Josh Richardson

Heat Notes: Wright, Offseason Decisions, Butler, Draft

The Heat’s season ended in an appropriate way Wednesday night — with another new starting lineup. Injuries have forced coach Erik Spoelstra to juggle his rotations since training camp, and he unveiled his 37th starting unit in Game 5 at Boston, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez was unavailable because of a hip injury he suffered in Game 4 and Spoelstra didn’t want to start Duncan Robinson, who has been limited by a back condition since late in the regular season, so veteran guard Delon Wright made the first playoff start of his career. Wright provided eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 33 minutes, but he had to leave the game briefly to get stitches in his lower lip and chin after being hit by an elbow.

In addition to Jaquez, Miami was without Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson, who all missed the entire series due to injuries. However, Spoelstra refused to use that as an excuse, Chiang tweets.

“We’re not going to put this on the fact that we had some injuries,” Spoelstra said. “Let’s not take anything away from Boston. They’ve been the best team in basketball all season long.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • The early playoff exit leaves the franchise with a long offseason and a lot of financial decisions ahead, Chiang adds. Part of the future will be determined by player options held by Caleb Martin ($7.1MM), Kevin Love ($4MM), Richardson ($3.1MM) and Thomas Bryant ($2.8MM). Orlando Robinson has a non-guaranteed $2.1MM contract for next season, while Wright, Haywood Highsmith and Patty Mills are all headed for unrestricted free agency.
  • Miami faces a difficult decision on Jimmy Butler, who will become extension-eligible this summer, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes in his offseason preview for the Heat. Butler will make $48.8MM next season and holds a $52.4MM player option for 2025/26. Beginning July 7, he can sign a one-year extension worth $58.6MM, which would retain his ’25/26 salary, or a two-year, $112.9MM extension that would void the player option. Marks points out that Butler will turn 35 during the offseason and hasn’t topped 65 games in any of the last four years.
  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald examines the Heat’s options in this year’s draft. Players who could still be on the board when Miami picks at No. 15 include Purdue center Zach Edey, Duke power forward/center Kyle Filipowski, Providence guard Devin Carter, Colorado forward Tristan Da Silva, Duke point guard Jared McCain, Baylor center Yves Missi, Kansas small forward Kevin McCullar Jr., Baylor swingman Ja’Kobe Walter, USC point guard Isaiah Collier and Illinois shooting guard Terrence Shannon Jr.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Herro, Rozier, Richardson

With Jimmy Butler sidelined by an MCL sprain, the Heat are comfortable relying on Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro to be their on-court leaders, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Both players responded when they were asked to expand their games in Wednesday’s surprise victory at Boston. Adebayo scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds and frequently served as the primary defender on Jayson Tatum.

“He had big responsibilities defensively,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Then on the road, yes, it was really important that we had a place where we could just throw the ball and just kind of get settled, especially when they would go on runs or the crowd would get in it and he produced. He was great when we needed to get it settled and he went right to his spot and was able to get some relief points for us.”

Herro took a larger role in running the offense, handing out a career-high 14 assists to go with 24 points and five rebounds. Ten of his assists came on three-pointers as Miami set a franchise record by sinking 23 threes in a playoff game.

“We need his aggressiveness, we need his scoring, we need his shooting, we need his play-making,” Spoelstra said. “Depending on the possession, it can be any one of those things. But he was good on both ends of the court. He was very good defensively, he was competing on that end, a lot of winning things.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • A greater emphasis on three-point shooting was one of the adjustments Spoelstra and his staff made after the Game 1 loss, Chiang adds in a separate story. The Celtics were sending extra defenders at the Adebayo-Herro pick-and-roll, which created open shots from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Heat concentrated on switching rather than the combination of blitzing ball-handlers and drop coverage they used in the opener.
  • Terry Rozier will miss his ninth straight game today with a neck issue, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the rest of the first-round series, Chiang states in a mailbag column. Rozier has undergone numerous tests to determine what’s causing the neck pain, and the Heat are being “very cautious” about his condition, Chiang adds. Rozier was a starter before being sidelined, but Chiang doesn’t believe he’ll automatically be inserted back into the starting lineup if he’s able to return.
  • In the same piece, Chiang says it’s likely that Josh Richardson will pick up his $3.1MM player option and return to the team next season. Richardson owns a house in Miami and enjoys playing there, and Chiang points out that his market value will be limited after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in March.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Richardson, Hornets

Led by Kyle Kuzma‘s 28 points (14 in the fourth quarter), nine assists and eight rebounds, plus double-doubles from Deni Avdija and Richaun Holmes, the Wizards snapped their franchise record-tying 16-game losing streak on Friday vs. Charlotte. They outscored the Hornets 44-24 in the final period to win by 12, with 44 points representing a season high for any quarter, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network (Twitter link), interim head coach Brian Keefe singled out little-used reserve Anthony Gill as a key to the comeback victory due to his “contagious energy.” Kuzma said it meant “a lot” to finally get a win, tweets Robbins.

I’m a little emotionally drained right now,” Kumza said. “But it meant a lot for us to pick that up, being in a big slump for a long time. … I’m just happy for everybody in the locker room to get that dub.”

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • In a full story for The Athletic, Robbins writes that the Wizards intentionally went down the path of rebuilding to avoid the mediocrity of the past several seasons, but that doesn’t mean the poor results thus far in 2023/24 have been easy to stomach. Even after tonight’s victory, Washington is just 10-53, a half-game behind Detroit for the worst record in the NBA. Everyone involved — the team, front office, owner and fans — will have to exercise patience to see if the new front office under president Michael Winger will eventually be able to build a contender, but it will take some lottery luck in the future as well, Robbins notes.
  • Heat swingman Josh Richardson underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday. He has a $3.1MM player option for 2024/25. “It’s a shame,” Spoelstra said of Richardson, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “But some of these things happen. You can’t control it. He had really a great spirit going into it and the surgery went really well. We’ll just look forward to rehabbing him and getting him ready for next year.”
  • LaMelo Ball is far more likely to return this season for the Hornets than second-year center Mark Williams, Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer states in a mailbag column. According to Boone, Ball has been “doing just about everything except playing in actual games,” which suggests he could return at some point. The fourth-year guard has had another injury-plagued campaign, appearing in just 22 games due to ankle issues after being limited to 36 last season. Williams, who has only played 19 games due to a back injury, hasn’t been participating in any team-related on-court activities, and Boone would be stunned if he actually plays again in ’23/24. Boone also discusses who might be the primary backup point guard behind Ball and Grant Williams‘ future with the team, among other topics.

Heat’s Josh Richardson Out For Season Following Shoulder Surgery

MARCH 6: Richardson underwent a labrum procedure today to repair right shoulder instability, the Heat announced in a press release. He will miss the rest of the season, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to the team.

MARCH 5: Heat wing Josh Richardson will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reports (via Twitter).

Richardson suffered a dislocated right shoulder on Feb. 11 as he pursued a loose ball early in the second quarter against Boston.

Richardson joined the team during last week’s West Coast swing with the expectation that he would return soon, but surgery ultimately was deemed to be the best course of action, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

That’s one of the reasons why the Heat were interested in free agent guard Patty Mills, who intends to sign with the club as a free agent.

Richardson, who returned to the Heat as a free agent this summer after starting his career in Miami, has appeared in 43 games this season. He’s averaging 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.7% from three-point range.

Richardson holds a $3.05MM option on his contract for next season. The injury could convince Richardson to opt in, rather than taking his chances on the free agent market.

Heat Notes: Herro, Jovic, Love, Rozier, Martin

Heat guard Tyler Herro continues to be bothered by discomfort in his right foot that began during the All-Star break, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro missed his fourth straight game today — bringing him to 24 for the season — with a condition that team doctors are calling medial tendinitis.

Asked before the game if he’s being cautious with Herro, coach Erik Spoelstra said he doesn’t have that luxury with starters Kevin Love and Josh Richardson also sidelined by injuries. Love missed his second consecutive game with a bruised right heel and Richardson sat out his seventh straight with a dislocated right shoulder.

“It’s managing where he is right now,” Spoelstra said of Herro. “Once he feels right and he passes the protocols, he’ll play. We’re not saving anybody for the playoffs. We have a lot of work to do to make sure we get in.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Nikola Jovic continues to be a fixture in Spoelstra’s starting lineup, Chiang adds. The second-year big man was out of the rotation early in the season, but Saturday marked his sixth start in the team’s last seven games. The only one he missed was because of a league suspension for being involved in a fracas with New Orleans last week.
  • Love sees himself as a natural mentor for Herro because he went through the same experience of playing with two stars in Cleveland and constantly hearing his name in trade speculation, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “I’ve been in trade rumors every offseason,” Love said. “I’ve been him. I was the third guy. I played in the paint and in the interior my whole career and I was asked when I got to Cleveland to play on the perimeter. I was asked to do a lot of things that maybe I was uncomfortable with or wasn’t used to. … I’ve been in his position many times before and he has handled it very well. His maturity has really impressed me.”
  • Terry Rozier‘s three-point shooting since coming to Miami is a cause for concern, Chiang states in a mailbag column. Coming into today’s game, he was 23.7% from long-distance since the trade with Charlotte, including 25% on catch-and-shoot threes and 22.2% on pull-up threes. Chiang expects Rozier to eventually move closer to his career average of 36.4%.
  • Caleb Martin received six stitches in his lip after being hit in the face in the fourth quarter of today’s game, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Heat Notes: Rozier, Herro, Wright, Suspensions, Jovic, Jaquez

Terry Rozier will suit up for the Heat at Portland on Tuesday night after missing the previous four games with a sprained right knee, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reports. Rozier is averaging 12.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds per contest since being acquired from Charlotte.

Miami will also have Jimmy Butler and Nikola Jovic back after they served one-game league suspensions on Monday. Tyler Herro (left knee hyperextension) will sit out once again. Herro was injured on Friday against New Orleans.

Herro underwent an MRI on his injured knee on Monday that showed no structural damage, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

We have more on the Heat:

  • Delon Wright played a major role in the shorthanded team’s 121-110 victory over Sacramento on Monday night during his Heat debut, Chiang writes in a separate story. He contributed 13 points, two rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in 35 minutes. Wright signed with Miami after being bought out by Washington. “The player of the game for us in the locker room was Delon,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I don’t think his stat line was spectacular by people probably on the outside. But, man, he plays winning basketball.”
  • Wright adds depth at the guard spots but it will be tough for him to get consistent minutes when everyone’s healthy, Chiang notes in his latest mailbag. With eight other players locked into the rotation, Wright will have to fight for playing time with Josh Richardson, Haywood Highsmith and Jovic.
  • Going back to the altercation with the Pelicans, Spoelstra was grateful that more players weren’t suspended for leaving the bench area. He praised the NBA’s head of basketball operations, Joe Dumars, for not penalizing players who stayed out of the scuffle. “[Dumars] understands it from a player’s perspective and I think that’s really important,” Spoelstra told Chiang. “That it’s not letter of the law, it’s observing it, looking at it, seeing all the context of it and then making the best decision based on everybody’s parties. The league, No. 1, the players and teams.”
  • Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr. were mentioned prominently in trade rumors last summer when the Heat pursued Damian Lillard before the Trail Blazers dealt the perennial All-Star to Milwaukee. Both players spoke to Winderman about what might have been if a trade had gone through. “Me and Jaime were not the biggest pieces in the trade, but of course you think if you’re going to be in a package,” Jovic said.

Southeast Notes: Mann, Ball, Fultz, Heat, Wizards

There wasn’t much playing time available for Tre Mann on a talented Oklahoma City team, but he moved into a starting role after being traded to the Hornets, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. With LaMelo Ball still injured, Mann has been tasked with running Charlotte’s offense and he’s averaging 13.7 points and 7.3 assists in his first three games.

“I think I’m fitting in pretty well,” Mann said. “I’m just coming out, trying to play hard around a bunch of talented guys. We’ve all got really good IQ, so it’s easy playing with guys like that. I think I’m playing well. I’m just trying to show off my playmaking ability as much as I can and it’s been fun.”

Ball will miss his 12th straight game tonight in Utah, but he’s making progress toward returning from a sprained right ankle. A source tells Boone that Ball has resumed on-court activities and is steadily increasing his workload. Mann believes the two guards can form an effective combination whenever Ball comes back.

“I think he can play a little bit off ball and I can do the same,” Mann said. “So, It’s his team and I’m going to adjust to whatever is better for him. For right now, I’m just trying to go out there and play team ball.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic will be without Markelle Fultz for their first game after the All-Star break, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. The seventh-year guard continues to deal with a nagging left knee injury, which has limited him to just 21 games thus far in 2023/24. It’s unclear how much more time Fultz will miss beyond Thursday’s contest in Cleveland, but it’s a situation worth monitoring down the stretch, as the 25-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Star forward Jimmy Butler missed the Heat‘s final three games leading into the break due to the death of a family member, but he was back at practice on Thursday and will be available for Friday’s game in New Orleans, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Josh Richardson (right shoulder dislocation) and Terry Rozier (right knee sprain) will both be out Friday, but they’re traveling on the team’s four-game road trip, Jackson adds. Veteran big man Kevin Love said Rozier was moving well at Thursday’s practice, though he did not do any live drills (Twitter link via Jackson). Richardson, meanwhile, was in street clothes and wearing a sling. Head coach Erik Spoelstra indicated Rozier had a chance to suit up during the road trip, but the prognosis for Richardson was less optimistic, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Guard Tyler Herro is questionable for Friday’s contest due to right foot soreness.
  • Key labor unions in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., publicly announced on Tuesday that they are opposed to Monumental Sports’ plan to move the Wizards from D.C. to Alexandria, Virginia, according to The Associated Press (link via The Northern Virginia AFL-CIO and member unions cited in part an inability to reach a deal for union members to work on construction projects. It’s the latest obstacle in the proposed move, which has drawn opposition from several key figures in the region.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Heat Notes: Love, Williams, Wright, Jaquez

There were reasons to believe Kevin Love‘s career might be nearing the end when he agreed to a buyout with the Cavaliers during last year’s All-Star break, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Instead, the past 12 months have included a trip to the NBA Finals and a new contract with the Heat, as well as the birth of his first child, all of which have combined to make Love very content in Miami.

“I think the thing that’s most gratifying to me is that going to a new location or a new team or a new organization, new city, especially at this stage in your career, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “And after that run last year, I got so much fun out of it, as well as guys I’ll have relationships for life, bigger than basketball. My daughter was born on June 10th, right after Game 4 (of the NBA Finals). We bought a new house in Miami. It’s almost like we got to start our life in a place where we have a lot of friends and a lot of great teammates and people in the organization who have become family in a pretty quick time, so it has been a very happy year.”

Love was stuck on the bench in Cleveland, but a big forward who could shoot and rebound and had previous Finals experience was just what the Heat needed. He started 17 of the 21 regular season games he played after signing with Miami and maintained a rotation role throughout the team’s playoff run.

In addition to his on-court contributions, Love has become a veteran leader in the locker room, especially after the retirement of Udonis Haslem, Winderman notes. Love believes he can play for at least another year or two and then may transition into a mentorship role.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Alondes Williams was impressive in Friday’s Rising Stars competition, and he might get a shot at more playing time after the break, Winderman states in a mailbag column. Winderman speculates that the two-way player may be in line for a standard contract if the Heat decide to waive Dru Smith, who’s out for the rest of the season after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery.
  • Delon Wright was likely promised regular minutes to get him to commit to the Heat, Winderman adds in the same piece. However, the extent of Wright’s rotation role won’t be clear until Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson return from their current injuries.
  • Jaime Jaquez, who jumped over Shaquille O’Neal for his first entry in Saturday’s Dunk Contest, said clearing the Hall of Fame center was a difficult thing to prepare for, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Listen, I ain’t gonna lie. I didn’t practice jumping over Shaq,” Jaquez said. “I used Bam [Adebayo] as practice. But there’s a big height difference. So I was really nervous when I saw Shaq out there. I’ve seen him a bunch of times. But when he’s standing there, I was definitely feeling nervous.”

Josh Richardson To Miss Multiple Weeks With Dislocated Shoulder

Heat guard Josh Richardson dislocated his shoulder in Sunday’s game and will be reevaluated in a few weeks, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Richardson was injured as he pursued the ball early in the second quarter against Boston. He fell to the court in pain and grabbed his shoulder, then had to be helped back to the locker room. An MRI conducted this morning revealed the extent of the damage.

Richardson, who returned to the Heat as a free agent this summer after starting his career in Miami, has been a valuable addition for a team that has been beset by injuries all season. He has appeared in 43 games, making six starts, and is averaging 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.7% from three-point range.

The Heat are also awaiting the results of an MRI on guard Terry Rozier, who left Sunday’s game with an injury to his right knee after an awkward landing on a layup attempt in the second half.

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Rozier, Hawks, Magic, Bridges

Injuries have been a season-long issue for the Heat, who may have lost two more players in Sunday’s game, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. MRIs are scheduled today for Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier, creating more potential challenges as coach Erik Spoelstra works to develop a consistent lineup.

Richardson fell to the court and grabbed his right shoulder early in the second quarter, according to Chiang. After being helped up, he headed to the locker room for an X-ray that came back negative. He was wearing a sling after the game.

“I felt my shoulder pop out on the floor and then pop back in when I was laying on the ground,” Richardson said. “So thank goodness for that. But I’ll know more (Monday).”

Rozier was hurt midway through the third quarter when he landed awkwardly on his right leg on an attempted layup. Trainers had to help him to the locker room as well.

Chiang points out that if Richardson and Rozier have to miss significant time, that leaves Tyler Herro and two-way player Alondes Williams as the only healthy guards on Miami’s roster.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks general manager Landry Fields said signs of progress from the current roster convinced him to stand pat at the trade deadline, per Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution. Dejounte Murray was considered one of the top names on the market, but Fields believes there’s value in keeping the current team together. “We’ve seen an uptick with Onyeka (Okongwu),” he said. “We’ve seen an uptick with Jalen Johnson. We’ve seen an uptick with Saddiq Bey, and I can go right down the line even down to (the G League team in) College Park where, Kobe Bufkin is developing extremely well in that environment.”
  • The same approach was taken by Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, whose team was also quiet at the deadline despite having “lengthy conversations” with some teams, according to Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. “We’re very happy with where we are right now from a big-picture standpoint,” Weltman said. “We weren’t going to be overly aggressive, we weren’t going to get out of our comfort zone and we certainly weren’t going to deviate from our plan.”
  • Hornets forward Miles Bridges, whose name was involved in trade rumors over the last several weeks, is relieved that deadline speculation is finally over, notes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Bridges said several times that he prefers to stay in Charlotte and ultimately decided to use his veto power to reject any deal the team might have made. “This was my first year dealing with all that,” he said of the deadline rumors. “Me, I’m happy so I can just focus on the season and focus on trying to get us some wins.”