentions Lauri Markkanen‘s supposed availability, but writes the Jazz would rightly want a huge return and any other trade with Utah could limit the team’s availability to re-sign Caleb Martin. Other teams exploring trades, like the Spurs and the Warriors, don’t have many packages that make sense for Miami either.
  • Center Thomas Bryant and two-way player Jamal Cain have both seen their roles fluctuate with the Heat this season, observes the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. Bryant opened the year as Adebayo’s primary backup, but fell out of the rotation and remained that way even with Adebayo out. Meanwhile, Cain had a strong summer and sought a standard deal but ultimately ended back up on a two-way deal that limits him to 50 regular season games. However, both players are continuing to stay ready for any opportunity, which coach Erik Spoelstra commented was “never easy.” Bryant has responded by scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds in about 27 minutes over his last two appearances. Cain meanwhile, scored 14 points in just under 29 minutes against the Hornets on Wednesday.

Heat Notes: Jaquez, Smith, Two-Way Players, Tournament

The Heat look like one of the East’s best teams despite a string of early-season injuries, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Miami has won nine of its last 10 games, including a 33-point victory Wednesday in Cleveland without three rotation players. Tyler Herro continues to recover from his sprained right ankle, while Bam Adebayo sat out the contest with a left hip contusion and Kevin Love didn’t make the trip for personal reasons.

The Heat responded with eight players reaching double figures in points, led by veteran guard Kyle Lowry with 28 and rookie forward Jaime Jaquez with 22. It’s the latest in a series of impressive performances by Jaquez, who has quickly embraced the “Heat Culture” philosophy.

“It’s like a next-man-up mentality,” Jaquez said. “We have a soldier go down, we got one to fill their place and do what we can to win. I thought we shared the ball really well tonight, had a lot of great shots and it showed. Our defense was incredible. Really pressured the ball, got a lot of steals and got out in transition.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Coach Erik Spoelstra believes an unusual feature of Cleveland’s court caused backup point guard Dru Smith to suffer a right knee injury that forced him out of Wednesday’s game, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Smith had an awkward fall along the sidelines in an area that has a dropoff for fans at courtside. “It is a dangerous floor,” Spoelstra said. “It’s an accident waiting to happen. You close out and all of a sudden you’re going off a cliff. If the court was normal, there wouldn’t have been any kind of incident.” Smith will have a scan conducted on the knee while the team is in New York.
  • A prolonged absence for Smith could lead to a roster move, Jackson adds. The Heat are low on guards, and Jackson believes they may consider either temporarily filling the open 15th roster spot or adding someone on a two-way deal. He sees two-way players Jamal Cain and Cole Swider as safe, but suggests the team might consider replacing R.J. Hampton.
  • Point differential could come into play as Miami tries to advance in the in-season tournament, and Spoelstra said the Heat will “treat that appropriately” if it becomes necessary, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami is off to a 2-0 start in Group B, and a win Friday over the Knicks could set up a showdown with Milwaukee next week with both teams undefeated. Spoelstra is a fan of the tournament and says the financial incentive, with each player getting $50K for reaching the quarterfinals, has been a strong motivator. “I think it’s good for the league,” he said. “I think it’s good for the teams, the players. It keeps things interesting. Anything that sparks competition, I think is a great thing. And it sure would be a lot of fun to be able to get two more wins and get to the quarterfinals. Ultimately, every competitor in this league, whatever they think or say, you would want to be in Vegas to play for this.”