Udonis Haslem

Heat Notes: Dedmon, Robinson, Herro, Adebayo

With Orlando Robinson sidelined due to a fractured thumb and Omer Yurtseven not yet ready to return from ankle surgery, the Heat will have to figure out how they’ll handle their backup center minutes for the seven games before the All-Star break, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Inserting Dewayne Dedmon into Robinson’s role would perhaps be the simplest option, but the veteran big man hasn’t seen any action since being suspended for a game without pay last month, and Jackson hears from a source that the Heat is looking to trade him. If they move Dedmon before next Thursday’s deadline, the Heat could perhaps get another center back in that deal — otherwise, the team could turn to veteran Udonis Haslem for a few games before the All-Star break.

For his part, Dedmon said he hasn’t heard from the club whether he’ll be reinserted into the rotation or whether he’ll be traded, and is just taking things day-by-day for now.

“It’s the business of basketball,” Dedmon said, per Jackson. “Just like you show up to work, I show up to work every day. Whatever the team decides to do in the future, or whatever may happen, you roll with the punches. I’m going to be professional about what I have to do do with my approach to every game and make sure I’m prepared if my team needs me.”

Robinson, meanwhile, told reporters on Thursday that he’s hoping his recovery timeline following his thumb fracture doesn’t have to be measured in weeks, suggesting he’s hoping for a speedy return (Twitter link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • While the Heat will almost certainly stay out of luxury tax territory this season, next season’s payroll will likely blow past the tax line if the team intends to retain free agents like Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, and Gabe Vincent, Jackson writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Jackson would be surprised if ownership signed off on a huge tax bill for the current version of the team and suspects that something will have to give, which could affect how the front office approaches next week’s trade deadline. Moving off Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson now or in the summer would put the Heat in a better financial position, Jackson observes.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro said this week that he never sought clarity from the Heat on whether the team included him in any trade offers for Donovan Mitchell during the 2022 offseason, according to Jackson. “I was curious; I didn’t ask,” Herro said. “I’m sure I was.”
  • Within the same Miami Herald story, head coach Erik Spoelstra expressed confidence that both Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler will be among the seven players voted by coaches as Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. “I think they’ll both make it,” Spoelstra said. “The coaches vote on that, and I think they’re recognized, both those guys, how much they impact winning.” The All-Star reserves will be revealed on TNT on Thursday night.
  • Addressing the possibility of trying to recruit players to Miami in the future, Adebayo said he has mixed feeling about the issue — he would be willing to to it for the “greater good” of the team, but would feel uncomfortable asking Heat management to bring in a friend for the sake of it, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It would be if it results in winning, and not, ‘Oh, we just want to be on a team just so we can play together,'” Adebayo said.

Heat Notes: Trade Targets, Crowder, Collins, Lowry, Oladipo

The Heat are very active on the trade market, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports. An obvious area to upgrade would be power forward, with the Hawks’ John Collins a potential target. However, there’s concern within the organization that Collins may not be a great fit alongside Bam Adebayo due to his perimeter shooting issues.

The Suns rejected an offer of Duncan Robinson for Jae Crowder, but Caleb Martin could be substituted for Robinson with center Dewayne Dedmon tossed in to make the salaries work and keep Miami under the luxury tax, Deveney adds.

We have more on the Heat:

  • There are plenty of other potential trade options for a power forward but the Heat may have to include an asset or two they don’t want to give up, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. They’d certainly be willing to move Robinson’s contract and Dedmon. They may also have to add Martin or Nikola Jovic into the package, as well one or two protected first-round picks, to get an impact player at that spot.
  • While a Kyle Lowry trade can’t be ruled out, the Heat aren’t actively looking to move him, Jackson adds in the same story.
  • After hovering around the .500 mark most of the season, the Heat are a season-best four games over .500. Better health has been a factor and Udonis Haslem believes the team can go on a run, he told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “We’ve been right there. So many games coming down to the last shot even with a decimated roster,” the veteran big man said. “So sometimes you got to look within the lesson. The lesson is, I think, once we get healthy, we’re building some good habits and we’ll be able to put something together here. You look at how Boston started their first half of the season last year and it was similar. So if we get healthy, I think we’re still capable of putting something together here.”
  • Considering his past injury issues, Victor Oladipo is surprised he’s logged 30-plus minutes in eight of his last 10 games, he told Chiang. “A little bit, I can’t lie,” Oladipo said of playing extended minutes this season. “But sitting back and really reflecting, you see how much work I put in and how much I invest in my body. So it’s no surprise that I’m still feeling good, and I’m going to continue to keep feeling better as the year goes on.” Oladipo only played 25 minutes in a lopsided win over New Orleans on Wednesday.

Heat Notes: Yurtseven, Herro, Haslem, Oladipo, O. Robinson

As expected, Heat center Omer Yurtseven underwent surgery on his left ankle Tuesday. The team announced in a press release that the procedure, which was completed in Miami, addressed an impingement, bone spur, and stress reaction in Yurtseven’s ankle.

As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets, Yurtseven said on Monday that a recovery timeline had yet to be established. That still appears to be the case — all the Heat said in today’s statement was that the big man will be reevaluated “at a later date.”

A report on Sunday indicated that Yurtseven would likely be out for at least three months or so, suggesting there’s still hope that he’ll be able to return this season, perhaps by March.

Here are a few more notes on the Heat:

  • The Heat have a four-game road trip on tap that begins on Wednesday in Toronto and concludes on Monday in Minnesota. According to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), Tyler Herro (ankle) and Udonis Haslem (personal reasons) aren’t traveling with the team to Toronto, but Victor Oladipo (knee) is. It’s possible Herro and Haslem will join the Heat later on the trip. As for Oladipo, he’s still not ready to return, but it may be a positive soon that he’s traveling with the club across the border.
  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Herro’s ankle sprain, which has cost him four games and counting, isn’t any more serious than the Heat initially believed, per David Wilson of The Miami Herald. “You just never know with ankle sprains,” Spoelstra said. “They’re never on necessarily your timeline, so he just doesn’t have the mobility yet, but he’s getting better. He’s making progress.”
  • Signing a two-way contract doesn’t guarantee he’ll become part of the Heat’s rotation, but Orlando Robinson recognizes that he has a potential path to frontcourt minutes with Yurtseven unavailable, Chiang writes for The Miami Herald. “After I analyzed the fact that I’m here and I looked at the roster and everything, I saw I have the potential to actually play a little bit,” Robinson said. “Just knowing that, I’m going to just be ready when my time is called just like everybody else and make the most of my opportunity.”
  • As Chiang notes, Robinson is eligible to play in 43 regular season games instead of the usual 50 for a two-way player. That amount is prorated based on the fact that Robinson’s contract covers 148 regular season days instead of all 174.

Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Trade Restrictions, Haslem, Cain

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is frustrated by what he has seen from his players during their 2-5 start, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. After finishing with the best record in the East last season, Miami has been plagued by lax defense and poor shot selection, both of which were on display as the team was outscored 71-49 in the first half Saturday by the previously winless Kings.

“Right now, this is about the collective group, how are we going to impact this thing together to impact winning,” Spoelstra said. “If we try to do it any other way, it’s going to lead to an incredible amount of frustration. Anybody that is trying to do it on their own or anybody that is trying to self will it or anybody trying to work any individual goals with this, it ain’t going to work, it ain’t going to work on either end.”

One of the few Heat players who had a good game in Sacramento was Tyler Herro, who scored 34 points, although Spoelstra dismissed it as “not in a winning effort.” Herro, who is adapting to a new role as a starter this season, said the team needs to upgrade its defense, which currently ranks 18th in the league.

“After taking five losses, especially after the first half tonight, it’s time we… lock in and decide what type of team we want to be,” Herro said. “If we’re going to just get in shootouts like in the first half, then that’s the kind of team we want to be. I know we hang our hat on defense, so we’ve got to cover for each other.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Miami has limited options for roster moves because Dewayne Dedmon and injured guard Victor Oladipo are both under trade restrictions that prevent them from being moved until January 15, Jackson adds in a separate story. He states that outside of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the rest of the team has little trade value.
  • Udonis Haslem saw rare first-quarter minutes Saturday, which shows the Heat’s lack of depth in the frontcourt, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The 42-year-old power forward was actually the first player off the bench, replacing Adebayo after he picked up his second foul. Miami was missing Dedmon, who is suffering from an upper-respiratory infection and a foot issue, and Omer Yurtseven, who is rehabbing an injured ankle, but it appears Haslem might have a larger role than originally expected.
  • Jamal Cain, who earned a two-way contract with a strong preseason performance, will be sent to the team’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, Winderman adds. First-round pick Nikola Jovic, who has seen limited playing time in three games, may be headed there as well once Dedmon and Yurtseven are able to play.

Southeast Notes: DSJ, Beal, Haslem, F. Wagner

Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t have a ton of personal or team success during his stint as a Knick from 2019-21, but he said on Wednesday that the adversity he experienced in New York “helped me grow as a person,” as Zach Braziller of The New York Post relays.

“Without going though what I went through, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I’m thankful for that whole time I was here, the good and the bad,” Smith said before his new team, the Hornets, faced the Knicks. “The thing I learned is nobody gave me my happiness or my job, so I can’t let anybody steal it. I came in, found something to be grateful for every day, and I started to make the most of every situation I was in. That really prepared me for where I’m at now.”

A free agent for most of the 2022 offseason, Smith said he told his agent he wasn’t interested in playing overseas and indicated that he mulled the possibility of trying to compete for a spot in the NFL as a defensive back, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Smith ultimately landed in Charlotte, and while his deal with the Hornets remains non-guaranteed, he has played well in LaMelo Ball‘s absence, including registering 14 points and 11 assists against his old team in New York on Wednesday. Head coach Steve Clifford likes what he has seen so far from the former lottery pick.

“His defense is just, I mean, it’s terrific,” Clifford said, according to Braziller. “His individual defense, his pick-and-roll defense, his team defense. He’s competing at an incredibly high level at that end of the floor. Some guys figure it out late, some guys figure it out right away. He’s a talented guy. Even though with the injuries he’s not the athlete he was, but he’s still a really good athlete even for this league. I don’t see that he’s doing anything that he can’t continue to do, frankly.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • After signing a record-setting $251MM contract in the offseason, star guard Bradley Beal is now trying to lead his teammates by example, especially on the defensive end, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The 3-1 Wizards have a top-five defense in the NBA early on in the 2022/23 season. “I know that … if I’m engaged and locked in and energetic and ready to go on the defensive end, that speaks volumes to the rest of the team, and everybody else follows suit,” Beal said. “We almost have a saying: ‘If Brad can do it, everybody can do it.’ So if I can get down in a stance and get after it, everybody can. It’s something that we hold each other accountable to do, starting with me.”
  • Having appeared briefly in the Heat‘s Wednesday victory in Portland, veteran big man Udonis Haslem has now officially played in 20 NBA seasons, fulfilling a vow he made to his late father. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel has the story and the quotes from Haslem.
  • In a conversation with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Magic forward Franz Wagner spoke about his long-term goals, his early impressions of No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, and getting to play with brother Moritz Wagner in Orlando.

Heat Notes: Oladipo, Strus, Haslem, Adebayo

There are health concerns regarding Victor Oladipo as the Heat prepare for their season opener, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Oladipo was held out of today’s practice due to left knee tendonosis and may not be able to play Wednesday night. The team’s official injury report will be released later this afternoon.

Miami will proceed cautiously with Oladipo, who has undergone two surgeries on his right knee in a little more than three years. Even though this condition affects his other knee, there is speculation that it may be related to his injury history.

“When you really start to ramp it up, there’s still a little bit of overcompensation and a lot of load on the other leg,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Everybody downstairs feels like this is the normal process. I know how badly he wants to be out there right now. But we’re looking at this big picture still and we don’t want to skip steps. We want to make sure his body is feeling great and so things like this don’t linger.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • After earning a starting role in late March, Max Strus will have to get used to coming off the bench again, Chiang adds. Strus spent the preseason working on his fit with the reserves. “I would imagine I would be more aggressive in the second unit because I’m not playing with Jimmy (Butler), Kyle (Lowry), Bam (Adebayo). Maybe I’ll look for my shot a little more,” Strus said. “But I am still going to play the same way I always do, get everybody else involved and find my shots throughout the offense.”
  • Strus may be the only bench player with regular minutes every night, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Roles for Dewayne Dedmon, Duncan Robinson and Haywood Highsmith could depend on matchups, and Spoelstra may go back and forth between Oladipo and Gabe Vincent in the backcourt. First-round pick Nikola Jovic will have to prove he’s ready to contribute right away.
  • Udonis Haslem has been the Heat’s inspirational leader for most of his 20-year career, but he’s getting ready to pass the torch, Chiang states in a separate story. As Haslem prepares for his final NBA season, the 42-year-old believes Adebayo is ready to take on that leadership role. “He can have it now. It’s time for him,” Haslem said. “… We’ve had these conversations about physically, vocally, emotionally. I think it’s time for him.”

Heat Notes: Herro, Cain, Jovic, Oladipo, Haslem

The Heat initially offered Tyler Herro a four-year rookie scale extension with $112MM in guaranteed money and incentives that would have pushed its value to $128MM, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports.

Miami eventually upped the ante, with Herro signing a four-year deal with $120MM in guaranteed money and another $10MM in incentives.

“I wanted to be here and they wanted me here, so I mean, it was something we both wanted to get done,” Herro said. “We’re paying a lot of guys now. … so it was just getting the right number. I think it’s a good deal for both sides.”

We have more on the Heat:

  • Herro didn’t play in the back-to-back preseason games on Thursday and Friday due to a knee contusion, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes.
  • In the same notebook, Chiang writes that Oakland University rookie Jamal Cain may be forcing the team’s hand with some impressive preseason performances. Cain, who is on an Exhibit 10 deal, had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, 11 rebounds and five steals in 27 minutes against Brooklyn on Thursday and 19 points, six rebounds and three assists against the Grizzlies on Friday. Cain may not pass through waivers without being claimed, so Miami will have to consider converting him to a standard deal or a two-way, though both of the team’s two-way slots are currently filled.
  • Along with trying to make his mark on the team, Nikola Jovic is in the midst of finishing high school, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes. Jovic still has to take one more comprehensive exam to get his high school degree from his Serbian school. He skipped the exam during the spring while undergoing draft workouts.
  • Victor Oladipo hasn’t played in the preseason as the Heat are taking a cautious approach with the oft-injured guard, according to Chiang. Oladipo re-signed with the club on a two-year, $18.2MM contract this summer. “We’re just getting him ready and that’s really it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He had a very good camp, he’s doing some really good work right now and we want to keep in this good place.”
  • Playing 20 seasons with one franchise, putting him in rare company, was one of the reasons why Udonis Haslem decided to keep his career going this season, ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez writes in a lengthy interview with the 42-year-old big man. “I want kids somewhere to say, ‘I want to have a career like Udonis Haslem — undrafted, worked for everything I got, won three championships, retired and went into ownership with the same organization I played with for 20 years,” Haslem said.

Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Butler, Power Forward, Martin, Haslem

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra discussed many training camp-related topics this week, including who may start at power forward this season, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. As of now, it seems unlikely Jimmy Butler will slide up to the four.

“My thing with that is I would love to be able to, at some point in Jimmy’s career, just start him at all five positions,” Spoelstra joked. “I’ve already started him at point guard. I’ve started him at his natural position, the three. I’ve started him at the two. I’ve definitely played him at the four, and he’ll play some four this year, not likely starting him there.

“But, man, that’d be cool to start him at the four at some point, whether it’s this year or the future. And then, for sure, start him at the five. That would be a great legacy. But Jimmy is a brilliant competitor and basketball player. He’ll make it work no matter what position we have him at. But playing him at his strengths is important to him and to me and to the team.”

As Chiang notes, Butler has already made it clear that he doesn’t want to replace P.J. Tucker at the four. Other contenders for the team’s power forward spot include Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and Bam Adebayo — though Adebayo would only make sense if Omer Yurtseven or Dewayne Dedmon start at center.

Here are some other notes from Miami today:

  • Spoelstra appreciates the “ambition” of so many players who want to start this season, Chiang writes in a separate article for the Miami Herald. Other potential starters include Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson and Max Strus — all of whom believe they’re worthy of that role. Herro easily has the best case, averaging 20.7 points on his way to winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season.
  • Martin, who also spoke about the team’s open starting forward slot, suggested that anyone who questions his ability to fill the role is showing some disrespect. “To me, it’s kind of a sign of disrespect a little bit that people are so worried about it,” he said, as relayed by Anthony Chiang. Of course, Martin is only 6’5″ and 205 pounds, so it’s understandable for fans to question whether he can play heavy minutes at power forward.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines a number of Heat topics, including why Udonis Haslem doesn’t want to get into coaching. Haslem is entering his 20th NBA season. He has served as a valuable locker room presence in recent years, but has only played a combined 18 games over the past three seasons.

Heat Notes: Crowder, Days, Offseason, Haslem

Veteran forward Jae Crowder would welcome a return to the Heat, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, even though the Suns are said to be exploring Crowder’s trade market, a deal that sends him from Phoenix to Miami will be tricky to work out.

As Jackson writes, the Suns probably have zero interest in taking on Duncan Robinson‘s pricey long-term contract, and any other players the Heat could realistically use as salary-matching pieces in a Crowder trade aren’t eligible to be dealt until December or January. On top of that, Jackson would be surprised if Miami is willing to give up a future first-round pick to acquire Crowder, a 32-year-old on an expiring contract.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • The Spurs were surprised when Darius Days signed a two-way contract with the Heat, according to Jackson, who says San Antonio had hoped to bring Days to training camp and have him compete for a two-way spot. One other team besides the Spurs offered Days a two-way deal, but the undrafted rookie out of LSU chose the Heat in part due to their track record of developing young talent, Jackson explains.
  • In another story for The Miami Herald, Jackson revisits the Heat’s offseason moves – including their decision not to go into the tax or to impose a hard cap on themselves – and wonders if it might’ve made sense for the team to offer its bi-annual exception to T.J. Warren to address its hole at power forward. Warren ended up signing a minimum-salary contract with Brooklyn.
  • Longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem believes he’s “very qualified” to be part of the franchise’s ownership group and has already started talking to team executives about eventually getting a stake in the Heat, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “It will continue to rev up,” Haslem said of those discussions. “I’m going to continue to have them. I’m very ambitious and I’ve been creating a lot of the communication. But they’ve been receptive.” Haslem added that he wants to “learn everything from ticket sales to marketing” and be the sort of owner who brings value to the club.
  • In a separate article for The Herald, Chiang examines five preseason questions facing the Heat, including whether Tyler Herro will sign a rookie scale extension by the October 17 deadline and whether Kyle Lowry can set himself up for a strong second season in Miami.

Heat Notes: Morris, PF Options, Herro, Haslem

The departure of Markieff Morris, who agreed to a deal with the Nets on Tuesday, means the Heat‘s revolving door at power forward will continue, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Morris and P.J. Tucker, who were free agent additions last summer, both signed elsewhere during the offseason. Winderman notes that Miami has been through eight power forwards since Bam Adebayo became the starting center in 2019/20.

Morris’ departure was virtually assured when Udonis Haslem announced last week that he was returning for a 20th season, Winderman adds. Miami will keep one roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, so there was no room for Morris once fellow free agents Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon all reached new deals.

Martin, who is expected to replace Tucker as the starting power forward, re-signed with Miami for its full taxpayer mid-level exception and will receive $20.4MM over the next three years. He was reportedly about to get a better offer from a rival team, but he preferred to remain with the Heat. Winderman points out that if Tucker had taken the MLE, Miami’s starting point on a new deal with Martin would have been limited to the $4.1MM bi-annual exception.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic and Atlanta’s John Collins are players to watch if the Heat decide to trade for a power forward, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Jazz haven’t expressed a desire to part with Bogdanovic, but he has a $19.5MM expiring contract and could become expendable if Utah commits to rebuilding. The Hawks have explored the trade market for Collins, but he has an expensive contract that pays him more than $75MM over the next three seasons, along with a $26.6MM player option for 2025/26. Jackson doesn’t believe Miami should give up a first-round pick for either player.
  • The Knicks’ extension agreement with RJ Barrett is likely to be similar to what the Heat offer Tyler Herro if he’s not traded, Winderman adds in a separate piece. Herro is eligible for a five-year max extension worth up to $188MM, but Winderman expects his final deal to be more in line with Barrett, whose four-year deal can be worth up to $120MM if he earns several bonuses.
  • Suns star Chris Paul supports Haslem’s decision to play another season, per Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. “You all saw that stuff with Udonis Haslem? Y’all heard everyone talking crazy about him like, ‘Why he on the team? Why he on the team?’ Man, I’m probably his biggest fan,” Paul said to a group of high school players in Los Angeles (video link). “You want to know why? Because young guys need vets. They need somebody like UD showing up every day, if practice at 11:00, he’s probably at the gym at 8:30 every day. To motivate guys. To push guys.”