The NBA starts a new fiscal year at 12 a.m. Sunday, which also signals the start of free agency and what once again will be a busy offseason. The Miami Heat may not be as big a player as usual this offseason because of roster and payroll limitations, but president Pat Riley still will be busy trying to find a way to upgrade his roster, however difficult that may be.
MIAMI – With the 2018 draft completed, NBA teams are focusing on filling their summer league rosters.
The Miami Heat revealed their 14-man roster today for the Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. The Heat begin play Monday in Sacramento and will play three games in four days. The team will hold three practices in Sacramento before the games begin. Miami then heads to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where its first game is scheduled for July 7. The team will play a tournament style schedule with the championship game July 17. Each team will play at least five games in Las Vegas.
The Heat roster was completed with additions of center Landry Nnoko of Clemson who played in Grand Rapids last season, guard Rashad Vaughn of UNLV and guard Tai Webster of Nebraska who played in Germany last season. The roster includes the franchise’s No. 1 pick in the 2017-18 draft, Bam Adebayo along with Derrick Jones Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr., the Heat’s two two-way players last season.
Bam Adebayo, 6-10, C, Kentucky/Heat: Adebayo showed plenty of promise his rookie year both offensively and defensively and the Heat just want him to get more experience after playing in 69 games, including 19 starts. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent.
Dikembe Dixson, 6-7, F, University Illinois-Chicago: Dixson, an undrafted free agent, started all 72 games he played at UIC. He was the unanimous choice as the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2016. After suffering a torn ACL in UIC’s 10th game two years ago he led the team with 14.2 ppg last season.
Matt Farrell, 6-0, G, Notre Dame: An undrafted free agent, Farrell played four years at Notre Dame, increasing his scoring, rebounding and assists every year. He started every game his junior and season seasons and averaged 16.3 points and 5.3 assists last season.
Derrick Jones Jr., 6-7, G/F, UNLV/Heat: Jones has played 52 NBA games, 20 for the Heat (eight starts) last season and 32 for Phoenix (eight starts) in 2016-17. Last season, he averaged 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds for Miami and played in 29 G League games with Sioux Falls and Northern Arizona, averaging 17.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Jarrod Jones, F, 6-9, Ball State/Turkey: Jones, 28, has spent the last six seasons playing professionally in Europe. He averaged 19.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in the top level Italian League two years ago and was in Turkey last season. He played at Ball State from 2008-12 and finished his career third on the school’s all-time rebound and blocks list.
Daryl Macon, 6-3, G, Arkansas: Macon, who was not drafted, played two seasons for the Razorbacks and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the media and second team by the coaches last season. He averaged 16.8 points and a team-high 3.9 assists as a senior. He played two years at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss.
Yante Maten, 6-8, F, Georgia: An undrafted free agent, Maten was the SEC Player of the Year last season after averaging 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds and a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. He played four seasons for the Bulldogs.
Landry Nnoko, 6-10, C, Clemson/Grand Rapids: Nnoko, 24, was the G League’s defensive player of the year while playing for Grand Rapids last season and averaged 14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. He is from Cameroon and played professionally in Italy after going undrafted out of Clemson in 2016. Nnoko attended the Pistons training camp in 2017 before being cut and joining Grand Rapids.
Ike Nwamu, 6-5, G, UNLV/Sioux Falls: Nwamu, 25, has spent the last two seasons with the Heat’s developmental team. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 2016-17 and 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season while leading the Skyforce with 47 games played.
Duncan Robinson, 6-8, G/F, Michigan: Robinson went undrafted after playing three seasons for the Wolverines. He made a team-high 38 threes last season – averaging 9.2 points while starting 19 games – and shot 41.9 percent on 3 pointers in his career. Robinson transferred to Michigan after leading Williams Ephs to the 2014 NCAA Division III championship game. He was the 2014 Division III Rookie of the Year.
Justin Tillman, 6-8, F, VCU: Tillman went undrafted after averaging 18.9 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting .557 as a senior at VCU. He was named to All-Atlantic 10 first team and was an All-Defensive Team selection. He led the A-10 in rebounding. Tillman had an impressive Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 18.3 points and 13.0 rebounds.
Rashad Vaughn, 6-6, G, UNLV: Vaughn, 21, was the 17th overall pick by the Bucks in 2015 after one year at UNLV. He has played parts of three seasons in the NBA, including more than two years for the Bucks and a handful of games for the Magic and Nets. In 139 career games, including eight starts, he is averaging 3.0 points in 12.0 minutes. He was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year in his only season at UNLV, averaging 17.8 points.
Derrick Walton Jr., 6-1, G, Michigan/Heat: Walton spilt time last season between the Heat and the Skyforce. He played in 16 games for Miami, averaging 1.8 points in 9.2 minutes. He played 27 games for Sioux Falls averaging 16.1 points and 7.0 assists.
Tai Webster, 6-2, G, Germany/Nebraska: Webster, 23, is a New Zealand native who played four years at Nebraska where he averaged 17.0 points as a senior before going undrafted in 2017. He played last season for Frankfurt in the German league and played professionally in Australia and New Zealand before going to Nebraska. Webster played for the Warriors summer league team a year ago.
HOLLYWOOD – Bam Adebayo knows exactly what every NBA prospect is going through.
One year ago, the Miami Heat center was nervously awaiting the NBA draft, which will be held Thursday. Finally, 14 picks in, he heard his name called and his life changed.
Now, Adebayo, who turns 21 next month, is working religiously to improve his game with former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace twice a week and with his Heat teammates at the team’s practice facility. He will be part of the Heat’s summer league teams in Sacramento Las Vegas with games starting July 2.
On Wednesday, Adebayo was a guest of former Heat coach and broadcaster Tony Fiorentino at the Heat basketball camp at South Broward High School.
We caught up with Adebayo for our latest offseason Q&A and talked about the draft, his offseason and received an update on Heat guard Dion Waiters, who underwent ankle surgery in January.
Q: You said you are working on your midrange game. Do you think you can morph into the modern big man with the way the game has changed?
Adebayo: “Yeah. Being versatile is a big thing for the Miami Heat. I’m willing to do that.”
Q: You’ve been working with Rasheed Wallace. How did you hook up with him?
Adebayo: “I’ve known Rasheed since my junior year of high school. We’ve worked out and just kept getting better. It’s not the first time me and Rasheed worked out. His work outs are pretty short and sweet. They’re to the point.”
Q: What did he work with you on?
Adebayo: “Just staying balanced. Everything I do with the Miami Heat, just being explosive and getting to your spots quickly.”
Q: What are you working on with the Heat?
Adebayo: “Everything. My whole arsenal. … Midrange game, low post, becoming a better player.”
Q: You said Dion Waiters has been involved in your pickup game today in Miami. How has he been looking?
Adebayo:” “He’s looking good to me. You can tell he’s been in the gym because he’s been working.”
Q: What will this team look like with Dion?
Adebayo “It can’t do anything but make us better. I feel like Dion has another unbelievable ceiling to him. So, we’re just going to keep working and every will reach their potential.”
Q: Going on vacation this summer?
Adebayo: “I went back home, that’s about it. I got to see the family, had a family reunion.”
Q: So it’s business the whole summer?
Adebayo: “Yeah, the whole summer.”
Q: What is the biggest thing you wanted to improve on from your rookie season?
Adebayo: “Be more offensive minded and aggressive. Last year I kind of sat back and looked at everybody else. They want me to be more assertive.”
Q: What’s your mentality this offseason? Did James Johnson rub off on you?
Adebayo: “I’ve always had that work ethic, just trying to get better, get one percent better. I’m trying to do that for the team and for myself.”
Q: Just about a year ago when your life changed when you were selected by the Heat in the draft. Ever think back what the last year has been like?
Adebayo: “Yeah. It’s been a wild experience. All the time I look back at it. Just building bonds from a year ago is unbelievable.”
Q: What is it like for the guys who will go through it (Thursday)?
Adebayo: “Nerve wracking. Just going through all that because it’s a process. It’s like a marathon so you build up to it. To finally get your name called it’s like a weight off your shoulders. But then you know, you’re right back to business.”
Q: You said were close to tears on draft night last year, how close?
Adebayo: “Yeah, but I had to hurry and get off the stage. So, after I got off the court I was straight.”
Q: You came out of Kentucky after one season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the one-and-done might end in 2021, do you feel it worked out before for you?
Adebayo: “I’m glad it worked out the way it did. I got to experience college for that one year. So, it was great to me. Some guys can go straight to the NBA.”
Q: Did you see Hassan Whiteside in the Lamborghini in Italy on Instagram? Did you question how he fit into a Lamborghini?
Adebayo: “Uh, no, not really. He has his ways of doing stuff. I texted him about, ‘Why are you in a Lamborghini?’ He was like, ‘I’m just out here enjoying my life,’ which he should. He deserves it. So, we’re just seeing him enjoy his life.”
If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them along for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com.
From @TheSpencerG: If Heat were to get Kawhi how do we stay competitive w/o giving up too much?
Several questions about the possibility of trading for San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, as you would expect. A couple centered on the price to acquire one of the top five players and arguably best two-way player in the league when healthy.
Everything has been speculation but the most widely reported deal when it comes to the Heat is Miami sending Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo to San Antonio for Leonard and Patty Mills. With Leonard set to make $20.1 million and Mills $11.6 million, this deal would work. But what becomes the real gamble, even if both sides agree, is Leonard can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent next season.
Without a guarantee from Leonard, it’s unlikely the Heat makes this move and gives up their three most valued young assets and the foundation of the future. Even if Miami believed it had a chance to retain Leonard and sign him to a long-term deal, that would have to be predicated on Leonard liking what he sees during the season and believing the Heat are on the cusp of contending. But with a nucleus of Leonard, Mills, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, Tyler Johnson, Dwyane Wade (if he returns), and Wayne Ellington (if he re-signs) just how good is this team?
Without some kind of assurance from Leonard, the Heat would have a difficult time pulling the trigger on this deal. But if Miami could get Leonard to commit (and, yes, that still comes with a bit of a gamble), it’s a deal the Heat definitely will think seriously about making.
From @Shadow_Knight3: Should Heat try to take a chance at Parsons which includes the 4th pick of the Draft.
Before answering this question let me say that nothing has been reported of talks between the Heat and Grizzlies. But a variation of one trade has been speculated so we’ll address it.
Memphis reportedly is so desperate to dump Chandler Parsons that they are willing to attach the No. 4 overall pick to a deal. A high price and one that is hard to believe depending on the return. Chandler, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was one of the worst signings of the summer of 2016 (and there were plenty) when Memphis gave him a four-year maximum contract worth $94.8 million. If the numbers sound familiar they should because it’s very close to the deal the Heat gave Whiteside that same summer.
The Parsons signing has been more disastrous for Memphis than the Whiteside signing has been for the Heat. He has played in just 70 games the last two seasons and is averaging 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 40.1 percent.
But just how desperate are the Grizzlies to dump that salary and could the Heat jump in to try to steal that pick? The more likely deal would be Parsons for Whiteside straight up. Two bad contracts traded for each other. The other big issue is then what does Memphis do with Marc Gasol, another bad contract, who is due to make 49.7 the next two seasons? And how would that help the Heat? As difficult as it was to watch Whiteside during the playoffs, he has given the Heat much more in the last two seasons than Parson has given the Grizzlies and that would solve nothing when it comes to the Heat’s salary cap situation.
Which means anyone who believes the Grizzlies would take Whiteside’s contract for Parsons and the No. 4 pick is delusional. Memphis is looking to dump a bad contract and does not want one in return. But let’s play along and say Memphis is that desperate, do the Heat have what the Grizzlies want to make the deal? The deal certainly could have to include some combination of Richardson, Winslow and Adebayo. But it is enough for Memphis to give up the chance of drafting Luca Doncic or Jaren Jackson Jr., or Mohamed Bamba or Michael Porter? And do the Heat believe a transformative player will be around at No. 4?
From @GajjarRahi: Who’s your starting SF in the future? Justice or Jrich?
A lot depends on the makeup of the roster but if both players are a part of the future, the Heat would ideally like to see Richardson at shooting guard and Winslow at small forward. But that is a big if with both being valuable trade assets and the Heat looking to upgrade the roster.
From @jphillips19915 Jun 17: Will we make a move Thursday night?
Oh yeah, there is a draft Thursday. Anything is possible as we discussed above with the reports concerning the Grizzlies, but the most likely scenario is Miami possibly obtaining a second-round pick. The tricky part is unless it is for a player, the deal could not be announced until July 1, which is when the Heat would have the money to trade for a pick in the second round.
If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them along for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Thomas, Boca Raton: I noticed the Heat’s advertisement at the new Brightline station in Miami has a picture of Bam and not Whiteside. Can we read into this?
The Heat have done a great job teaming up with Brightline and marketing the MiamiCentral station, which is blocks from AmericanAirlines Arena. The grand opening last month certainly had a Heat theme with Udonis Haslem making an appearance – Haslem also has a personal stake with his company opening an Einstein Bros. Bagel and Starbucks in the station – and the unveiling of the mural, which is an ad for season tickets and reads: “CUT THROUGH TRAFFIC, FINISH AT THE RIM.”
On the left, to illustrate “cut through traffic,” the picture is of Goran Dragic driving to the basket. On the right, to depict the “finish at rim” portion of the slogan is Bam Adebayo – and not Hassan Whiteside – soaring high above the rim for a dunk.
Are the Heat sending a message? Probably not. Could they just be covering themselves in case of a trade? Or perhaps it just happened to be the best picture to fit the narrative of the ad.
Everybody, including Whiteside, knows the Heat are not happy with their $98 million center and although nothing has been confirmed by the Heat all signs point to Miami actively looking to trade the 29-year-old center this offseason, which will not be easy considering his contract that has two years and $52.5 million remaining, declining production and immaturity. As for Bam, the Heat are very encouraged by what they saw in his rookie season and whether Whiteside is moved or not, the Heat see him as their center of the future.
From Chris, Fort Lauderdale: I know Riley said nobody is untouchable but would the Heat really trade Josh Richardson?
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are open for business and yes, everybody on the roster is in play. But obviously, some have a far greater chance of being traded than others. Richardson, 24, is coming off his best season in which he started in all 81 games that he played and he starts a team-friendly deal – four years, $42 million – this upcoming season. Sure, Richardson could be moved but it would have to be a blockbuster and net the Heat an All-Star in return. Miami will not add Richardson, a valuable wing player who also is among the best defenders in the league, just as a sweetener to dump a large contract without receiving anything of significance in return.
Heat center Bam Adebayo was snubbed when it came to being recognized as one of the league’s top rookies, falling one vote short of the NBA’s All-Rookie second team.
Adebayo, the 14th overall pick in last June’s draft, was first among other players receiving votes, finishing one vote behind Phoenix’s Josh Jackson for the final spot in the All-Rookie second team.
John Collins, the Atlanta rookie who was raised in suburban West Palm Beach and a Cardinal Newman High School graduate, was on the second team. Collins averaged 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. He received five first-team votes and 66 second team.
Adebayo, 20, averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.6 blocks in 69 games, including 19 starts. He had seven double-doubles while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. Adebayo averaged 19.8 minutes per game.
Among rookies, Adebayo was 21st in scoring, sixth in rebounding, tied for 21st in assists, ninth in blocks, seventh in field goal percentage and seventh in double-doubles.
Heat president Pat Riley was impressed with Adebayo’s maturity. Adebayo spent one season at Kentucky before entering the draft.
“He’s very mature in the decisions that he makes, that he has made off the court, that he has made with the people that he surrounds himself with, his dedication to his mother and why he’s playing this game,” Riley said during the season. “It’s real and he’s real.”
Adebayo’s role expanded as starting center Hassan Whiteside’s minutes decreased, logging time alongside fellow big man Kelly Olynyk as part of the Heat’s second team and even playing some with Whiteside.
Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons were unanimous first-team selections with each receiving first-team votes on all 100 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters for 200 total points.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum (199 points) had 99 first-team votes and one second-team vote. Kyle Kuzma (193) of the Lakers and the Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen (173) round out the first team.
The second team consists of Dallas’ Dennis Smith Jr. (96), the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (87), Collins (76), Sacramento’s Bogdan Bogdanovic (75) and Jackson (45).
Adebayo had 44 points. Next on the list with Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox with 34 points.
Below are the voting results for the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Teams from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Minnesota Timberwolves advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years after adding an All-Star in Jimmy Butler and a handful of other veterans to go along with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
But despite topping .500 (47-35) for the first time since 2004-05, there are rumblings of uneasiness within the organization. Now it’s up to coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau to soothe over feelings and improve the roster after the Wolves lost in five games to the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
Most of the trade rumors center around 23-year old Andrew Wiggins, who was given a $146.5 million max extension last October that goes into effect this upcoming season. Now, the Wolves may be looking to get out from that deal and a trade is the only way.
Miami, as we know, has its share of bad deals but none are as long as Wiggins’, whose contract is for five years. He starts at more than $25 million next season and will be making more than $33 million in 2022-23.
But Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, small forward, never has been an All-Star and his production dipped sharply last season, going from 23.6 points per game on .452 shooting in 2016-17 to 17.7 points on .438 shooting. Now, Minnesota may be looking to unload him.
Like the Heat, the Timberwolves are capped out, so are they looking to create space or get equal value in return? This is the same question being asked of the Heat when it comes to Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson, two players who will account for $44.6 million next season.
The Heat would have some leverage because they’d be assuming a lot more in total salary if they were to acquire Wiggins and either Whiteside (two years remaining at $52.5 million) or Johnson (two years remaining at $38.5 million) were part of a deal.
But Miami must decide what else they would be willing to give up – the Wolves would ask for much more, including Josh Richardson, in the deal – and if they believe Wiggins is that ‘transformative’ player Pat Riley has referenced, and one worth paying nearly $150 million for five years.
Wiggins was the first overall pick in 2014 by the Cavaliers and then was traded by LeBron James to Minnesota for Kevin Love. In four years he is averaging 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Wiggins is among the worst defensive players in the league, which could give the Heat some pause, although he did improve last season. Players Wiggins was guarding shot 46.3 percent against him last season after a dreadful 2016-17 in which those same players made 49.4 percent of their shots.
Wiggins’ name is not the only one to come up when it comes to Minnesota. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported Towns is not happy, which has spurred trade speculation involving the 7-foot center.
Towns, 22, was the first overall pick in 2015, the same draft in which the Heat selected Justise Winslow with the 10th overall pick. He was an All-Star for the first time this past season, averaging 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds. Moving such a valuable player appears a longshot and especially to Miami. The Heat, though, certainly would love to put together a package of Whiteside and a couple of their young players – Minnesota probably would start with Bam Adebayo and Richardson. And the Heat probably would have to take back a bad contract or two to make the deal work.
The problem is there would be a long line of suiters. Two off the top could be the Celtics and Suns. Boston could offer a package centering around Jaylen Brown and a first-round pick next year – they own Sacramento’s, their own and possibley two more – for Towns. The media in Phoenix is proposing the Suns get involved by offering the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. Moving to Phoenix would then reunite Towns with his former Kentucky teammate, and friend, Devin Booker.
Towns, too, can be a defensive liability and was a big reason Minnesota was tied for 22nd last season with a 108.4 defensive rating. Still, for one of the better offensive centers in the league and one who can stretch the floor – he attempted 285 threes last season making 42.1 percent – his contract is very friendly. He will make $7.8 million next season and $19.6 million in 2019-20 before becoming a restricted free agent.
Outside of whether Pat Riley can move Hassan Whiteside, perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Miami Heat entering the offseason is if they have a chance to acquire Kawhi Leonard, if the Spurs decide it’s time to trade the 6-foot-7 forward.
Leonard and the Spurs have been in a bizarre standoff most of the season over a quad injury with coach Gregg Popovich having given up on Leonard playing by the end of the season.
All of which has led to speculation that San Antonio is ready to move on from the 26-year-old who has twice been named All-NBA first team and Defensive Player of the Year.
If the situation is irreparable, and the Spurs put Leonard on the market, can the Heat get in the conversation?
One Las Vegas book does not think so. In fact, the Heat aren’t even on their board.
Bovada still has San Antonio at the top of the list of teams Leonard could be on when next season starts. But if Leonard is moved eight teams appear on the board with the best odds going to Philadelphia and the longest to Charlotte and Milwaukee.
Here is the list:
San Antonio Spurs: 5/8:
Philadelphia 76ers: 9/2:
Los Angeles Lakers: 13/2:
Los Angeles Clippers: 7/1:
Boston Celtics: 11/1:
Cleveland Cavaliers: 12/1:
New York Knicks: 14/1:
Charlotte Hornets: 15/1:
Milwaukee Bucks: 15/1:
The Heat’s issue is most of the teams mentioned have young, budding talent or a perennial All-Star or an attractive draft choice to offer the Spurs. With Riley saying that nobody is untouchable this summer, the Heat might be able to get into the game by offering a combination of their top young players – Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow – or perhaps all three, along with their 2019 first-round pick. But that still probably isn’t enough.
If the Spurs trade Leonard, it has been reported they prefer it would not be to a Western Conference team. But that only knocks out the Lakers and Clippers.
Leonard, who is owed $21 million next season and $21.3 million in 2019-20, played nine games last season because of a mysterious quad injury that Leonard’s camp is saying is a contusion and not a long-term issue.