Mailbag: Is trading for Jimmy Butler worth the risk for Heat?

Miami Heat NBA basketball team president Pat Riley talks to the media during a season ending press conference in Miami, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald via AP)

MIAMI — It’s time for another Heat mailbag.

If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44). You can also email me at achiang@pbpost.com.

@adrianw743: What’s a fair offer for Jimmy Butler?

Anthony Chiang: It all depends on whether Jimmy Butler would commit long-term to the Heat. This is very much like the Kawhi Leonard situation. According to a recent report from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley, Butler is “frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of younger teammates — specifically Karl-Anthony Towns” and does not intend to sign an extension with the Timberwolves. Like Leonard, Butler can become a free agent next summer and leave to another team if Minnesota hasn’t traded him by then. But it’s important to note that the Timberwolves would have to be convinced there’s no way they can repair the relationship before turning to trade possibilities. A trade is probably the last resort at this point. Anyway, if Butler does give the Heat a long-term commitment, everything should be on the table to make a deal work. The Tom Thibodeau-led Timberwolves would probably want a defensive minded replacement for Butler, and Josh Richardson fits that mold perfectly. But in order to make salary matching work, Miami would need to include more than that in the trade.

If Butler does not want to give the Heat a long-term commitment, trading away part of the young core for one season of Butler makes little sense … unless the Heat are willing to bet on themselves in getting him to stay similar to what Oklahoma City accomplished with Paul George. Is that a risk Miami is willing to take? If the Leonard situation is any indication, no. But you have to wonder, what do the Heat really have to lose by taking this risk? Yes, a part of their young core. But worst case scenario, Butler leaves after one season and all of a sudden Miami has cap space to work with. As Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti (or A Tribe Called Quest) once said, “Scared money don’t make none.”

@iebrahim81: What’s the buzz around re-signing Winslow? We have two seasons left of him before he becomes a RFA.

Anthony Chiang: Actually, the Heat have one season left before Justise Winslow becomes a restricted free agent. If Miami does not extend Winslow’s contract between now and the 2018-19 regular-season opener, he will become a restricted free agent next summer. What will Winslow be looking for in a new deal? Well, Utah’s Dante Exum just agreed to a 3-year, $33 million contract extension. That’s probably close to what it will take to extend Winslow. The problem is the Heat already have $118 million committed to nine players for the 2019-20 season, and the salary cap is projected at $109 million. That means Miami is already capped out, which leaves little room to extend Winslow if other salary can’t be shed.

[As Wayne Ellington watch continues, an updated look on where Heat and Ellington stand]

[Former Michigan star Duncan Robinson impressing Heat with his basketball IQ, 3-point shooting]

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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”

2018 Miami Heat Offseason Preview: With no cap space, can Heat turn to trades to improve roster?

Miami Heat NBA basketball team president Pat Riley talks to the media during a season ending press conference in Miami, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald via AP)

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.

This week we take a look at the biggest offseason questions surrounding the Heat. Today’s question: Can the Heat improve through trades this offseason? We’ll shift to a different question each day leading up to the start of free agency. Continue reading “2018 Miami Heat Offseason Preview: With no cap space, can Heat turn to trades to improve roster?”

Heat Mailbag: Could Wizards-Clippers trade set up deal that involves Hassan Whiteside? That & more on Winslow at the point

Maimi’s Hassan Whiteside shoots over Washington’s Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter Jr. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Time for another Miami Heat mailbag

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 tdangelo@pbpost.com.

From @ChrisHypeTrain: Could the Wizards-Clippers trade also set up trade involving the Heat?

The Wizards and Clippers made an intriguing swap Tuesday with Washington sending center Marcin Gortat to L.A. for combo guard Austin Rivers. The Clippers have DeAndre Jordan on the roster but likely are bracing to lose Jordan either through free agency (he can decline his $24.1 million option) or a trade if he opts in. Washington now is in dire need of a center to replace Gortat. Besides, after another season of underachieving the Wizards entered this offseason knowing they needed to make some changes. And even if they decide to keep their All-Star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal intact, that probably meant more than swapping Gortat for Rivers.

The next name on the block could be 6-foot-8 Otto Porter Jr., and here is where the Heat could come into play.

[RELATED: Photos of the incredible style at the 2018 NBA Draft]

A year ago, the Wizards matched the Nets’ $106 million offer sheet for Porter. That deal has three years and $81.7 million remaining. The Heat have a center they likely are looking to move by the name of Hassan Whiteside who will be very difficult to deal considering his contract (two years remaining at $52.5 million), declining production and maturity issues.

But with the money pretty similar – Porter will make $26 million next season while Whiteside will make $25.4 – the Wizards may look at it as coming out ahead not only by acquiring a starting center but by saving on that third year. But that third year is what could cause Pat Riley some hesitation considering the Heat have just $40.7 million on the books in 2020 with the contracts of Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson expiring. Porter would add $28.5 million to that in the final year of his deal if he exercises his player option. Porter, 25, averaged 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season while shooting 50.3 percent, 44.1 percent on threes. And although he spent a lot of time at shooting guard his rookie season of 2013-14, Porter played about two-thirds of his minutes at small forward and one-third at power forward last season.

The Wizards, though, could go another way. With Dwight Howard and the Nets expected to agree on a buyout, Washington might pursue Howard, who would be much cheaper considering he’ll be receiving a nice fat check from Brooklyn.

From Billy Mizell: What do you think the chances are that the organization will help Justise Winslow pursue running point for the team in the future? Justise seems to have found his niche there & it seems to give him a level of confidence that was missing previously.

This is a good question and it looks like Billy saw what many of us saw last season. Although the majority of the 6-8 Winslow’s time was spent at power forward, coach Erik Spoelstra used him as a facilitator at times and he appeared to be very comfortable with the ball in his hands.

“I really enjoyed playing point guard and I think that’s something as the offseason goes on I’ll sit down and talk to Spo more about,” Winslow said a few days after the Heat season ended.

As far as taking over for Dragic on a permanent basis one day, that will be determined by any trades the Heat might make and Winslow’s progress at the position. But, yes, I believe Winslow will work hard on his ball handling skills this summer and depending on the roster makeup his role as a point guard definitely could expand next season.

[2018 Miami Heat Offseason Preview: Will 3-point specialist Wayne Ellington return to Heat?]

[Tuesday’s question: Will Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem return for a 16th NBA season or retire?]

[Monday’s question: LeBron James could be on the move again, do the Heat have a chance of bringing him back?]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Mailbag: Would Heat give up all young talent for Kawhi Leonard without guarantee? That & more on Grizzlies rumors, possible draft day deal

San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard reacts after a basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2017 playoffs. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Time for another Miami Heat mailbag

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 tdangelo@pbpost.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.

[Udonis Haslem on LeBron James’ visit to Miami during playoffs: ‘We sat down to eat, is that a crime?’]

[Possible NBA draft rule change could prove costly for Heat]

[The Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes is on. Should the Heat enter the mix?]

[Mailbag: Is there even a realistic way for the Heat to acquire LeBron James?]

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LeBron James, Stephen Curry to President Trump: No matter who wins, we are not coming

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

 

The Miami Heat are not in a position to be invited to the White House, let alone refuse the invitation, not now and who knows if ever while Donald Trump holds the title of president.

But several teams have and the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are the latest who will not be honored in the nation’s capital, as was the case with the Golden State Warriors a year ago when Trump withdrew an invitation for the NBA champions to visit the White House. Trump’s decision came after learning Stephen Curry was considering boycotting the trip. And like the Warriors, few members of the Eagles planned on visiting the White House even before the invitation was rescinded.

With the Warriors holding a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals, players were asked today about Trump’s decision to disinvite the Eagles. Cleveland’s LeBron James said today that “no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So, it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”

Curry added: “I agree with ‘Bron. Pretty sure the way we handled things last year kind of stayed consistent with that.”

James, Curry along with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Spurs coach Greg Popovich and former Pistons and Heat coach Stan Van Gundy have been among the most outspoken critics of Trump, his policies and what Kerr has labeled his “racist, misogynist, insulting words.”

Last year, Trump posted a tweet that read: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

The Warriors still celebrated its championship during the season on their trip to Washington D.C by touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

As for the Heat, though not as outspoken, the vibe is most would take the same stance if one day they had the opportunity.

Prior to last season, Justise Winslow said Trump has “damaged” the honor of visiting the White House. Winslow was part of the Duke contingent that visited the White House when Barack Obama was president. The invite came after the Blue Devils captured the NCAA title in 2015.

“As a kid that’s something I dreamed about, winning the championship and going to the White House and I did it and it was such an amazing experience,” Winslow said in September. “Now, it is damaged.

“If my time comes during his run I’ll probably also sit out. Hopefully one day it can be that honor that it once was. Hopefully I will be OK with going back one day.”

Udonis Haslem has been one of the Heat’s more outspoken players when it comes to Trump and comments, especially concerning the issue of NFL players conducting protests to racial injustices by kneeling during the National Anthem.

The NFL recently banned kneeling on the field during the National Anthem, with many saying the league caved to Trump.

“It’s like every time he opens his mouth. … it’s like, oh, really?” Haslem said prior to last season. “When you think you can’t say anything worse he just kind of figures it out. It’s unfortunate.”

Winslow, who is very socially-aware, is offended by Trump’s tone.

“One of my biggest problems is the way he uses his platform, his language, I don’t think that’s how our president should be speaking, that vulgar tone,” he said. “And we saw that during his run for presidency, his character. I think that’s kind of where the problems start.”

[Here are 10 big names – and possible Heat targets – that could be on the move as NBA offseason is days away]

[Heat Mailbag: Is the Brightline station mural a message to Whiteside? That & more on Richardson]

[Heat Mailbag: Does LeBron James look like a man who is ready to bolt Cleveland again? That & more on Whiteside, the draft]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

 

Mailbag: Were injuries to blame for Heat’s first-round playoff exit?

Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic, left, Wayne Ellington, second from left, James Johnson, second from right, and Kelly Olynyk, right, reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — It’s time for another Heat mailbag.

If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44). You can also email me at achiang@pbpost.com. Continue reading “Mailbag: Were injuries to blame for Heat’s first-round playoff exit?”

What would it take for Heat to get into conversation for Andrew Wiggins or Karl-Anthony Towns?

Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves during a game last season against the LA Clippers at the Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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.

Here is where the Miami Heat come in.

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.

 

Karl-Anthony Towns

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.

[Mailbag: Chances Heat trade Dragic; could Suns try to pair Dragic with Luka Doncic? More on Winslow]

[Udonis Haslem wants to be part of Heat organization after playing career is over: ‘It’s important that the culture is carried on’]

[Here’s what the Heat are doing differently before the 2018 draft without any picks]

[Without pick, Heat are preparing for every possibility at NBA draft combine … even the possibility of acquiring a pick]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

 

Mailbag: Chances Heat trade Dragic; could Suns try to pair Dragic with Luka Doncic? More on Winslow

Luka Doncic nd Goran Dragic of Slovenia during basketball match between National Teams of Slovenia and France at the EuroBasket 2017. (Photo by Vid Ponikvar / Sportida)

Time for another Miami Heat mailbag

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 tdangelo@pbpost.com.

    From Carlos, Boca Raton: Any chance the Heat trade Goran Dragic maybe to help get rid of one of their bad contacts? If so could there be a Dragic, Doncic reunion somewhere?

Dragic’s contract is reasonable coming off his only All-Star season and having posted two of his best three seasons the last two years. He is owed $17 million next season and $54.3 million the final three years of his five-year deal.

But we all know Pat Riley said nobody on the team is untouchable, so could Dragic, who turned 32 this month, be traded? Absolutely. Anybody could be dealt as the Heat attempt to improve a roster that has won 41 and 44 games the last two seasons. I could see Dragic being traded if he is part of a deal in which the Heat are able to shed Hassan Whiteside’s contract and improve the team immediately and for the future, or if the Heat received an All-Star in return (perhaps as part of a package for Kawhi Leonard?)  The biggest challenge in dealing Dragic – and really making any trade this summer – is that many teams will looking for younger players, draft picks and/or expiring contracts.

Dragic does loves playing for the Heat and said he probably will keep a home in Miami when he retires. If it were up to him, he’d finish his career with the Heat.

As for Dragic reuniting with fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic, his teammate last summer when Slovenia won the EuroBasket championship, anything is possible. Doncic, 19, just wrapped up an historic season by winning the EuroLeague title with Real Madrid and being named the MVP of the league and Final Four. He is expected to be a high draft pick, perhaps even No. 1. Recently it was reported Doncic has not decided if he will leave Europe but it seems unlikely he would return. And a Dragic-Doncic reunion was a hot topic when the Suns, who now have the No. 1 pick, hired Igor Kokoskov, who coached Dragic and Doncic last summer when Slovenia won the EuroBasket title.

But so much would have to align for this to happen. First, the Suns would have to pass on Arizona’s Deandre Ayton and instead pick Doncic and then make it a priority to bring on Dragic, who already is a fan favorite in Phoenix having played there for parts of six different seasons. But that is just the start, the Suns – who also own the 16th pick – would have to put together something the Heat believe would upgrade the roster now and for the future to part with Dragic.

    From Chris, Weston: Has Justise Winslow turned the corner? How much better can he get?

Has Winslow completely turned the corner? The Heat hope not. They hope there is a lot more improvement to come. But the three-year veteran from Duke certainly showed some encouraging signs as last season progressed. Winslow’s numbers were not overwhelming – 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, .424 shooting, .380 on 3 pointers – but his rebounds and field goal percentages were career highs. And he improved in the playoffs with 9.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The biggest thing was he gained confidence as the season progressed, averaging 11.1 points and 6.0 rebounds the final 21 games, and continued to show his versatility, on both ends. Winslow played everything from point guard to power forward and was asked to cover wings and centers.

Winslow has a lot of work to do to live up to being the 10th pick in the draft but 2017-18 was a nice start. If he returns, look for him to play a very large and important role next season.

[Udonis Haslem wants to be part of Heat organization after playing career is over: ‘It’s important that the culture is carried on’]

[Here’s what the Heat are doing differently before the 2018 draft without any picks]

[Without pick, Heat are preparing for every possibility at NBA draft combine … even the possibility of acquiring a pick]

[Maryland’s Kevin Huerter meets with Miami Heat, then impresses rest of NBA at combine]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]