What’s in store for the Miami Heat this offseason? A roster breakdown with a look at what’s next for each player

MIAMI — The Heat entered the offseason with a lot of questions surrounding their roster and very little financial flexibility to make significant changes.

Excluding cap holds, the Heat have 11 players under contract for 2018-19 who are due about $120 million. That puts Miami way above the $101.9 million salary cap and very close to the $123.7 million luxury tax line.

Unable to sign players into space because the Heat are capped out, they will have to rely on exceptions, minimum contracts, the power of Bird rights or even trades to fill out their roster.

Here’s what the Heat have to work with this offseason, with a player-by-player breakdown … Continue reading “What’s in store for the Miami Heat this offseason? A roster breakdown with a look at what’s next for each player”

2018 Miami Heat Free Agency Primer: What you need to know about the Heat’s salary cap situation

Heat players Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade, Wayne Ellington and Bam Adebayo look from the bench during overtime against the Brooklyn Nets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — With free agency upon us, here’s a look at the Heat’s salary cap situation.

Miami currently has 10 players under contract for 2018-19 who are due about $119 million (assuming Rodney McGruder’s $1.5 million salary is guaranteed by Saturday’s deadline, as expected). That puts the Heat way above the $101.9 million salary cap, very close to the $123.7 million luxury tax line and not in a position to aggressively pursue free agents. Continue reading “2018 Miami Heat Free Agency Primer: What you need to know about the Heat’s salary cap situation”

Heat begin offseason by declining team option on Jordan Mickey’s contract, making him a free agent

Miami Heat forward Jordan Mickey (25) goes up for a shot against Charlotte Hornets forward Johnny O Bryant III during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Hornets 109-106. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI — With the Heat close to the luxury tax line this offseason, every dollar counts.

That’s one of the reasons Miami’s first roster move of the offseason was to decline the $1.6 million team option on forward Jordan Mickey’s contract, a league source confirmed Thursday to the Palm Beach Post. This decision helps the Heat save money against the luxury tax and opens a spot on the team’s 15-man roster. Continue reading “Heat begin offseason by declining team option on Jordan Mickey’s contract, making him a free agent”

2018 NBA Playoffs: A closer look at the first-round matchup between the Heat and 76ers. Which team has the edge?

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, center, drives as Miami Heat’s James Johnson, left and Goran Dragic (7) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 8, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — The Miami Heat’s scouting department spent the last week preparing for four possible first-round playoff opponents. But on Wednesday night, the Heat learned they will open the postseason with a series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Game 1 is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. in Philadelphia. (Click here for full schedule)

The Heat and 76ers split their season series 2-2, with each team winning both of their home games.

Here’s a deeper look at the matchup … Continue reading “2018 NBA Playoffs: A closer look at the first-round matchup between the Heat and 76ers. Which team has the edge?”

Five takeaways: Heat dominate Cavaliers, LeBron James on way to blowout home win

MIAMI — After dropping two straight in the middle of a fight for playoff positioning, Tuesday night was exactly what the Heat needed.

The Heat (40-35) dominated LeBron James and the Cavaliers (44-30) from start to finish on their way to a 98-79 blowout win at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami has now won 10 of its past 11 home games, and also snapped Cleveland’s five-game winning streak. Continue reading “Five takeaways: Heat dominate Cavaliers, LeBron James on way to blowout home win”

What to know about tonight’s matchup: Injury-depleted Heat look to continue hot stretch vs. Hawks

MIAMI HEAT VS. ATLANTA HAWKS

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 15-14, Atlanta 6-23

Line: Heat favored by 1 point

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson drives against Atlanta Hawks center Miles Plumlee during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Fla. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: Bam Adebayo

C: Kelly Olynyk

G: Dion Waiters

G: Tyler Johnson

Hawks

F: Taurean Prince

F: Ersan Ilyasova

C: Miles Plumlee

G: Kent Bazemore

G: Dennis Schroder

Scouting report: Center Hassan Whiteside (left knee bone bruise), forward James Johnson (right ankle bursitis), forward Justise Winslow (strained left knee) and guard Goran Dragic (sore left elbow) will miss Monday’s game. The Heat will also be without swingman Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and forward Okaro White (left foot surgery), who are both out indefinitely. Guard Dion Waiters will play despite an illness. … The Hawks own the NBA’s worst record and enter on a four-game losing streak. … Point guard Dennis Schroder leads Atlanta with team-high averages in points (19.7) and assists (6.7). … Hawks rookie forward John Collins, who attended Cardinal Newman High in West Palm Beach, is averaging 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds this season. … Atlanta ranks fifth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage at 38.3. … Heat small forward Josh Richardson is averaging 15.8 points on 55.1 percent shooting from the field and 53.1 percent shooting from 3-point range over his last 10 games. … Miami has won four of its past five games, and have posted the league’s second-best defensive rating during this five-game stretch. … The Heat defeated the Hawks 104-93 in Miami on Oct. 23 in their first matchup of the season.

[Heat forward James Johnson diagnosed with right ankle bursitis; expected to miss 7 to 10 days]

[Doc Rivers on Heat’s ‘unassuming’ Erik Spoelstra: ‘The greatest coach that no one knows’]

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Air Jordan: Heat big man Jordan Mickey stays ready, it pays off against Hornets

 

Miami Heat’s Jordan Mickey dunks on Charlotte Hornets’ Frank Kaminsky during Miami’s victory Friday in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Wayne Ellington couldn’t wait for the question from Fox Sports Florida’s Jason Jackson.

“And I want to say something about Jordan Mickey,” Ellington said while talking about the contributions of the Miami Heat bench during Friday’s win at Charlotte.

“How often do we see him in a game. … and he’s ready. That’s the ultimate compliment and that’s a pure professional right there to not play and then all of a sudden you get into a game and you contribute the way he did.”

With Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo in foul trouble, Mickey entered the game with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter. The 6-foot-8 big man had played in just six games this season, including a total of 17 minutes since starting two games the first week of the season.

Mickey remained on the floor for the rest of the half, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds an assist and a steal in 15:38 while shooting 4-of-6. Olynyk and Adebayo picked up one foul each the final three quarters so Mickey did not return. But his contribution was not overlooked.

Coach Erik Spoelstra called the 23-year-old a “Miami Heat type guy.”

“Behind the scenes only us have seen it,” Spoelstra said. “That’s a big-time credit to Jordan Mickey and his character. He develops, he works, all I see behind the scenes is him spending so much time with Juwan Howard and working on skill development, working on understanding our system, staying in unbelievable shape.”

Spoelstra said Mickey’s conditioning peaked this week.

“All of his testing has been phenomenal. That’s what you want in your young players. You never know when you’re going to get an opportunity. Sometimes it’s weeks. But when you do get your opportunity you have to make the most of it. And he was prepared.”

Mickey, Olynyk and Adebayo gave the Heat a solid center rotation (although Olynyk and Adebayo were on the court together for more than seven minutes of the second half) with Hassan Whiteside still nursing a bruised left knee. The three combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds on 13-of-21 shooting, more than enough to offset Dwight Howard and the Hornets’ big men. Howard finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Mickey credited Heat coaches for the time they spend with him during practice.

“I’ve been doing stuff off the court, running with the strength and conditioning coach, trying to stay ready, just stay in shape for this opportunity,” he said following the game. “It all paid off today.

“Everything is different than game reps. But they do a great job of trying to simulate it when I work out with other players.”

Mickey knew once Adebayo picked up his second foul – after replacing Olynyk who was whistled for two quick ones – his time was coming.

“When both of them got in foul trouble usually it’s going to be me or Udonis (Haslem). He called my name,” Mickey said. “I have the mindset to always be ready. It paid off. My teammates fed confidence into me. They trusted me they got me some pretty good looks I played defense, so I’m happy.”

[Should Heat make a play for Paul George if Thunder blow up their Big Three?]

[MRI on Justise Winslow’s left knee negative, Heat  confirm; no timetable on return]

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Miami Heat to gain trade flexibility this week — what does it mean? A breakdown …

Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, left, stand with Tyler Johnson (8) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — As the Heat continue to search for consistency in their fight to stay above the .500 line, Dec. 15 is just days away.

In fact, Friday is Dec. 15. Why is this worth noting?

NBA rules say free agents who signed in the offseason are not eligible to be traded until Dec. 15 or three months after their signing, whichever is later. This means the Heat’s free-agent acquisitions from this past summer — James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, Udonis Haslem and Jordan Mickey — become trade-eligible on Friday. Continue reading “Miami Heat to gain trade flexibility this week — what does it mean? A breakdown …”

Tonight’s matchup: Life without center Hassan Whiteside continues for Heat vs. Hornets

CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. MIAMI HEAT

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Charlotte 8-12, Miami 10-11 Continue reading “Tonight’s matchup: Life without center Hassan Whiteside continues for Heat vs. Hornets”

Tonight’s matchup: Hassan Whiteside out for Heat’s game vs. Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns,right, eyes the basket as Miami Heat’s James Johnson defends during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES VS. MIAMI HEAT

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Minnesota 3-3, Miami 2-3

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

Timberwolves

F: Andrew Wiggins

F: Taj Gibson

C: Karl-Anthony Towns

G: Jimmy Butler

G: Jeff Teague

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Dion Waiters

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Heat center Hassan Whiteside will miss his fifth consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left knee. … Rodney McGruder is also out for the Heat. There is no timetable for his return after left tibia surgery. … Heat guard Wayne Ellington has the intention of playing Monday despite missing shootaround with an illness. … Minnesota will be without center Justin Patton, who is out indefinitely after having surgery on July 4 to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot. … Miami swept the season-series against Minnesota last year, 2-0. … Six Heat players are averaging double-digit points this season. That list includes point guard Goran Dragic, who is averaging 20.2 points on 50.6 percent shooting … Miami ranks 21st of 30 teams in the NBA with a net rating of -5.1, which is a reliable team performance measure that’s the difference between a team’s offensive and defensive ratings (OR-DR). … Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns is off to a dominant start, averaging 24.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his third NBA season. … Based on defensive rating, Minnesota has played the worst defense in the NBA to start the season. The Timberwolves have allowed 114.3 points per 100 possessions through six games.

[Why didn’t Dion Waiters play in the fourth quarter of Heat’s loss to Celtics?]

[Heat ‘aired it out’ in team meeting to discuss 2-3 start, but Whiteside still ‘very doubtful’ for Monday’s game]

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