Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

The National Strength and Conditioning Association announced that Miami HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Coach Bill Foran has been named the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. Foran, who becomes the fourth recipient of the award, will receive the honor at the NSCA’s Coaches Conference which is held in Nashville, TN from January 4 through January 6. Past winners of the award include Ashley Jones of the Edinburgh Rugby team in Scotland, Casey Bond of the Colorado Avalanche and Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers.

Foran, who has been the HEAT’s strength and conditioning coach since its inception and is currently in his 29th season with the organization, supervises a combination of strength training, plyometrics, conditioning, stretching and nutrition to ensure Miami’s players’ produce maximum results on the court. In addition to this honor, Foran was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named as the 2009 Co-NBA Strength Coach of the Year.

The Miami HEAT have waived Vashil Fernandez, Luis Montero, Beno Udrih, Brianté Weber and Okaro White.

Fernandez, who was signed as a free on October 17, appeared in two preseason games with the HEAT totaling three points, one rebound and a steal in 14:38 minutes of action.

Montero, who was signed as a free agent on October 18, appeared in two preseason games with Miami, totaling nine points, three rebounds, three steals, one assist and one block in 18:48 minutes of action.

Udrih, who re-signed with the HEAT as a free agent on August 17, appeared in four preseason games (one start), and averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 assists in 13.6 minutes per game. He also played in 36 games (five starts) for the HEAT last season.

Weber, a free agent who signed with the HEAT on April 10, played in all eight of the HEAT’s preseason games (one start), and averaged 3.1 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.3 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game.

White, who played on the HEAT’s summer league team this year and was signed as a free agent on July 15, appeared in six preseason games with Miami and averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.5 minutes while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 15.

Miami Heat sign Luis Montero, waive Keith Benson

The Miami HEAT have signed guard Luis Montero and waived Keith Benson.

Montero appeared in 12 games with the Portland Trail Blazers last season totaling 14 points, four rebounds and an assist in 42 minutes of action. He also appeared in six postseason games with Portland totaling eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point range and 1-of-1 from the foul line. While on NBA Development League assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors last season, Montero appeared in four games (all starts) and averaged 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.75 blocks, 1.50 steals and 28.3 minutes while shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three-point range and 78.3 percent from the foul line.

Montero will wear number 44.

Benson, who was signed by the HEAT on September 23, appeared in three preseason games with Miami averaging 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 10.9 minutes of action.

Miami Heat sign Vashil Fernandez, waive Stefan Jankovic

The Miami HEAT today signed center Vashil Fernandez and waived Stefan Jankovic.

Fernandez, the all-time leading shot blocker at Valparaiso University, played all four seasons with the Crusaders appearing in 131 games (85 starts) and averaged 4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.21 blocks and 19.8 minutes while shooting 54.8 percent from the field. As a senior, he led the NCAA in blocks per game (3.31) and was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He finished his career with 289 blocks, surpassing the previous school record of 228 held by Raitis Grafs from 1999-2003, including 119 during his senior campaign, setting the school’s single-season block record, a record he held the previous season with 98 rejections.

Fernandez will wear number 14.

Janković appeared in one preseason game with the HEAT, totaling 3:40 minutes of action.

Chris Bosh is still technically a member of the Heat, but unless there’s some sort of drastic change, he’s probably played his last game for the club. Filling in the power forward spot may be a job for multiple people. Here’s the Miami Herald reporting:

Replacing Chris Bosh will be tough for Heat

It might feel like an audition on the outside — with three healthy players competing to replace Chris Bosh in the Heat’s starting lineup at power forward this preseason. But to those involved, and the coach making the decision, it isn’t building up to be a one-man job.

Luke Babbitt, James Johnson and Derrick Williams all bring something different to the table, and ultimately whoever ends up earning the starting nod when the Heat opens the season Oct. 26 at Orlando isn’t necessarily going to have the job moving forward.

The Heat, in the midst of a roster rebuild with Dwyane Wade in Chicago and with Bosh’s career in limbo, is more focused on the diversity of its lineups than it is finding a permanent replacement for Bosh.

“It’s more of a developmental phase right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday when asked if the starting power forward position is in an audition phase.

Heat guard Tyler Johnson averaged 5.9 points on 41.9% shooting in 18.8 minutes per game as a rookie two years ago, 8.7 ppg on 48.6% shooting in 24.0 mpg last season, and should have a bigger role this year. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog with some insight:

Heat consider Tyler Johnson a combo guard

“He’s a combo (guard). That’s why we like him,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You put him on the court and he knows how to have an impact. He’s comfortable now playing either position on the ball or off the ball. That kind of versatility is important.”

The Heat are hoping [Tyler] Johnson can give them minutes at point guard this season, a position that he’s played sporadically in the past. After Miami decided to keep Johnson and matched his four-year, $50 million offer sheet from the Nets in July, he spent most of the offseason working on his point guard skills with Heat coaches.

With a log jam at shooting guard – Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington and Johnson – Johnson will get more playing time if he’s also able to serve as Goran Dragic’s backup at point guard. The 24-year-old Johnson believes he’s better prepared for that role this season.

Here’s the Palm Beach Post Blog with an update on a key young member of the Heat:

Josh Richardson making progress in recovery

Josh Richardson is making progress.

The 23-year-old guard suffered a partially torn MCL in his right knee in a voluntary workout on Sept. 9 and said he expected the injury to keep him out for six to eight weeks. Richardson is now entering the next phase of his recovery, as he had his knee brace removed Friday just in time to travel to Knoxville to watch Tennessee, his alma mater, defeat the Gators on Saturday.

“The update is his brace was removed on Friday and he was able to go to the Tennessee-Florida game on Saturday,” coach Erik Spoelstra said at media day on Monday. “After that win, I immediately texted him saying you better not even think about charging that field. But he was able to move around. He’s excited to get the brace off.”

With Dwyane Wade gone and Chris Bosh still out indefinitely due to health concerns, there’s every chance in the world for point guard Goran Dragic to rise up and do big things. Considering how young the rest of the squad’s key players are, Miami needs Dragic to exceed all expectations. Here’s the Miami Herald with more:

Lots of pressure on Goran Dragic this season

Goran Dragic made it clear from the start that when the Miami Heat traded for him 19 months ago he was only around to support Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, not step on their toes.

Dragic, 30, obviously doesn’t have to worry about playing backup singer to anyone on the Heat anymore. With Wade, a 12-time All-Star, gone to Chicago in free agency, and Bosh, an 11-time All-Star, out for the foreseeable future after failing a physical this week in his continuing battle with blood clots, the Heat is as much Dragic’s team now as it is Hassan Whiteside’s.

“I’m ready,” Dragic said Saturday afternoon between signing autographs and taking photos with fans who lined up by the dozens at the Heat store inside Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater to meet the 2014 All-NBA third team point guard.

Heat sign Keith Benson

Heat sign Keith Benson

The Heat have signed center Keith Benson. We assume it’s a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Benson to Heat training camp.

Benson spent last season with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the 2016 champion Sioux Falls Skyforce, appearing in 49 games (23 starts) and averaged 13.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.57 blocks and 23.8 minutes while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. The 2016 NBA D-League All-Star appeared in all seven postseason games on the Skyforce’s path to the title averaging 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.14 blocks and 17.8 minutes while shooting 59.2 percent from the field.

Benson has now played in 93 career NBA Development League games (60 starts) and averaged 13.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.58 blocks and 24.9 minutes while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. He was previously signed by the HEAT on August 25, 2015, appearing in five preseason games averaging 5.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 11.8 minutes before being waived on October 24, 2015. Additionally, Benson has appeared in three career NBA regular season games, all with Golden State, totaling three rebounds in nine minutes of action and has spent time playing professionally in Belarus, China, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy and the Philippines.

Benson was originally drafted in the second round (48th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

According to the Heat, the team and forward Chris Bosh, in consultation with team doctors and other physicians, have been working together for many months with the mutual goal of having Chris return to the court as soon as possible. Chris has now taken his pre-season physical. And according to the team, they remain unable to clear Chris to return to basketball activities.

Heat do not clear Chris Bosh for return to basketball activities

The Heat say they are “not able to comment further in light of Article XXII, Section 3(e) of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which precludes a team from releasing certain medical information without a player’s consent.”

According to the Miami Herald, “Doctors found more evidence of blood clotting in Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, derailing his attempted comeback, according to a source. The complication, believed to be in his lung, involved evidence of some continued clotting and is believed to be related to one of two previous blood clot episodes. Those episodes sidelined Bosh after the All-Star break each of the past two seasons. Though the complication is not considered life-threatening if treated, it requires medication and playing with it is considered unrealistic.”

Expect an up-tempo Heat offense this season

How will the Heat be different this upcoming season, their first in many years without star shooting guard Dwyane Wade? According to their head coach, they plan to speed things up. With Chris Bosh’s return still uncertain due to health reasons, the squad is built around Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog reporting:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s latest video clip on the team’s website is a message to Heat fans to expect more of what you saw the second half of last season when the Heat, behind point guard Goran Dragic, scrapped its lumbering style for an up-tempo offense.

“The style of offense when you’re pushing the tempo and you’re attacking and you’re looking for opportunities in the open court, that’s a fun style of basketball,” Spoelstra said. “Our guys enjoy playing that style, they’re committed to the conditioning level and the work ethic. … they’re willing to do it because they want to have fun they want to express athleticism and I think that’s what Heat fans can expect from this team next year.”

Heat may keep Josh McRoberts

Here’s the Miami Herald blog with a Heat update. Seems Josh McRoberts, who in 42 games last season averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per outing, will remain in Miami:

Heat may keep Josh McRoberts

Though he was mentioned in trade rumors previously, the Heat has indicated to Josh McRoberts’ camp that he’s in the team’s plans for this season, his agent said, adding Miami called to go over his offseason training and make sure everyone is on the same page.

McRoberts will make $5.8 million this season and has a $6 million player option for 2017-18.

But the Heat will need to dump someone with a guaranteed deal if it wants to keep point guard Briante Weber. Free agent pickups this summer cannot be dealt until Dec. 15.

Heat re-sign Beno Udrih

Heat re-sign Beno Udrih

The Heat have re-signed veteran guard Beno Udrih.

The Heat backcourt is built around Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson and new addition Dion Waiters. Udroh’s minutes may be fairly limited.

The big change this offseason in the Heat backcourt is the loss of legendary shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who decided to join the Bulls.

Udrih has appeared in 792 NBA regular season games (272 starts) during his 12-year career and has averaged 8.5 points, 3.4 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 22.3 minutes while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor, 34.9 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the foul line. The two-time NBA champion has appeared in 53 postseason games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.2 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 11.3 minutes while shooting 38.8 percent from the field and 80.4 percent from the foul line.

Last season as a member of both the HEAT and Memphis Grizzlies, Udrih appeared in 44 games (five starts) and averaged 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 16.1 minutes while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor, 34.1 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the line. In his 36 games with Miami last season, he led the team in plus/minus seven times, the third-most on the team. He also posted an 11-assist, no turnover game on January 15 at Denver, marking the most assists without a turnover during a game in his career and the 28th double-figure assist game without a single turnover in HEAT franchise history.

Heat sign Dion Waiters

Heat sign Dion Waiters

The Heat on Tuesday signed guard Dion Waiters.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the deal is a two-year, $6 million contract with a player option for the second season.

“Dion is not a Room Exception player,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He wanted to play for the Miami HEAT and chose to forgo other more lucrative financial opportunities to be a part of our championship organization. We are very honored that he made the commitment to come to South Florida and sign with us. Dion is young, athletic and explosive, which fits in with our roster. He will add a great dimension for us at the off-guard spot. I really like the depth and versatility that we now have in our perimeter positions. Welcome aboard Dion!”

According to the Sun Sentinel, “Waiters previously had bypassed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s since-rescinded $6.8 million qualifying offer for 2016-17 and took a pay cut from last season’s $5.1 million salary at a time when several teams have in excess of $10 million remaining in salary-cap space.”

Waiters has appeared in 289 games (110 starts) over his four-year NBA career and averaged 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.01 steals and 28.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 33.4 percent from three-point range and 70.7 percent from the foul line. The former fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team and earned NBA Rookie of the Month honors in February of 2013.

Return of Chris Bosh remains uncertain

The Heat got weaker this offseason, and they still don’t know when or if power forward Chris Bosh will return to action. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Return of Chris Bosh remains uncertain

Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday said it is still too early to know when Chris Bosh will be able to return to the team after a recurrence of blood-clotting issues kept the 11-time All-Star on the bench for the final 29 games of the season.

“It’s always fluid and it always has been,” Riley said Saturday during a news conference to address the team’s offseason to this point. “I know he wants to play and we would be open to that.”

Riley said nothing has been determined and that the team could gain clarity on Bosh’s health situation in the next few months.

Heat sign Okaro White

Heat sign Okaro White

The Miami Heat have signed Okaro White.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed contract.

White, a 6’8”, 204-pound forward, is currently playing on Miami’s Summer League team in Las Vegas where he has appeared in five games averaging 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.00 steals. He has scored in double-figures three times, including a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double against Phoenix on July 12. Prior to that he competed in the Orlando Pro Summer League with the Magic, appearing in five games (two starts) and averaged 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.20 steals and 17.2 minutes while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. He led the team in rebounds (30) and finished second in blocks (4) and free throws made (12).

White spent last season with Aris B.C. of the Greek Basketball League appearing in 35 games (32 starts) and averaged 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.57 steals and 26.8 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field. He was selected as the Greek Basketball Player of the Year and named to the All-Greek A1 League First Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Imports Team. He posted six double-doubles and led the team in rebounds (255), steals (55) and free throws made (114). He spent the 2014-15 season in Italy with Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna averaging 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.00 blocks in 33 games (32 starts).

White played all four seasons at Florida State University appearing in 139 career games (94 starts).

Miami Heat sign center Willie Reed

Miami Heat sign center Willie Reed

The Miami Heat have signed center Willie Reed.

Reed has appeared in 144 career NBA Development League games (101 starts) and averaged 15.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.78 blocks and 31.4 minutes while shooting 58.4 percent from the field. In his most recent NBA D-League stint during the 2014-15 season, he split the season between the Grand Rapids Drive and the Iowa Energy, appearing in 47 games (38 starts) and averaging 16.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.91 blocks, 1.1 assists and 33.7 minutes while shooting 60.1 percent from the field. He led the league in total rebounds (573) and offensive rebounds (216) and was named to the NBA D-League’s First Team, All-Defensive First Team and All-Star team.

Reed appeared in 39 games (two starts) with the Nets last season and averaged 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 10.9 minutes of action while shooting 57.1 percent from the field. He scored in double-figures six times and led the team in blocks on 13 occasions, second-most on the team. He spent the 2015 NBA Summer League with the HEAT appearing in four games (all starts) and averaged 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.75 blocks and 25.5 minutes while shooting 60 percent from the field. He helped Miami to a perfect 4-0 record over that span while leading the team in rebounds (31), blocks (7) and field goals made (21).

Miami Heat sign Stefan Jankovic

The Miami Heat have signed forward Stefan Jankovic.

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

Jankovic, a 6’11”, 234-pound forward, is currently playing on Miami’s Summer League team in Las Vegas where he has appeared in two games, both HEAT wins, totaling eight points, three assists and two rebounds in 26:44 minutes of action.

Prior to that he competed in the Orlando Pro Summer League with Miami appearing in three games, helping the HEAT to a perfect 3-0 record in those contests, averaging 7.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 13.5 minutes while shooting 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the field, 40 percent (2-of-5) from three-point range and 80 percent (4-of-5) from the foul line. He posted a 17-point game off the bench against the Los Angeles Clippers on July 2 after shooting 7-of-10 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-range and a perfect 1-of-1 from the foul line.

Jankovic played two seasons at the University of Hawai’i after beginning his collegiate career at the University of Missouri. During the 2015-16 season as a junior at Hawai’i, he was named the Big West Player of the Year after averaging 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.21 blocks, 1.2 assists and 24.7 minutes in 33 games (all starts) while shooting 54.3 percent from the floor, 39.3 percent from three-point range and 77.2 percent from the foul line. He helped the Rainbow Warriors capture the Big West Tournament Championship and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to being selected to the All-Big West First Team and to the Big West All-Tournament Team, he led Hawai’i in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage for the season and topped the Big West Conference in free throws made and attempted. Additionally, he posted five double-doubles and scored a career-high 34 points, while tallying eight rebounds and two blocks, against California State University, Northridge on February 18. In his two seasons at Hawai’i he appeared in 57 games (47 starts) and averaged 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.28 blocks and 22.9 minutes while connecting on 52.4 percent from the floor, 36.6 percent from behind the three-point arc and 75 percent from the foul line.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat announced yesterday that they have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.

Haslem’s career is winding down, and his role on the team at this point will likely remain very limited.

“For over a decade, Udonis has embodied what it means to wear the Miami HEAT uniform,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He has been the pillar and constant of this organization, and is a true champion in every sense of the word. We are thrilled that Udonis is back to help impart his leadership and instill the HEAT culture with his new teammates.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 13-year NBA career with the HEAT, appearing in 814 regular season games (498 starts) and has averaged 7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 26.1 minutes while shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 75.7 percent from the foul line. The Miami native is the franchise all-time leader in offensive, defensive and total rebounds and also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in games played (2nd), starts (2nd), minutes (2nd), double-doubles (3rd), field goals made (5th), points (6th), field goals attempted (6th), field goal percentage (6th), free throws made (8th), free throws attempted (8th), double-figure scoring efforts (8th), blocks (tied-8th), steals (10th), assists (16th) and free throw percentage (17th). Additionally, he’s the only undrafted player in NBA history to lead a franchise in total rebounds.

Pelicans trade Luke Babbitt to Heat

Pelicans trade Luke Babbitt to Heat

The Miami Heat announced today that they have acquired Luke Babbitt from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for New Orleans’ own 2018 second-round draft pick, that Miami acquired in the Feb. 18, 2016 trade involving Jarnell Stokes, and cash considerations.

Babbitt, a 6’9”, 225-pound forward, has appeared in 263 NBA regular season games (38 starts) during his six-year career and has averaged 4.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 13.5 minutes while connecting on 40.7 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent from behind the three-point arc and 74.4 percent from the foul line. In three of his six NBA seasons, Babbitt has hit at least 40 percent of his three-point field goal attempts. He has yet to appear in an NBA postseason game.

Last season as a member of the Pelicans, Babbitt appeared in 47 games (13 starts) and averaged 7.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 18.0 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 74.4 percent from the line. The 16th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Babbitt set single-season career highs during the 2015-16 campaign in points (327), field goals made (122) and attempted (289), free throws made (39) and attempted (50), offensive rebounds (25), defensive rebounds (123), total rebounds (148) and assists (53).

In addition to playing for the Pelicans (2013-16), Babbitt played three seasons (2010-13) with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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