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Heat sign forward Marcus Lee

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The Miami Heat signed forward Marcus Lee today.

It’s likely a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Lee to Heat training camp.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “the agreement with Lee follows an agreement with undrafted Kansas guard Malik Newman last week and two-way contracts for undrafted forwards Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, giving the team four players from the most recent draft class.”

Lee began his collegiate career at the University of Kentucky before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley for his senior season where he appeared in 32 games (all starts) with the Golden Bears last season and averaged 11.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.63 blocks, 1.3 assists and 27.8 minutes while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. He finished eighth among the school’s all-time single-season blocks list with 52 and was the only player to start all 32 games. As a junior at Kentucky, Lee shot a single-season school record 68 percent from the field while helping the Wildcats to the SEC Championship. Additionally, he recently appeared in seven Summer League games (five starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Las Vegas and averaged 6.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.57 blocks in 15.9 minutes of action while shooting 70 percent (21-of-30) from the field.

More from the Sun Sentinel: “addition of Lee gives the Heat 17 players under contract, three shy of the NBA offseason maximum.”

NBA and Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade could retire any season now. Nobody can say for sure. He could call it quits tomorrow, or go for another few seasons. The guess right now is he’ll probably keep going, at least through 2018-19. So a logical thought is to wonder if he’d hop on board with a championship contender. Apparently not. It’s Miami Heat or nobody according to Wade, as reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Dwyane Wade said during a Saturday appearance at the Jr. NBA World Championships in Lake Buena Vista that he remains undecided about his playing future, but that if he does return to the court in 2018-19 it will be with the Miami Heat.

Wade’s comments came in the wake of speculation of possibly continuing his career in China, where his signature sneaker line is based, or even rejoining former Heat teammate LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Heat only. If I play the game of basketball this year, it’ll be in a Miami uniform,” he told media at the event at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, with audio of that session provided by the NBA. “If I don’t, I’ll be living in Miami and somewhere else probably.”

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Heat sign guard Malik Newman

Heat sign guard Malik Newman

The Miami Heat signed guard Malik Newman today.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Newman to Heat training camp.

Newman began his collegiate career at Mississippi State before transferring to the University of Kansas where he appeared in 39 games (33 starts) last season and averaged 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.08 steals and 31.6 minutes while shooting 46.3 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from three-point range and 83.5 percent from the foul line. He connected on 85 three-point field goals, the ninth-most for a single-season in KU history, and was named the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player after he averaged 24.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the tournament, helping Kansas earn the Big 12 title. Additionally, he averaged a team-high 21.6 points in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, helping Kansas to the Final Four.

Newman, who signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on July 1 before being waived on July 19, appeared in five Summer League games with the Lakers in Las Vegas and averaged 3.2 points while shooting 6-of-19 from the field, 2-of-6 from three-point range and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line.

The Miami Heat have signed forward Yante Maten to a two-way contract.

Maten appeared in seven Summer League games (one start) with the HEAT in both Sacramento and Las Vegas and averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three-point range and 76.9 percent from the foul line. He posted five double-figure scoring games, including 19 points off the bench on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking two shots in a, 110-106, win against New Orleans in the first round of the Las Vegas tournament.

Maten, the 2018 SEC Player of the Year, played four seasons at the University of Georgia appearing in 128 career collegiate games (97 starts). Among the school’s all-time lists, he finished second in points (1,886), third in blocks (198), fourth in rebounds (889) and free throws made (518), sixth in field goals made (655), 13th in free throw percentage (.755) and 15th in field goal percentage (.483). He scored the most points during a single season by a senior (636), including the fifth-most overall, in school history while appearing in 33 games (all starts) and averaging 19.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.48 blocks and 34.3 minutes while shooting 46.4 percent from the field last season. He also led the conference in scoring average, becoming just the fifth player in school history to accomplish the feat. Additionally, Maten became the first Bulldog in 25 years to earn three All-SEC honors in his career and just the sixth player in program history to achieve the feat.

Miami Heat make a front office move

The Miami Heat made a shift in their front office today. Vice President, Player Personnel Chet Kammerer will reduce his role and become Senior Advisor of Basketball Operations/Basketball. Adam Simon is now promoted to Vice President, Player Personnel/Assistant General Manager.

In his new role, Kammerer will continue to be a scout and will be an advisor to President Pat Riley and Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager Andy Elisburg as well as a coaching consultant for Head Coach Erik Spoelstra. Kammerer has been with the HEAT organization for 22 years, including 14 as Vice President, Player Personnel.

Adam Simon has been the Assistant General Manager of the HEAT as well as the General Manager of the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the last five years. In his new capacity, he will continue to assist Andy Elisburg in all areas of the basketball operations department, but will now be responsible for Miami’s pro, college, G League and international scouting.

Miami Heat re-sign Wayne Ellington

The Miami Heat re-signed guard Wayne Ellington today.

“It’s great to have Wayne back,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is one of our leaders. We are very pleased that he made the choice to stay. It means a lot to us.”

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Ellington agreed to a one-year, $6.3 million contract, matching his salary from this past season. Because of the one-year term of the deal and Ellington’s status as a Bird Rights free agent next summer, his contract comes with a no-trade clause, requiring his permission for a move during the 2018-19 season.”

Ellington, who was originally signed by the HEAT on July 10, 2016, appeared in 77 games (two starts) with Miami last season and averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.5 minutes while shooting 40.7 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from three-point range and 85.9 percent from the foul line. He connected on 227 three-point field goals, the most for a single-season in HEAT history while tying the sixth-most in the NBA last season. His 218 treys off the bench were the most by a reserve in NBA history and were 63 more than the next highest player off the bench in the league. He recorded his 259th triple in his 100th game as a member of the HEAT on December 5 vs. New York, the most in franchise history for a player’s first 100 games with Miami, surpassing the previous record of 233 treys by Tim Hardaway. He tallied 52 made three-point field goals in December, the most by any player during a single-month in team history. He then matched that by hitting 52 in the following month in January to tie his own record. Ellington hit at least six three-point field goals 12 times last season, the most for a single-season in team history, including a franchise-record eight off the bench twice, first on December 22 vs. Dallas and then again on April 11 vs. Toronto where he hit six of those in the fourth quarter, the most for a fourth quarter in team history. Additionally, he paired with Josh Richardson (127), Tyler Johnson (119), Goran Dragić (111) and Kelly Olynyk (106) to each connect on at least 100 three’s last season to become the first group of at least five HEAT players to accomplish the feat in a single-season.

The Miami Heat signed forward Duncan Robinson to a two-way contract today.

Robinson has appeared in five Summer League games (all starts) with the HEAT in both Sacramento and Las Vegas and is averaging 12.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 25.0 minutes while shooting 57.9 percent (22-of-38) from the field and 63 percent (17-of-27) from three-point range. He connected on 5-of-6 from three-point range on July 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers in the California Classic Summer League in Sacramento and followed that by shooting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in his next game on July 5 against the Sacramento Kings, both wins. Additionally, in his two games in Las Vegas so far, Robinson is shooting 70 percent (7-of-10) from downtown.

Robinson appeared in 115 career games at Michigan shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range and 86.4 percent from the foul line. In just three seasons, he finished fourth on the school’s all-time three-point field goals made list with 237 while helping the Wolverine’s to two Big Ten titles and to the NCAA Tournament each season. Last season as senior, the tri-captain captured the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award and helped led the team to the NCAA Championship Game.

It’s always interesting to see the journey taken by guys who work their way up in the coaching world. Here’s the Palm Beach Post reporting on Heat summer league coach Eric Glass:

Miami Heat assistant coach Eric Glass has one directive from his boss, head coach Erik Spoelstra, when it comes to summer league.

“He said ‘do whatever you want and don’t be afraid to make a mistake,’” Glass said. “Which was huge for me.

“He gave me incredible trust and leeway.”

Glass is leading Miami through two summer leagues, having just won 2-of-3 games in Sacramento and now moving onto Las Vegas where the Heat will compete in the NBA Summer League starting at 5 p.m. Saturday with a game against New Orleans.

Glass, 34, is next in a line of Heat coaches who got their start in the video room, eventually moved to the bench and started to make their bones in summer league. With thousands of hours in the video room and for the last two years as the Heat’s player development coach, Spoelstra believes Glass is “more than ready” for the challenge.

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And here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel, from June:

Glass, 34, is the Heat’s video coordinator, as well as part of the team’s player-development staff. His coaching experience includes time under former NBA coach Mike Fratello with the Ukrainian national team.

The Heat often have utilized summer league to develop their coaching staff, with assistant coaches Chris Quinn, Juwan Howard and Dan Craig among those to recently coach the team’s summer rosters. Pat Delany, now an Orlando Magic assistant coach, also has coached the Heat during summer league.

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Miami Heat sign Derrick Jones Jr

The Miami Heat signed forward/guard Derrick Jones Jr. today.

Jones Jr., who was originally signed to a two-way contract by the HEAT on December 31, 2017, appeared in 14 games (eight starts) with Miami last season and averaged 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.2 minutes of action. He spent 13 games with the HEAT’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.69 blocks, 1.46 steals and 29.1 minutes while shooting 51.2 percent from the field.

Prior to signing a two-way contract with Miami, Jones Jr. spent time with the Phoenix Suns and their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, earlier in the season where he totaled nine points, four rebounds, four blocks, three assists, a steal in 33 minutes of action during six games with Phoenix and averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.81 blocks, 1.8 assists, 1.13 steals and 28.9 minutes in 16 games with Northern Arizona.

Summer leagues are next month. It’s too early to dive in fully, but here’s some quick info on the Heat, as reported by the Palm Beach Post:

Eric Glass’ ascension on the Heat bench will continue this summer.

The Heat confirmed that Glass will lead the organization’s summer-league teams in Sacramento and Las Vegas this year. The 34-year-old Glass follows in the footsteps of Heat assistant coaches Chris Quinn, Juwan Howard and Dan Craig as head of the team’s summer program — Quinn coached the Heat’s summer-league team last year, Howard led the summer program in 2016 and Craig coached the summer rosters from 2013 through 2015.

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It’s always fun to see where well-known former players wind up once they hang up the sneakers. Shane Battier is doing his thing in Miami, and reportedly might have left for Detroit but will stay put. Here’s the Miami Herald with the details:

Shane Battier, the Heat’s director of basketball development and analytics, has removed himself from consideration for a high-level front office job with the Detroit Pistons, a source confirmed Tuesday.

The Pistons had shown interest in several former players - including Battier, Brent Barry and Tayshaun Prince - for a role in their revamped front office. And Battier has ties to the state, having been born and raised in Birmingham, Mich., and attending Detroit Country Day school.

Battier had interviewed with the Pistons and was asked back for a second interview.

But Battier, 39, ultimately decided to stay with the Heat

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And according to Michigan Live, “The Pistons hired Ed Stefanski last week as a special adviser to owner Tom Gores. Stefanski is leading the search for a new president of basketball operations and head coach after Stan Van Gundy was dismissed on May 7.”

The NBA front office world centers around Chicago right now — that’s the location of the 2018 Draft Combine. The Heat, however, face challenges, in that they lack draft picks. Which makes it hard to actually draft anybody. Here’s the Sun Sentinel reporting:

Getting into the room with free agents hasn’t been a problem for the Miami Heat in recent years, even if the results with Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward have. Over the next month, the Heat face an even greater challenge — getting into the room with NBA draft prospects.

Not only do the Heat stand with the Toronto Raptors at the only teams without a selection in either round of the June 21 draft, but the Heat also lack the funds — at the moment — to buy their way into the draft, with all $5.1 million of their allowable spending money through June 30 sent to the Dallas Mavericks in the July salary dump of Josh McRoberts.

Against that backdrop, the Heat front office is in Chicago for the annual draft combine, still afforded the ability to interview up to 20 participating prospects…

Although the Heat cannot complete a “purchase” transaction at the draft, having reached the limit of cash included in 2017-18 transactions because of the McRoberts move, the Heat can work with a team to select for them and then purchase the rights to that player after July 1, when next season’s “Maximum Annual Cash Limit” becomes available.

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The Sixers and Heat series has been a joy to watch. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat, who have put up a great fight but are now one game from elimination:

Two games later, and with the Heat on the brink of elimination, there is no room for fun. They need a victory Tuesday in Game 5 in Philadelphia to keep the season alive. The Sixers lead 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

“I was just having fun with that in Game 2,” Wade said. “It’s not about him. It’s about us. It’s about these 15 guys going on the road against a team that’s looking to close us out to win their first playoff series. We got to do what most people don’t think we can do.”

Only 11 teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit in league history. The Cleveland Cavaliers were the last team to do it when they defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Heat did it in 1997, rallying against the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals.

“It’s not necessarily us against the world,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s us against the Philadelphia 76ers. We have to find a way to finish games. They’ve really nailed us in the fourth quarters in all four games — except the one we were able to pull away. We just have to do better. Through three quarters we’ve been up. It’s going to require a full 48-minute game of absolute our best effort.”

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Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for intentionally stepping on and attempting to damage the facemask of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which took place after Embiid’s facemask had fallen onto the playing court, occurred with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the 76ers’ 128-108 win over the Heat on Thursday, April 19 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who through three playoff games is receiving just 13.7 minutes per outing of playing time, averaging a mere 3.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

From a national perspective, Thursday night began and ended the same way for the Heat, with TNT’s Charles Barkley bashing Hassan Whiteside before and after the 76ers’ Game 3 win against the Heat that gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

What happened in between Barkley’s remarks Thursday was even more discouraging for Whiteside, who has managed just 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 41 combined minutes during three games in this playoff series while committing seven turnovers and nine fouls.

And with Saturday’s Game 4 looming, Whiteside, who’s active on social media, made clear he’s tuning out the torrent of criticism: “I don’t get caught up in the guys that can’t do my job but talk about my job.”

A night after Whiteside curiously attributed his struggles to lack of involvement on offense, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday “we’re not going to change the playbook, but certainly we’ll work to get Hassan active on both ends and where you feel him in the game. Part of that is my job. We had a film session today, and we were working on that. He’s going to do his part.”

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Tyler Johnson health update

The Heat are down 2-1 in their first round playoff series against the Sixers. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Heat shooting guard Tyler Johnson:

Guard Tyler Johnson began clutching his left hand early in Thursday’s game after jamming his left thumb while colliding with Sixers center Joel Embiid on the second possession.

Johnson was evaluated after the game but no serious damage was found after X-rays. He wore a protective wrap during Friday’s practice.

“I was trying to catch myself,stumbled, put my hand down,” Johnson said. “I lost my balance when I ran into him. I tried to brace myself on the floor and jammed my thumb … Initially it was a little bit sore. We got a little tape job on it.That’s more to make it a little bit more comfortable. It’s a little sore, nothing that’s not manageable.”

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Justise Winslow willing to do whatever

The playoffs are not a time for friendship between foes. It’s about winning. Send the other guys home. And every winning team needs an enforcer or two. Or three. As for the Heat, here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Justise Winslow is not here to win friends, not this time of year, and certainly not from the Philadelphia 76ers fans who took exception with his over-the-top defensive aggression against Ben Simmons.

“I can be the bad guy if that means winning,” the Miami Heat reserve forward said as his team prepared for Thursday’s Game 3 of the best-of-seven, opening-round series that is tied 1-1.

Winslow said maximizing his fouls and physicality against Simmons has returned him to his basketball roots.

“Growing up I played on all types of teams that would just press and defend and run around with our heads chopped off,” he said on the practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena. “But this is more organized obviously in the NBA. It’s fun sometimes you get to go back to that and just go out there and make plays defensively. It’s kind of in my nature. I was brought up in AAU, high school.”

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Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat, who recently welcomed Dwyane Wade back and currently have no plans on restricting his play in regard to back-to-backs:

After being put into a “maintenance” program with the Miami Heat during his previous tenure with the team, Dwyane Wade said no such contingencies have been discussed for this reunion tour.

That had Wade again in the rotation in Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back set, after playing 21 minutes in Tuesday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Wade had been held out of games in four of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ back-to-back sets earlier this season before his recent buyout…

The Heat have three remaining back-to-back sets, with coach Erik Spoelstra saying Wednesday a maintenance plan has not been discussed since Wade’s signing.

“Not right now,” Spoelstra said, “no.”

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Cavs trade Dwyane Wade to Heat

The Cavs have traded Dwyane Wade to the Heat in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick.

The trade also creates a traded player exception for the Cavaliers in the amount of approximately $1.5 million.

“We would like to thank Dwyane for everything he brought to this team and to the Cleveland community during his time in Northeast Ohio,” said Cavs General Manager Koby Altman. “A definite Hall of Famer when his playing career is complete, his basketball legacy is cemented by how he carries himself both on and off the floor. His work ethic and commitment to the game of basketball with such an illustrious career was greatly respected by his Cavs teammates and everyone in our front office. We wish Dwyane nothing but the best in his return to Miami, where he established himself as one the NBA’s all-time elite players.”

“We feel that Dwyane can help our team in so many ways,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “It is a beautiful moment for us, for the city and for the fans. All of us embrace it in the manner that we want to win and that’s why we brought Dwyane back home. We look forward to having a great end of season run as we fight for the playoffs.”

Wade, a three-time NBA Champion with the HEAT, played 12 seasons in Miami, appearing in 855 regular season games (845 starts) averaging 23.7 points, 5.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.65 steals and 35.7 minutes while shooting 48.8 percent from the field. The 12-time NBA All-Star is the HEAT’s all-time leader in points (20,221), field goals made (7,325), free throws made (5,185), double-figure scoring efforts (816), assists (4,944), steals (1,414), starts, games played and minutes played (30,560). He also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in blocks (2nd, 759), total rebounds (4th, 4,126), defensive rebounds (4th, 3,051), offensive rebounds (5th, 1,076), double-doubles (5th, 121), field goal percentage (7th, .488) and three-point field goals made (7th, 386). Additionally, Wade, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, has appeared in 166 career postseason games (all starts) with the HEAT averaging 22.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.57 steals, 1.00 blocks and 38.4 minutes while shooting 47.7 percent from the field.

Hammons, who was acquired on July 7, 2017, did not appear in a game with the HEAT this season. He did appear in 25 games (14 starts) with Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, this season and averaged 8.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.96 blocks and 20.2 minutes while shooting 53.6 percent from the field.

Haslem happy to have Wade back on Heat

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on one veteran happy to have a longtime buddy back on the Heat:

Nobody might be happier about Dwyane Wade coming back to the Miami Heat than Udonis Haslem.

In fact, go ahead and mark it down. Nobody is happier about Wade, 36, heading home than his best friend.

“I bet you probably want to hear me say I knew it all the time, don’t you?” Haslem said through a grin Thursday outside the Heat’s locker room inside AmericanAirlines Arena. “No, it’s good, man. I’m happy for him. I’m happy to have the opportunity to play the game of basketball with him and compete with him, to lead with him. The guys are excited about the opportunity. Hank is still doing his job from above.”

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