Orlando Robinson

Southeast Notes: Heat Centers, Kispert, Hornets

The Heat will enter training camp next week with several options to back up starting center Bam Adebayo, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami’s roster could change dramatically with a Damian Lillard trade, but for now the candidates to be the second-string center are Thomas Bryant, Orlando Robinson and Kevin Love, who may be the starter at power forward.

Bryant signed a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract after spending last season with the Lakers and Nuggets. Winderman notes that the 26-year-old was the only big man added to the roster this summer, so it appears the organization is committed to giving him a steady role.

Robinson, 23, signed a standard contract in July after playing on a two-way deal as a rookie. He showed promise last season and during Summer League, Winderman observes, and may be able to earn rotation minutes if he can improve his defense and avoid foul trouble.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for Lillard isn’t the Heat’s only path to success, Winderman adds in a separate Sun Sentinel story. He contends that with the current roster, the team’s outlook will depend on how much improvement from Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith can offset the loss of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.
  • Wizards swingman Corey Kispert established himself as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters during his second season, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins consulted several NBA scouts to get their view of Kispert, who connected at 42.4% from long distance last year. “The one thing you want to look for often with young guys is: Does he have an elite skill? Does he have something that the coaches can rely on? (Does he have a skill where) they can say, ‘We’re going to put him out there and we know for sure he can do this,’” one scout said. “And Corey does, right? No one’s going to question his ability to shoot.”
  • Theoden Janes of The Charlotte Observer talks to country music star Eric Church about his love for basketball and how he became part of the Hornetsnew ownership group. He calls owning his favorite childhood team “beyond any dream I ever had when I was a young man.”

Heat Notes: Jaquez, Haslem, Jovic, Lillard

When Jaime Jaquez was drafted by the Heat last month, one of his first actions was to send a text message to Udonis Haslem, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Haslem has retired after 20 seasons in the NBA, but he still represents the epitome of Heat Culture and Jaquez thought it was important to show respect.

“I know he’s the OG of the Miami Heat,” Jaquez said. “I felt it was only right that I reach out to him first and just let him know that I’m excited to be here and ready to work.”

Haslem said during a recent radio interview that Jaquez is “definitely a culture guy,” and they continued to text each other throughout Summer League. Jaquez grew up in California as a Lakers fan, but he followed the Heat closely as well so he’s aware of Haslem’s importance to the franchise.

“I’m a basketball fan, I was a Heat fan,” Jaquez said. “I always loved the Lakers, but the Heat was always my No. 2 and I’ve just always known about him and his presence in the organization. Being a basketball fan, you know who he is.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Even though Haslem is officially retired, he’s still serving as a mentor to many of the team’s young players, Chiang adds. “I continue to stay connected to Orlando (Robinson), who had an amazing Summer League,” Haslem said. “I continue to stay connected to (Jamal) Cain, who had a hell of a Summer League, Niko (Nikola Jovic), who played well in the beginning (of Summer League), all these guys. There’s a next generation and I just continue to build relationships and bank equity with those guys.” 
  • Jaquez made a positive impression on Heat officials during Summer League, even though he was held out after injuring his shoulder in the second game, Chiang states in a separate story. Miami was also encouraged by the play of Jovic, last year’s first-round pick, who appeared in four games before joining the Serbian national team. “There’s a lot to like about his development so far,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Jovic. “… You see the rebounding, you see the off-ball awareness defensively, his ability to take a rebound off the glass and push it in transition. These are skills that are really tough to teach. He has great vision.”
  • Former NBA star Gary Payton, who was in Miami on Sunday as a coach in the Big3 League, sees Damian Lillard as a perfect addition for the Heat, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. “Dame had to make the decision: Do I want to keep doing what I do, or do I want to try to win a championship? And that’s what he wants to do now,” said Payton, who followed a similar path before coming to Miami late in his career. “It is just time, time for him to make a move to where he wants to go.”

Rockets’ Cam Whitmore Named Summer League MVP

Rockets forward Cam Whitmore has been named the Las Vegas Summer League Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced (via Twitter).

The NBA also announced its All-Summer League First and Second Teams, which are as follows (Twitter links):

First Team

Second Team

According to the NBA (Twitter link), Christie and Moon received the same amount of votes, which is why there is an additional backcourt player on the second team.

Whitmore, a projected lottery pick in last month’s draft who fell to Houston at No. 20, averaged 20.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.2 APG and 3.0 SPG on .465/.293/.625 shooting in his five Vegas Summer League games, per NBA.com.

Houston faces Cleveland at 8 p.m. CT tonight in the Summer League championship game. Both teams are undefeated, holding identical 5-0 records.

Southeast Notes: Vanterpool, Robinson, Magic Trade, Vukcevic

The Wizards are hiring David Vanterpool as an assistant coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. He’ll join Wes Unseld Jr.‘s staff after stops with Brooklyn, Minnesota and Portland. Vanterpool has also interviewed for a number of head coaching jobs in recent years. He didn’t coach in the league last season after he was let go by the Nets following the 2021/22 season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Orlando Robinson had his two-way contract upgraded to a standard deal at the beginning of the month and it appears to be a prudent move by the Heat. Robinson thrived during Summer League action, as The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang notes. Robinson averaged 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 53% from the field. He also showed an improved 3-point shot, making 8-of-21 in six games.
  • The Magic felt comfortable trading away second-round picks to the Suns because they have a large stash of draft assets, Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando has eight first-round picks and 12 second-rounders through the next seven drafts. In a trade that’s not yet official, the Magic are sending Phoenix three second-rounders to have the right to swap their own 2026 first-rounder for the least favorable of Phoenix’s and Washington’s two picks. Orlando is essentially gambling on its own future success.
  • Tristan Vukcevic, drafted in the second round by the Wizards, has another option for next season if he doesn’t play in the NBA, Eurohoops.net relays. The Serbian center could be loaned out to Greece’s Peristeri after playing for Partizan Belgrade last season. SDNA’s Sotiris Betakis first reported the news. Vukcevic has played the past week for Washington’s Summer League squad.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Roster Openings, Trade Exceptions, Centers, Cain

The Heat have two open roster spots but they’re in a holding pattern until the Damian Lillard situation is resolved, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Without trading for Lillard, Miami is only in position to add players on veteran’s minimum deals. The Heat would have even more roster spots open by dealing multiple players for Lillard.

Winderman also notes there are plenty of free agents with former ties to the organization looking for contracts, including Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Derrick Jones Jr., Justise Winslow and Meyers Leonard.

We have more on the Heat:

  • Unless they need one of them as part of a blockbuster trade for Lillard, the Heat are unlikely to use the three trade exceptions they’ve generated, Winderman writes in a mailbag piece. The exceptions of $9.5MM, $7.3MM and $4.7MM cannot be aggregated. The punitive elements of the luxury tax in the new CBA discourages using any of them to bring in more salary.
  • Unlike last season, the Heat have multiple options at backup center behind Bam Adebayo, The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang writes in his latest mailbag. It could be Kevin Love, if he doesn’t start at power forward. Otherwise, free agent signee Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson will battle for those minutes.
  • Jamal Cain is in limbo. He’s a restricted free agent after finishing last season on a two-way deal. Miami extended him a qualifying offer before free agency and Cain is trying to improve his stock during Summer League action, he tells Chiang. “I’m just trying to do what I can here to make sure I get a contract,” he said.

Heat Notes: Jaquez, Jovic, D. Robinson, O. Robinson, Richardson

Heat players are trying to focus on their Summer League games, but trade rumors are never far away, especially for those who might be sent to Portland in a potential Damian Lillard deal, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. First-round pick Jaime Jaquez was held out of Saturday’s game and Nikola Jovic stayed on the bench for the final 7:59, leading to speculation that the Heat are trying to protect their trade assets. Both players have minor injuries that coach Caron Butler didn’t want to risk aggravating.

“I don’t mind trade talk,” said Jovic, a first-round pick in 2022. “I’m not that much on Twitter. People from Europe don’t use it that much. I heard a lot of it was on Twitter, so I’m trying to keep away from that.”

Duncan Robinson, another potential trade piece because of the three seasons remaining on his five-year, $90MM contract, attended Saturday’s game and talked to the Heat’s broadcast team about what it’s like to constantly be involved in trade rumors. He said it’s important to avoid being consumed by the speculation and to stay away from social media as much as possible.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Orlando Robinson showed off an improved three-point shot as he posted 36 points in Saturday’s win over the Celtics, observes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The 23-year-old center has been working to improve that part of his game after going 0-for-6 from long distance during his rookie season. “I definitely tweaked some things, keeping my arm closer to me and keeping it more in line and getting more arc on it instead of flat,” Robinson said. “And just repetitions. Just getting up as many threes as possible, so I can mentally get those reps and just feel it. So when I get into the game, I can shoot confidently.”
  • Jaquez may not play at all in Las Vegas after hurting his shoulder on Wednesday in the final game of the California Classic Summer League, Chiang adds in another Herald story. “My goal is I want to play if I can,” Jaquez said. “I want to be out there with the guys and showcase what I can do. But at the same time, understanding that you got to take care of your body as well. It’s just kind of finding that in between. But day-to-day right now.”
  • Josh Richardson had better offers from other teams, but he opted to sign for the veteran’s minimum because he wants to return to Miami, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Richardson started his career with the Heat before being shipped to Philadelphia in the Jimmy Butler trade in 2019. “Sometimes you have got to sacrifice certain things,” he said. “I had talks with coaches and after weighing the options, I thought that it would be in my best interests and everyone involved to come back and give it another go.”

Contract Details: Poeltl, Strus, Love, Robinson, Walsh, R. Lopez

Jakob Poeltl‘s four-year contract with the Raptors has a flat base value of $19.5MM per year, for a total of $78MM, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. There are $500K in annual incentives currently considered unlikely to be earned — if Poeltl maxes out those bonuses, it’ll be worth $80MM. As previously reported, the fourth year is a player option.

Murphy adds that Jalen McDaniels‘ two-year deal is, as expected, worth the full amount of the bi-annual exception and is fully guaranteed, with no options on the second year.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts that Hoops Rumors can confirm:

  • Max Strus‘ four-year contract with the Cavaliers, which has a total value of $62.3MM, has a first-year salary of $14,487,684. That means the trade exception created by the Heat in the sign-and-trade deal is worth $7,243,842, half of Strus’ salary, due to base year compensation rules.
  • Kevin Love‘s two-year deal with the Heat is worth the full Non-Bird amount — $3.84MM in year one and $4.03MM in year two (with a player option). That represents 120% of his minimum salary.
  • Orlando Robinson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Heat is only partially guaranteed for $75K in 2023/24. That guarantee will increase to $425K if he remains under contract through the start of the regular season and to $850K if he’s not waived on or before December 1. Because Robinson’s current guarantee is only $75K, he’d be eligible for a two-way deal if he’s waived before the regular season.
  • Jordan Walsh‘s four-year deal with the Celtics is worth the minimum in all four seasons. It’s fully guaranteed in the first two years, with a $200K partial guarantee in year three.
  • Robin Lopez‘s minimum-salary contract with the Bucks is for one year.
  • We’re continuing to update our free agent tracker and our list of draft pick signings with contract details as we learn them.

Heat Rumors: Strus, Robinson, Herro, Bouyea

The Heat didn’t go beyond their initial offer to Max Strus, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).

Strus attracted plenty of attention on the free agent market and Miami eventually agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers that turned into a three-team swap. Strus wound up with a four-year, $63MM contract, far more than the Heat were willing to pay him. The Heat will get a traded player exception worth approximately $7MM in the deal.

Miami did make a counter-offer for Gabe Vincent, Winderman adds, but it couldn’t stop him from agreeing to a three-year contract with the Lakers for more money.

We have more on the Heat:

  • Orlando Robinson has signed a standard minimum-salary contract but he has some work to do to earn the full value for 2023/24, Winderman tweets. There are conditional elements to the contract, including guarantee dates. One of those stipulations is that he must make the opening-night roster.
  • The Nets have been contacted regarding the possibility of acquiring Tyler Herro in order to facilitate a Damian Lillard deal between the Trail Blazers and Heat, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. This confirms another report that the Nets were interested in Herro, whose four-year, $120MM extension kicks in next season.
  • Herro may be weary of hearing his name in trade rumors. For what it’s worth, Herro has removed “Miami Heat Guard” from the header on his Twitter feed and replaced it with “Slow motion,” NBA Central relays (Twitter link).
  • Jamaree Bouyea, recently signed to a two-way contract, believes he can become the next Heat success story among undrafted players, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Bouyea played on separate 10-day contracts with the Heat and Wizards as an undrafted rookie last year. “I like how they just invest, they invest in their young guys,” he said. “Obviously, they have a bunch of undrafted talent that got paid this offseason and offseasons before this, as well.”

Orlando Robinson Signs Standard Deal With Heat

8:20pm: Robinson inked a minimum-salary contract and it is now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

7:58pm: Orlando Robinson will be signing a standard contract with the Heat, a league source tells Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel strongly implies (via Twitter) that the 7’0″ center will be receiving the veteran’s minimum. The move will also free up a two-way slot, as Robinson spent 2022/23 — his rookie season — on a two-way deal and was a restricted free agent after Miami issued him a qualifying offer.

As Winderman explains, moving Robinson to a standard deal creates room for the Heat to sign Jamaree Bouyea, Dru Smith and Jamal Cain to two-way contracts. The deals for Bouyea and Smith are already official, while Cain remains a restricted free agent for now.

Robinson, who turns 23 later this month, went undrafted in 2022 out of Fresno State. He originally signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Heat, was waived before the season started, signed a two-way deal, was waived, and then inked another two-way deal for the rest of the season in December.

There was talk of converting Robinson’s two-way deal into a standard contract when he became a rotation regular due to injuries, but that didn’t come to fruition after the Heat signed veterans Kevin Love and Cody Zeller. Love re-signed with Miami, but Zeller remains a free agent.

Overall, Robinson averaged 3.7 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 31 games (13.7 MPG) for the Heat last season. He also had strong performances with their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Miami already agreed to terms with another free agent center, Thomas Bryant, and has Love as another option in the middle. Robinson will have to earn his stripes in training camp in order to secure rotation minutes behind Bam Adebayo.

Heat Sign Jaquez To Rookie Deal; Smith, Bouyea To Two-Ways

The Heat have officially inked rookie small forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. to his rookie scale contract, the team has announced (Twitter link).

Jaquez, a 6’7″ swingman, was selected with the No. 18 pick out of UCLA in this summer’s draft. During his final season with the team in 2022/23, the 22-year-old averaged 17.8 PPG on .481/.317/.770 shooting splits, 8.2 RPG and 2.4 APG. He was a consensus All-American Second Team honoree during his last collegiate run with the Bruins, and a three-time All-Pac-12 Teamer.

Miami also just officially signed Dru Smith and Jamaree Bouyea to two-way contracts, according to the league’s official transactions log. Though there is a general NBA moratorium on signings between July 1-6, two-way and rookie signings are still permitted even during this period.

Smith, a 6’3″ shooting guard, initially inked an affiliate deal with the Heat’s NBAGL team, the Sioux Fall Skyforce, in 2021 after going undrafted out of Missouri in 2021. He signed two-way deals with Miami and the Nets last season. Across 22 total games between the Skyforce and Long Island Nets in 2022/23, Smith averaged 15.5 PPG on .482/.379/.682 shooting splits, plus 5.5 RPG, 4.8 APG, 2.0 SPG and 0.6 BPG.

Bouyea, a 6’2″ combo guard, played on separate 10-day contracts with the Heat and Wizards as an undrafted rookie last year, appearing in a total of five games between both clubs.

The two-way qualifying offers that the Heat previously extended to restricted free agents Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson are still on the table, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter).

With word breaking that Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard would reportedly prefer to be dealt to Miami specifically, the Jaquez deal is a bit more notable, as it means that he now cannot be included as part of a trade for the next 30 days. That does not necessarily mean he cannot or will not be a part of a hypothetical package for Lillard, only that a move could not be officially finalized until July 31.