Terry Rozier

Heat Notes: Mitchell, Rozier, Bryant, Robinson

The Heat‘s 2023 offseason was centered around their pursuit of Damian Lillard, and with the Cavaliers eliminated from the 2024 playoffs after falling to Boston in the second round, it could be a second straight offseason of star hunting in Miami. While Donovan Mitchell may ultimately agree to sign an extension with the Cavs, Miami figures to be among the teams pursuing the All-Star guard if he hits the trade market this offseason.

Recent reporting from The Athletic suggested the Cavs feel optimistic about securing a long-term commitment from Mitchell, but as we noted earlier today, that’s not a sure thing yet. If Mitchell were to ask out of Cleveland, any team acquiring him would need assurances he would commit long-term before sacrificing significant capital. Along with the Heat, the Lakers and Nets are teams frequently mentioned among those with potential interest in Mitchell.

As for the Heat, they may need Mitchell to use his leverage to push for a deal to Miami to have a realistic chance to land him, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Other teams with potential interest could outbid the Heat, who only have one first-rounder available to trade if the situation doesn’t play out before this year’s draft. The Lakers will have three potential firsts and the Nets will have up to seven available to pursue Mitchell in this scenario, with Cleveland still set to owe Utah its first-rounders in 2025, 2027, 2029 and two pick swaps in 2026 and 2028.

Ultimately, there are more questions than answers when it comes to Mitchell’s future. If he does ask for a trade, the Heat would have to get creative in order to acquire him, Chiang writes.

We have more from the Heat:

  • The Heat moved a first-round pick to acquire Terry Rozier before the 2024 deadline. It was only the third time Miami has done so in the past decade — the team also fave up first-rounders for Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler. According to Chiang, even though the veteran guard missed the playoffs due to a neck injury, the Heat have no complaints with Rozier and are pleased with what he brought to the team. “I had a great conversation with him about some things,” team president Pat Riley said. “He’s open, he wanted to know from me what I thought about what he can do even at his age, which is still young. I gave him my opinion and I’m sure he’ll work on it, But he was a great addition for us, absolutely.
  • Thomas Bryant signed with the Heat last season on a minimum contract with a player option for 2024/25. He wound up only appearing in 38 games with averages of 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. While the vision was for Bryant to be the primary backup for Bam Adebayo and perhaps play alongside him at times, that didn’t come to fruition, Ira Winderman of South Florida’s Sun Sentinel writes. Bryant now must make a decision by June 29 on his $2.8MM player option for 2024/25. “The opportunities were not there all the time, but I believed it was things that coach [Erik Spoelstra] had to do,” Bryant said. “He was dealing with everything, as well. We had injuries and there were opportunities there for me, as well. I tried to capitalize as much as I could in those as many I had. But overall, I thought it was a great time.
  • Bryant’s decision may very well be the deciding factor for what the Heat do with another depth big in Orlando Robinson, Winderman writes in the same piece. Robinson was promoted from a two-way contract but hasn’t broke into the rotation yet, appearing in just 36 games with averages of 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. The Heat have a July 15 deadline to guarantee his $2.1MM salary or to waive him and make him a free agent. Since neither Bryant nor Robinson made it into the rotation, it’s possible Miami looks to move on from one or both.

Heat Notes: Butler, Herro, FA Options, Rozier, Draft

As reported a couple weeks ago by Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, Heat forward Jimmy Butler is expected to seek a two-year, maximum-salary extension before the season begins. However, it isn’t certain how the team will respond to that request from Butler.

In a new story, Chiang reviews Butler’s fifth season with Miami, writing that there were both promising and worrying aspects of the campaign. Butler led the team most major advanced statistics even though many of his counting stats were down, and he was limited to just 60 regular season games, including being sidelined for the Heat’s entire first-round series with Boston after sustaining a knee injury in the play-in tournament.

As Chiang writes, a potential extension would mean paying Butler a projected $58.6MM for his age-37 season in 2026/27. Only two players — LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — have averaged 20-plus points per game in the postseason during a championship-winning campaign at age 35 or older (Butler will be 35 in September).

Butler has led the Heat to two NBA Finals appearances in his five seasons with Miami, but how much longer can he maintain his current level? And what will he do if the team takes a wait-and-see approach to his impending request? Those are just two of the myriad questions the Heat must weigh regarding their best player’s future with the organization, Chiang notes.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • In a separate piece for The Miami Herald, Chiang provides his season in review for Tyler Herro, who missed 40 regular season games and struggled at times in the first-round loss to Boston. While Pat Riley said Herro needs to get stronger to hold up to the rigors of a long season, head coach Erik Spoelstra praised the 24-year-old’s work ethic and expects him to continue to evolve. “He’ll probably take about the same amount of days off that I’ll take and then he’ll get right back to work and learn from these experiences,” Spoelstra said. “Most young players when they make their big jumps, it’s usually from some disappointments that happen in the playoffs and it drives you with experience. It’s always the best teacher.”
  • As a team expected to be over at least the first tax apron, the Heat will have relatively limited options at their disposal in free agency, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That’s largely due to the money ($51.56MM) owed to Terry Rozier over the next two seasons. When the Heat acquired him in a January trade, they were well aware of the future luxury tax ramifications, but believed he’d make a bigger impact than the players available on the open market for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, according to Jackson, who points out that Rozier’s salary could be a useful matching piece in a star-level trade.
  • While many talent evaluators have stated the 2024 NBA draft class lacks top-end talent, VP of basketball operations and assistant GM Adam Simon pushed back on that notion, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Simon said he will continue to be focused on the best available players on the board when the team makes its selections — the Heat currently control the Nos. 15 and 43 picks, with Winderman noting they’ve had success drafting in the middle of the first round (Herro, Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez). “I’m not drafting for the team we have,” Simon said. “I’m going to recommend the players one through 15, one through 58, based on who I think the best players are. … The last thing I want to do is we pass on a player who was better because we took a player based on need.”

Heat’s Pat Riley Talks Butler, Injuries, Herro, Rozier, More

Player availability – or lack thereof – was a focus for Pat Riley during the Heat president’s annual end-of-season press conference, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Riley repeatedly brought up the fact that Miami needs to have its best players available more often and made it clear that figuring out how to improve on that front will be a goal this offseason.

“That’s a deep dive for us this summer, player availability,” Riley said. “We must change some things but we aren’t going to rip anything apart.”

Riley’s most noteworthy comments on the subject came when he was asked about the possibility of a contract extension for Jimmy Butler. The star swingman is expected to look to tack on another year to his current deal, which runs through 2024/25 with a player option for ’25/26. But Riley said the team has yet to internally discuss that possibility and wouldn’t commit to giving Butler a new contract if he asks for one, pointing out that the front office doesn’t need to make that decision before 2025.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said (Twitter link via Jackson), adding that Butler’s availability was “discussed thoroughly” a year ago with his agent. The 34-year-old hasn’t appeared in more than 64 regular season games in a single season during his five years in Miami and was unavailable for the playoffs this spring due to an MCL sprain.

Amid recent speculation that Butler’s days in Miami could be numbered, Riley offered an even more eyebrow-raising quote when asked about the six-time All-Star’s claim that the Celtics and Knicks would “be at home” if he had been able to play in the postseason. Riley admitted he didn’t know whether Butler was “trolling” or serious, but suggested he shouldn’t have said anything either way.

“If you’re not on the court playing against Boston or on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut on the criticism of those teams,” Riley said (Twitter link via Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Asked if Miami would consider trading Butler if their other non-Bam Adebayo assets aren’t enough to acquire a star player, Riley said no, adding that the goal isn’t necessarily to add a third star. “There are a possibility a lot of things are on the table,” Riley said, per Jackson. “It’s not about getting another star. You get another star, your bench gets weaker.”
  • Riley was noncommittal when asked if the Heat would like to cut payroll this summer, acknowledging that the team will have to look at the “collateral damage” of operating over the first or second tax apron. However, he stressed that he doesn’t anticipate major changes and that the organization “is not about rebuilding.” “We’ve got a really good group of guys,” he said. “The No. 1 issue is player availability and having your guys healthy to play every night. We have to wrap our arms around that notion. When I talk to (Heat owners) Micky (Arison) and Nick (Arison), they understand this.”
  • Riley doesn’t necessarily agree with Udonis Haslem‘s opinion that Tyler Herro would be better off as a sixth man, noting that Haslem – a Heat employee – probably shouldn’t have shared that take on an ESPN broadcast. “Tyler is a starter,” Riley said, according to Jackson. “Is (coming off the bench) something you are going to ask a player one day? That’s where a coach has a job to do. … Whether it be (Herro or someone else), he may. Whatever is in the best interests of the team. We won’t know until we have everybody available.”
  • Addressing the neck injury that sidelined Terry Rozier for the playoffs, Riley said it shouldn’t be a long-term issue and added that the veteran guard was “everything I expected” after arriving in Miami from Charlotte. “It’s a process; it takes time. He said he feels good,” Riley said. “When you’re dealing with a spine, you’re not going to mess around with it. It’s going to heal. Doctors convinced us and him that in time it will heal and go away.”

Heat Notes: Butler, Herro, Trade Assets, Bam

All-NBA Heat forward Jimmy Butler is expected to seek a two-year, maximum-salary contract extension with Miami, worth approximately $113MM, before the start of the 2024/25 season, a source tells Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

The theoretical deal would kick in for 2025/26. Butler has a $52.4MM player option for that year, which the extension would replace.

If Miami opts to not extend Butler, Chiang argues, the team could be faced with an unhappy star. The 34-year-old swingman led the Heat to two NBA Finals appearances – and an additional appearance in the Eastern Finals – during his first four seasons with the club, though he has dealt with a series of injuries, including an MCL sprain that knocked him entirely out of the playoffs this year.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald speculates about the potential trade haul Miami could receive in exchange for its best player should the team opt not to extend Butler.

There’s more out of Miami:

  • Following a first-round playoff elimination marred by injuries, the Heat face a variety of questions about their future this offseason. The biggest, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel contends, surrounds what Miami brass wants to do with shooting guard Tyler Herro. Winderman wonders if Miami will look to trade the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year this summer, or if it will consider demoting him back to a bench role going forward. Herro is owed $93MM across the remaining three years of his deal.
  • With the Heat set to explore the trade market this summer, Jackson takes stock of the club’s movable assets, consulting with a rival scout on the value of those pieces. The scout criticized Herro’s inconsistency both as a player and as an injury risk. As far as young players still on rookie scale deals go, the scout is high on the ceilings of forwards Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic. The scout also addressed the contracts of guards Duncan Robinson and Terry Rozier, Miami being a potential trade destination for Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, and more.
  • One fascinating potential internal change the Heat could consider, according to one alum who still works for the franchise, is shifting All-Star center Bam Adebayo from center to power forward, writes Jackson in another piece. While on the ESPN program “First Take” this week, 20-year Miami vet Udonis Haslem explained why he thinks the 6’9″ big man could benefit from a positional move. “He can guard all five positions but he would have even more of a matchup at the 4 position where we can post him up and do different things with him,” Haslem said. “Go for a center and possibly another scoring guard.” Haslem is currently the Heat’s vice president of basketball development, and also hosts a podcast with fellow ex-Heat champion Mike Miller.

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.

Southeast Notes: Jaquez, Aller, Harrel, Redick

Add Jaime Jaquez Jr. to the list of injured Heat players. Jaquez suffered a right hip flexor strain during Game 4 of the team’s first-round series against Boston on Monday, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Heat rookie has already been ruled out for Game 5, Winderman tweets. Terry Rozier (neck) has also been ruled out for Wednesday’s game, the team tweets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have expressed significant interest in hiring Brock Aller to Jeff Peterson‘s front office staff, SNY TV’s Ian Begley reports. Aller has been the Knicks’ vice president of basketball and strategic planning since 2020. Aller, who has already been contacted by Charlotte, has been instrumental in salary cap strategy, general strategy and contract structure for New York.
  • The Hornets are hiring Patrick Harrel as their new vice president of basketball insights and analysis, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer tweets. Harrel has been working for the NBA’s data science department, where he led game scheduling optimization.
  • Hiring J.J. Redick as head coach would be an outside-the-box move, but he would inject life into the Hornets organization, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer opines. Redick’s candidacy was revealed early last week. His lack of coaching experience would be the major concern, but he played in the league for a long time and can relate to today’s players.  The possible move is already being met with positive vibes, Boone adds.

Heat Notes: Butler, Rozier, Love, Martin, Wright

The Heat are trying not to focus on being shorthanded as they look for a way to upset the top-seeded Celtics, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. An already difficult task is being made even harder by the absence of starters Jimmy Butler, who sprained his MCL during a play-in game, and Terry Rozier, who has been sidelined with neck issues. In addition, Duncan Robinson has been limited by a lingering back injury he suffered late in the season.

“We have our guys, we have enough to get the job done,” coach Erik Spoelstra insisted after a 20-point loss in Game 3. “We understand the challenge and that’s what our competitors love about this series. We know we have to play hard and we also have to play well.”

Butler and Rozier have already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 4. Spoelstra told reporters on Sunday that Rozier is considered “day to day,” but no timetable has been set for his return. Butler was projected to miss “several weeks” after getting hurt on April 17, but he sounded optimistic in an interview with TNT’s Chris Haynes during Saturday’s game.

“I don’t know about a timeline, but we’ve been working,” Butler said. “I want to hoop. I want to get out here. I want some of this.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Spoelstra appears to be pivoting away from Kevin Love, who is facing a bad matchup against Boston, Chiang adds. The veteran big man, who was limited to one four-minute stretch in Game 3, is minus-24 in his 23 minutes of action in the series. “I was looking for a spark once we were down 20,” Spoelstra said in explaining the decision to bench Love. “This is not an indictment on anybody. Things move fast in a playoff series.”
  • Caleb Martin plans to “just be assertive and not be passive” tonight after he followed a 21-point Game 2 with five points on four shots in Game 3, Chiang states in a separate story. Martin, who starred against Boston in last year’s conference finals, said he needs to look to score more often. “I think there were sometimes I passed up shots,” he said. “I felt like I was trying to get the ball moving a little bit more, being a little bit less aggressive in letting it go. So that’s on me. I can’t be as passive. I got to let the ball go.”
  • Delon Wright, who missed Game 3 for the birth of a baby girl, has returned to the team and will be on the active roster tonight, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

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.

Heat Notes: First-Round Series, Robinson, Rozier, Draft, Lillard

If the Heat have any advantage heading into their first-round series with the Celtics, it comes from being more battle-tested, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. While Miami was fighting its way through a pair of high-stakes play-in games this week, Boston was resting up and preparing for its playoff opener. Chiang notes that the Celtics wrapped up the top seed in the East weeks ago, and their regulars haven’t played at all since April 11. Meanwhile, the Heat maintained their intensity through a late-season battle for seeding.

“I love this position, honestly,” Tyler Herro said. “A lot of people didn’t think we were going to win [Friday against the Bulls] and that’s part of it. I feel like we’re better when our backs are against the wall anyways. So we’re going to go to Boston and come up with a game plan with the coaching staff to stop one of the better teams, pretty much ever really, on paper.”

With Jimmy Butler sidelined by an MCL injury and Terry Rozier still out with neck spasms, the Heat are missing two key components from an offense that ranked 21st in the league and often struggled to produce points. Miami’s best chance to duplicate last year’s surprising playoff run is to start by being physical with the Celtics, who led the NBA in offensive efficiency.

“Naturally with some of our firepower out and some guys banged up, it’s going to be an uphill battle,” Kevin Love said. “But different guys are just going to have to step up. You saw it last year with guys going down. But we just have to continue to weather the storm and understand we’re going to be in for a big fight.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Duncan Robinson, who has been dealing with back issues, has been cleared to play in today’s series opener, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel, who posted a video of Robinson testing out his back while shooting this morning. Robinson logged 12 minutes and scored eight points in Friday’s win over Chicago.
  • The official diagnosis hasn’t changed for Rozier, Winderman adds (Twitter link), with coach Erik Spoelstra telling reporters, “We’ll continue to treat him day-to-day.” An earlier report described Rozier’s injury as week-to-week.
  • The play-in results have Miami locked into the 15th pick in this year’s draft, Chiang states in a separate story. The Heat won’t be permitted to trade their selection before the June 26 draft because they owe a lottery-protected first-rounder to Oklahoma City in 2025. It will be Miami’s highest draft choice in five years, and Chiang lists Purdue center Zach Edey, Duke center Kyle Filipowski, Providence guard Devin Carter, Colorado forward Tristan da Silva and Duke guard Jared McCain as players who might be available in that range.
  • After trying to trade for Damian Lillard for most of last summer, the Heat could renew that pursuit this offseason if the veteran guard decides he wants out of Milwaukee, Winderman notes in another piece. Winderman expects team president Pat Riley to go star hunting again, listing Donovan Mitchell, Karl-Anthony Towns and Pascal Siakam among a large group of potential targets.

Terry Rozier Week-To-Week With Neck Injury

While Terry Rozier‘s neck injury is improving, he’s not healthy enough to return yet, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Rozier is considered week-to-week, with Jackson emphasizing that the injury is not considered career-threatening.

Rozier has missed the past six games for the Heat in addition to the fourth quarter of a crucial regular season game between Miami and Indiana. He later said he felt he hurt his team by trying to push through the injury.

The Heat traded for Rozier at the 2023/24 deadline in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a first-round pick, and he averaged 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game for the team.

It seemed he was getting comfortable in Miami prior to the injury, averaging 23.6 PPG, 3.2 APG and 1.6 SPG while shooting 57.1% on his 9.8 three-point attempts in the five games before the Indiana matchup.

It’s another setback for an injury-plagued Miami team that is already without Jimmy Butler and Josh Richardson. While Rozier could still return in the first round, it’s a downgrade in designation from his previous day-to-day status. It seems as though Rozier will miss at least the first couple games of the series against his former team.

Given that Jackson felt the need to specify that Rozier’s injury isn’t career threatening, it may be a more serious injury than previously thought, so the Heat appear to be taking a cautious approach.