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Heat sign Dorell Wright

Heat sign Dorell Wright

The NBA playoffs start soon, and the Miami HEAT today added depth and experience with the signing of forward Dorell Wright.

Wright spent last season in Beijing, China with the North Control appearing in 37 games averaging 24.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.03 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three-point range and 84.8 percent from the foul line. He posted 13 30-point games, including six-straight to end the season, and tallied at least 40 points on four occasions, including a season-high 48 against the DongGuan Leopards on February 3. He has appeared in 549 career NBA games (222 starts) and averaged 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 22.4 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the foul line. He led the league in three-point field goals made (194) during the 2010-11 season and has appeared in 15 career postseason games averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game.

Wright, who spent his first six seasons in Miami, and was a member of the HEAT’s 2006 NBA Championship team, was originally drafted by the HEAT in the first round (19th overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft and appeared in 211 games (56 starts) with Miami averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 19.5 minutes while shooting 46.1 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three-point rage and 80.6 percent from the foul line.

Wright will wear number 11.

Miami Heat sign Briante Weber

The Miami Heat have signed guard Briante Weber. He will wear jersey number 12.

Originally signed by the HEAT earlier this season on October 19 and then waived on October 24, Weber appeared in 28 regular season games (nine starts) this season with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.11 steals and 28.8 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the foul line.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Although he recently completed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Weber is playoff eligible because 10-day contracts do not count against the ban on playoff eligibility for players with other NBA teams after March 1.”

Among NBA D-League leaders, he finished third in defensive rating (99.5) and fourth in steals per game. He recently helped the Skyforce complete the 2-0 series sweep of the Westchester Knicks in the first round of the NBA D-League playoffs after scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and recording five steals in a, 112-105, victory on April 8.

Earlier this season, he signed a 10-day contract with Memphis on March 11 and appeared in six games (four starts) with the Grizzlies averaging 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.7 minutes while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures twice and led the team in steals and blocks once each.

Weber played all four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth finishing as VCU’s all-time career steals leader (374), shattering the previous 29-year old record by 117, capping his career third on the NCAA’s steals list, just 12 shy from becoming the all-time career leader before missing the final 10 games of his senior season due to injury.

josh richardson

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Richardson helped the Heat go 10-5 in March by ranking second among East rookies in scoring (12.0 ppg) and assists (2.1 apg), and leading the conference’s first-year players in field goal percentage (53.7), three-point field goal percentage (58.9) and steals (1.3 spg). He averaged 29.1 minutes for the month and scored in double figures in eight of 10 games from March 9-28. His versatility was on full display March 14, when Richardson posted 17 points (including 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range), four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals in a 124-119 win over the Denver Nuggets.

karl-anthony towns

Towns, the West winner for the fifth month in a row, ranked second among rookies in scoring (21.9 ppg) and led all first-year players in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.2). He scored in double figures in all 15 of Minnesota’s games and posted 11 games with 10 or more rebounds, adding to his franchise rookie record for double-doubles, which now stands at 48. On March 23, Towns accounted for 26 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks during a 113-104 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Toronto’s Norman Powell.

Hassan Whiteside big for Heat off bench

The Miami Heat are 43-30 this season, which is the fourth best record in the Eastern conference, slightly ahead of the Boston Celtics. And the story of their season since the NBA All-Star break has been the fantastic play of center Hassan Whiteside. Here’s ESPN.com’s blog with more:

Hassan Whiteside doing big things for Heat off bench

Whiteside’s defense remained the focal point around the team, even on a night when he finished with just one block and struggled at times in his matchup with Nets center Brook Lopez, who countered with a team-high 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field but also had four turnovers. But it was Whiteside’s impact on the other side of the ball that more strongly resonated for the Heat (43-30), who have scored at least 100 points in 13 of their past 14 games and are 14-6 since the All-Star break.

A major component of Miami’s recent success has been Whiteside’s spike in production, which culminated Monday with the athletic 7-footer connecting on all seven of his shots from the field and scoring 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. Most of Whiteside’s baskets came on lob dunks, of which he has totaled 10 in the past two games.

In his 18 games since the All-Star break, Whiteside is averaging 18 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 60.5 percent from the field in 30.6 minutes — all off the bench. He started 40 games before he suffered a left hip injury in a Jan. 20 loss in Washington, but has since settled in as a reserve, although Whiteside often plays twice as many minutes as current starting center Amar’e Stoudemire.

Justise Winslow aiming for better 3-point shot

This can’t wait for the summer. Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow is adamantly working on his jumpshot with the hope of fine-tuning his form by the end of the season.

He’s had a tough rookie season shooting-wise after hitting 48.6 percent (including 41.8 percent on 3-pointers) in his one year at Duke. He is shooting 43 percent for the Heat, which isn’t terrible, but has made just 25.5 percent of his 3s.

“Whatever I need to change, I’m trying to do it right now,” Winslow said after staying late to take jumpers after practice today. “For me it’s just about trying to shoot every shot the same and shoot it with confidence.

– Palm Beach Post Blog

When Charles Barkley suggested that Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside could average 20 points per game, Chris Bosh scoffed at that, saying even 18 a game was unrealistic for Whiteside with a full roster. But since Bosh was sidelined by a blood clot, Whiteside is averaging 18.5 points since the NBA All-Star break, compared to 12.2 ppg since before the break.

That’s a byproduct of playing more minutes (31.4 since Bosh’s health scare, 28.2 before) and taking more shots (11.9 field-goal attempts per game after to 8.2 before). “My numbers went up because my role went up,” he said.

But it’s also the result of the development of his mid-range jumper. Though the Heat doesn’t want Whiteside taking his jumpshot early in the shot clock, he’s shooting 48 percent from 10 to 19 feet since the All-Star break, compared with 40.7 percent before (22 for 54).

Miami Herald

LeBron James not looking to explain Miami trip

LeBron James had no interest in justifying using consecutive off days for the Cleveland Cavaliers this week to fly to Miami and spend some of that time working out with former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.

“I don’t care,” James said after Cavs practice Thursday when asked about the perception of him spending time with a potential playoff foe during the season.

“What do I go there for? Go there ’cause I want to,” James said. “I would love to go to L.A., but I’ll take 2½ [hour flight] over 4½. I’ve got a house in L.A., but it makes more sense for me to go South than go West. But I go because I want to.”

– ESPN.com

All the Miami Heat did was put together the best shooting night in franchise history, an effort that matched the NBA’s top performance from the floor in the last 18 years.

This Joe Johnson move already looks like a winner.

The Heat shot 67.5 percent, set a season high for points and beat the Chicago Bulls 129-111 on Tuesday night. Hassan Whiteside scored a career-high 26 points and had 14 rebounds, and Johnson had 24 points in his Miami home debut.

Miami’s 52-for-77 shooting was the best since Utah shot exactly that on Feb. 27, 2010, and no team has done better from the field since the Los Angeles Clippers connected on 69.3 percent of their shots on March 13, 1998.

– Associated Press

Heat waive Beno Udrih

Heat waive Beno Udrih

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived guard Beno Udrih. It was a contract buyout, as agreed to by the player and the team.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “the amount of Udrih’s buyout agreement is believed to be enough just to accommodate Johnson’s contract, a nominal amount, in the $50,000 range. However, if Udrih is claimed off waivers, the Heat then would immediately gain enough room below the luxury-tax ceiling to add at least one more player.”

Udrih appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season and averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 88.2 percent from the foul line. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

The Miami Heat (33-26) were getting 4.4 points and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per game from backup guard Beno Udrih before he suffered a season-ending injury. Now, the Heat and Udrih may agree to part ways. Here’s a report from The Vertical:

Heat, Beno Udrih may agree to contract buyout

The Miami Heat are nearing agreement with guard Beno Udrih on a contract buyout to offset the salary and luxury-tax implications of signing Joe Johnson, league sources told The Vertical.

The Heat approached Udrih’s representatives late last week about a possible buyout and discussions progressed over the weekend, sources said. Ultimately, the choice to settle for a buyout or be released outright rests with Udrih.

Heat sign Joe Johnson

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson.

Johnson is one of only five players in NBA history to record at least 18,000 points, 4,500 assists, 4,000 rebounds and 1,500 made three-point field goals. With his addition to the HEAT roster, Miami now features 38 total All-Star appearances, the most in the NBA.

Johnson has appeared in 1,119 career games (1,049 starts) and averaged 17.0 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range and 80.1 percent from the foul line. Earlier this season, he hit the game-winning three-point shot in a 105-104 win vs. Denver on February 8, and has now hit the game-tying or game-winning shot nine different times in his career (with one second or less remaining), the third-most by any player since he entered the league, fourth on that list is Dwyane Wade with seven. Additionally, Johnson and Wade now become the only active players in the league to each score at least 18,500 career points on the same roster.

Johnson appeared in 57 games (all starts) with the Brooklyn Nets this season averaging 11.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 33.9 minutes while shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range and 85.2 percent from the foul line. He led the team in three-point field goals made (85) and finished second in three-point field goal percentage. The 15-year veteran has appeared in the playoffs 10 times over his career, totaling 87 postseason games (81 starts) averaging 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the foul line.

Joe Johnson will reportedly join Heat

Small forward Joe Johnson averaged just 11.8 points on 40.6% shooting this season for the Brooklyn Nets, plus 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per outing. His career is winding down. Still, he’d make a terrific addition to just about any team that wants him as a member of the supporting cast. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Joe Johnson will reportedly join Heat

Six years later, the Cavaliers have reportedly lost out on another free agent to the Miami Heat. This one, however, doesn’t sting nearly as much.

Joe Johnson will join the Miami Heat after he clears waivers Saturday night, according to multiple reports. The soon-to-be free agent guard was considering the Cavs, but has chosen South Beach instead. Yahoo Sports reported Johnson chose the Heat for the chance to start and play meaningful minutes.

LeBron James, who also spurned Cleveland for Miami in 2010, confirmed earlier Friday the Cavs had interest in Johnson, but stopped short of saying he would reach out to him.

Beno Udrih out three months after foot surgery

Miami Heat guard Beno Udrih underwent surgery to repair a torn plantar plate in his right foot. The one hour, 45-minute procedure was performed by HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick and Dr. Thomas San Giovanni at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital. He is expected to miss three months.

Udrih has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

Beno Udrih needs foot surgery, out three months

Miami Heat guard Beno Udrih will undergo surgery for a torn plantar plate in his right foot and is expected to miss three months.

Udrih has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 4.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 16.3 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. He was originally acquired by the HEAT, along with Jarnell Stokes, via trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis earlier this season on November 10.

brian roberts traded

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired guard Brian Roberts and a future second-round pick from the Miami Heat in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“Brian is an experienced player and a quality person,” said Olshey. “He has a skill set we value and fills a positional need as we head into a critical time in the season.”

In four seasons with New Orleans and Charlotte, Roberts, 30, is averaging 7.4 points (41.2% FG, 35.2% 3-PT, 91.9% FT), 1.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 252 games (57 starts).

Roberts (6-1, 173) was traded to Miami from Charlotte on Tuesday, and did not play for the Heat.

One of the league’s top shooters from the free throw line, Roberts has made at least 90 percent of his free throws in three of four seasons, including an NBA-best 94 percent in 2013-14.

Heat trade Jarnell Stokes to Pelicans

Heat trade Jarnell Stokes to Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Jarnell Stokes and cash considerations from the Miami HEAT in exchange for a future second round draft pick.

Stokes, 6-9, 255, has appeared in 26 career NBA games with Miami and Memphis, holding career averages on 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game. Stokes has appeared in 16 games this season for Miami’s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 20.6 points on .673 shooting from the floor to go along with 10.2 points, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks in 30.9 minutes per game while earning a selection to the 2016 D-League All-Star Game in Toronto.

The Memphis native was selected with the 35th overall pick by Utah in the 2014 NBA Draft after a three-year career at the University of Tennessee.

Chris Bosh health update

The Miami Heat are 29-24 this season and getting a team-high 19.1 points per game from forward Chris Bosh. But lately Bosh has a health concern — and here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Chris Bosh health update

Heat players and coaches have been in contact with Bosh in recent days. Guard Dwyane Wade suggested Wednesday that his teammate’s condition appears far less serious than when blood clots traveled to his lungs and ended his season days after the 2015 All-Star break.

“It’s not a health scare like it was last year at all,” Wade said after Wednesday’s practice. “None of us are overdoing it from that standpoint. So he’s fine. I’m not going to speculate anything. None of us are doctors. He’s in great spirits. He has a positive outlook on things. He’s showing us he’s in good spirits.”

Added former Heat teammate LeBron James: “Guy means so much to not only the Heat family but his personal family as well. Just a great guy, a professional, a great guy and for something like this to happen to him after he was cleared, it just sucks. It sucks big time. His health is the No. 1 care and obviously basketball comes secondary to what he’s going through right now. It’s just tough.”

Hornets, Grizzlies, Heat trade moves Courtney Lee to Charlotte

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has acquired guard Courtney Lee and cash considerations from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade. As a part of the trade, Charlotte will send forward P.J. Hairston and two second-round draft picks (Charlotte’s 2018 second-round pick and Brooklyn’s 2019 second-round pick) to Memphis and guard Brian Roberts to the Miami Heat. As part of the trade, Memphis will also receive forward/center Chris Andersen and two second-round draft picks from Miami.

“We are excited to be adding a quality veteran wing player to our roster in Courtney Lee,” Cho said. “Courtney has proven to be a team defender, a consistent outside shooter and a solid scorer in our league for the past eight years. Particularly in terms of experience, he adds depth to our roster in a position of need for us and we expect him to fit in to our system and contribute right away.”

The 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Lee is in his eighth NBA season. He has played in 572 career games (332 starts) for the Magic, Nets, Rockets, Celtics and Grizzlies. A Western Kentucky product, Lee has career averages of 9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.2 minutes, while shooting .450 from the field (2106-4677), .383 from beyond the three-point line (587-1531) and .845 from the free-throw line (725-858).

Lee played in 51 games for Memphis this season, starting 37, with averages of 10.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29.2 minutes. He shot .458 from the field (192-419), .370 from beyond the three-point line (51-138) and .826 from the free-throw line (76-92). Lee scored in double figures in 25 of 51 games and has hit multiple three-point field goals in 14 games this year.

“Chris Andersen was absolutely essential in our 2013 NBA Championship run,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We want to thank him for his contributions and we wish him nothing but the best, he will always be considered part of the HEAT family. Brian Roberts has been on our radar and we felt it was important to solidify our point guard position due to the injury of Tyler Johnson. We feel like we did that with the addition of Roberts and we would like to welcome Brian to Miami.”

Andersen (6-10, 245) holds career averages of 5.5 points (.533 FG/.653 FT), 5.1 rebounds and 1.47 blocks in 17.8 minutes in 663 games (31 starts) over 14 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) and Miami Heat. The 37-year-old owns postseason averages of 5.4 points (.644 FG/.692 FT), 4.8 rebounds and 1.26 blocks in 17.0 minutes in 69 games for Denver and Miami.

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Andersen won an NBA Championship with Miami in 2013 and was instrumental in the Heat’s championship run, averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.10 blocks in 15.2 minutes in 20 games and setting an NBA postseason record by shooting .807 (46-of-57 FG) from the field.

Hairston (6-6, 230) owns career averages of 5.8 points (.341 FG/.833 FT) and 2.4 rebounds in 17.5 minutes in 93 games (45 starts) in two seasons with Charlotte. The 23-year-old has averaged 6.0 points (.359 FG/.810 FT) and 2.7 rebounds in 19.5 minutes in 48 games (45 starts) for the Hornets this season.

After leading the University of North Carolina in scoring as a sophomore, Hairston joined the NBA Development League and became the first D-League player ever to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft when Charlotte drafted him 26th overall in 2014. He averaged 21.8 points (.453 FG/.358 3P/.870 FT), 3.5 rebounds and 1.50 steals in 32.3 minutes in 26 games (15 starts) for the Texas Legends and was named to the 2013-14 D-League All-Rookie Second Team.

Roberts is in his fourth NBA season and his second with Charlotte. Roberts signed with the Hornets as a free agent on July 23, 2014, and saw action in 102 games with averages 6.1 points and 2.0 assists in 16.3 minutes per game. He holds career averages of 7.4 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game in 18.5 minutes per game over the course of 252 contests (57 starts).

Here’s the Palm Beach Post sharing a different perspective for all the fun and glory that is NBA All-Star weekend:

Dwyane Wade sees All-Star as teachable moment for kids

Flanked by his nephew Dahveon, whom he is raising, son Zaire and at the post-game media session Sunday, Wade said he hopes the kids are paying attention to what he did to earn his spot in Toronto.

“These are great moments that hopefully they remember,” Wade said. “Whatever they choose to do in life, they understand how important family is.

“I understand how important it is to take them along the journey and give them something to see, something to strive for. I want them to strive for greatness and strive to be the best. I’m showing them that year after year their dad is one of those people. They see the work I put in behind the scenes, and I think it’s great that they get to see me be here with some of the game’s greatest players that they love and respect. They know their dad is right there with them, so it’s cool.”

Chris Bosh will miss 2016 NBA All-Star events

The Miami HEAT announced today that Chris Bosh has sustained a strained right calf and will not participate in Saturday’s Three-Point Shootout competition or play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

“I am honored to be selected to participate in the All-Star Weekend festivities, and will still be here to support my fellow East All-Stars,” said Bosh. “But I will also use this weekend to try to heal and focus on the second half of the HEAT season.”

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