Heat players are excited about the prospect of adding Kevin Love to their current roster, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Miami is considered to be the frontrunner to sign the veteran big man once he clears waivers, with a source telling Chiang that Love is intrigued by the possibility of regular playing time and the chance to team up with veteran stars Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
Adebayo and Tyler Herro both received questions about Love on Saturday during All-Star Weekend media sessions. In addition to the talent upgrade, they pointed out that Love would bring plenty of postseason experience.
“Anytime we can get somebody the caliber of Kevin Love, he’s played in so many big games, so many big playoff runs and he’s experienced,” Herro said. “He’s been there before. Getting a guy like that, we’ve seen what we can do if we add veteran players like that midway through the season. Usually that leads to good runs and long playoff runs for us as a team.”
There’s more from Miami:
- Adebayo is in the second season of a five-year extension, and team president Pat Riley hopes to keep in him Miami long after that contract expires, Chiang notes in a separate story. Riley sees the 25-year-old center as a franchise cornerstone and a candidate to spend his entire career with the Heat. “It’s been a blessing to have him,” Riley said. “I go back to (Alonzo Mourning) and ‘Zo was a franchise face and then Dwyane (Wade) along with Udonis (Haslem), and now I look at Bam the same way because of longevity. I see Bam here, I hope, for his whole career.”
- Miami is considered a potential destination for Russell Westbrook if he pursues a buyout with the Jazz, but the feedback Heat officials have gotten while investigating Westbrook has been “mixed” at best, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson hears that the team expects Kyle Lowry to be productive once he returns from his knee issues, so adding a big man is a greater priority than finding a point guard.
- The Heat are facing a decision between Omer Yurtseven and Orlando Robinson, not only for backup center minutes for the rest of the season, but probably in offseason contract talks as well, per Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Yurtseven, who is still awaiting his season debut after undergoing ankle surgery in November, has an expiring contract and can be made a restricted free agent with a $2.2MM qualifying offer. Robinson can only be active for four more games on his two-way contract and would have to be converted to a standard deal to play beyond that.