Both Dion Waiters and James Johnson remained on the bench throughout the Heat’s 19-point loss at Boston last night, leading Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel to wonder about their futures with the organization. Waiters, who recently returned from his second suspension, hasn’t gotten on the court at all this season. Johnson, who failed to meet conditioning standards at the start of training camp, has appeared in just six games.
Winderman believes management is drawing a “hard line” about conditioning, comportment and sacrifice, which may mean a lot of bench time for Waiters and Johnson going forward. Both players have contracts that won’t be easy to trade, as Waiters is signed for $12.65MM next season, while Johnson has a $16MM player option.
There’s more this morning from Miami:
- Heat officials were unanimous in their selection of Tyler Herro with the 13th pick in this year’s draft, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Herro is off to an excellent start, averaging 13.6 points per game and shooting 39% from 3-point range. Miami viewed him as an elite shooter who could also contribute to the offense in other ways, and he received a glowing recommendation from his college coach, John Calipari, who said Herro has the gym rat qualities that the Heat look for. “Plus we needed shooting,” an unidentified Heat official said. “It was not a hard decision; he was our guy. We felt he had not only the stroke, but a lot of intangibles that were really unique.”
- After Duncan Robinson went undrafted in 2018, the Heat were his first choice because coach Erik Spoelstra contacted him the night before the draft, Jackson adds in the same story. “The fact he reached out meant a lot to me,” Robinson said. “He told me about their culture and what they’re all about and how much they prioritize shooting, and guys that come here that are shooters tend to have their best years. He mentioned Wayne Ellington and some other guys. It just excited me. I was pretty adamant I wanted to be part of this place, at least do summer league with them and see where the chips fell.” Robinson said he had a “handful” of offers, and he chose Miami over the Lakers and Bucks.
- Kelly Olynyk has been loyal to Team Canada for years, but an upcoming contract decision could affect his availability for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in late June, notes Steven Loung of Sportsnet. Olynyk can opt out of his $12.2MM deal for next year and might be without a contract when the tournament begins. He would be risking an injury that could have a significant impact on his future earnings.