Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says assistant Dan Craig ready to be NBA head coach ‘right now’

MIAMI – Erik Spoelstra was a little busy to watch assistant Dan Craig’s unofficial NBA coaching debut Sunday, but he has caught up since spending that day welcoming his first child into the world.

Spoelstra, who returned to the bench for Tuesday’s convincing victory over Cleveland after he and his wife, Nikki, had their first child, Santiago Ray, on Sunday, praised Craig’s coaching skills, saying Craig, 37, is ahead of where Spoelstra was at Craig’s age.

“When I was that age I was becoming the head coach of the Heat but I told him, ‘you’re a thousand years ahead of where I was at that time,’’’ said Spoelstra, 47, who is in his 10th season as head coach.

“DC’s so much further advanced than I was even my first game. I didn’t know what I was doing. DC’s a well-schooled, well-drilled basketball coach. This guy’s ready to be a head coach right now in the league. He can certainly handle one game. This whole operation the way we’ve worked it guys have really stepped up and taken on more responsibility.”

Miami Heat assistant coach Dan Craig calls a play for his team as they played against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of Sunday’s game in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Spoelstra left the team Saturday when learning Nikki went into labor and missed the first game of his head coaching career the next day. The Heat lost to the Pacers in overtime and although Craig was the acting coach, the loss goes on Spoelstra’s record.

Spoelstra said Craig “looks totally comfortable” in the head chair, especially after the experiences of coaching the Heat’s summer league team and the franchise’s developmental league team in Sioux Falls. Craig coached the Skyforce to the 2015-16 D-League championship. Craig is in his second season as Spoelstra’s assistant head coach.

As for Spoelstra, he leaned on assistant Ron Rothstein his first season. Rothstein was a long-time NBA coach who had stops in Miami and Detroit as a head coach as well as being an assistant for 22 years. Rothstein was the first head coach in Heat history.

“That means something,” Spoelstra said about Craig’s experience. “It gives you a lot of experience under fire whereas my first year coaching I literally had no idea what I was doing. Ronny had to tell me when to call time out. He’d be whispering, ‘hey, time out.’ ‘What?’ ‘Time out.’ ‘What?’ ‘TIME OUT!’

“Ronny was barking at me, screaming at me, ‘put this guy in.’ And finally, ‘we need to blitz him, trap him.’ Without Ronny, my first year I wouldn’t have survived. I just didn’t have the experience. I didn’t have the savviness these guys had at this point. I learned all of mine through pain. On the job training.”

Spoelstra also referenced assistants Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn, and Eric Glass, who moved up to video coordinator and player development coach this season.

“And not only DC but Juwan is ready to take that next step soon; Chris Quinn what he did (as the Heat’s Summer League coach) was tremendous, he’s going to be a future head coach,” Spoelstra said. “Eric Glass behind the bench. … he’s going to be a head coach. He’ll be the next in line to come out of the video room and get on the staff.”

Spoelstra also started in the video room.

“But it just shows you how much our staff has grown, how much it really is a village. Even with me coaching our staff really helps and it shows how much guys have improved.”

[Photo Gallery: Miami Heat host LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers]

[Heat mailbag: Is it dangerous for teams to jockey to face Boston in first round of playoffs?]

[Was Tuesday the final game between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?]

[With Bam Adebayo ailing (sprained ankle), Heat to face Cavaliers without top two centers]

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Mailbag: Could ousted Memphis coach David Fizdale return to Miami Heat?

CLEVELAND – The NBA was stunned by the news Monday that the Memphis Grizzlies fired head coach David Fizdale.

Fizdale was a long-time Heat assistant to Erik Spoelstra before taking his first head coaching job prior to the 2016-17 season. Could he return to Miami now that he is out in Memphis? We answer that and more in our latest Heat mailbag.

If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at tdangelo@pbpostcom.

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and assistant coach David Fizdale at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on May 6, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

  From @ShawnO1362020: Do u think the heat will hire back Fizdale for an assistant job or any job open in the organization?

Fizdale lasted just more than one season in Memphis after signing a four-year, $10.2 million contract, although the fourth year is a team option. The Grizzlies lost in the first round of the 2017 playoffs and have dropped to 7-12 this year after having lost eight straight.

The tipping point, though, was his deteriorating relationship with center Marc Gasol, who Fizdale benched for the fourth quarter of a loss to Brooklyn on Sunday.

Fizdale was a popular figure in Miami during his eight years as an assistant coach, including the Big Three era in which he was part of two titles. The support he received from players he coached during his time in Miami was evident by the reaction over his firing.

But do not look for Fizdale to return to the Heat any time soon, or maybe ever. First, the Heat have no openings next to Spoelstra with assistants Dan Craig, Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn, who also carries the title of director of player development, on the bench.

Octavio De La Grana sits behind the bench because of the NBA’s limit on assistants allowed to sit next to the head coach. Fizdale could join De La Grana behind the bench but he isn’t about to take that position after spending more than a year as a head coach and also being owed the remainder of his $2 million this season and $3 million next year from the Grizzlies.

The question then becomes what Fizdale decides to do next season. Could an opening occur on the Heat bench for him to return or does he find another job? Look for Fizdale to be back on an NBA bench, but as a head coach.

From: @MiamiVikings: When do you think Bam will get more playing time? I don’t think he’s been horrible & he plays good defense & grabs boards in the minutes he’s given us.

Bam Adebayo has played in 10 games – three starts – this season, averaging 3.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12.3 minutes and shooting 50 percent. But that playing time has diminished lately and the rookie has not seen action in seven of the last nine games.

Spoelstra has settled into a nice rotation with James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk getting all of the big-man minutes off the bench. He continues to praise Adebayo’s development and says there will be times when he is called upon.

“He’s continuing to work at it, now he has to develop a level of patience that’s required in this league,” Spoelstra said Saturday in Chicago. “It’s a long season. It can feel like it is months when you’re not playing but in reality it’s only a few days, few games.

“I’m not discounting how difficult that is for competitors. He just has to get committed to his player development, being prepared and being ready for the next opportunity when he gets it.”

[Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic named Eastern Conference Player of the Week]

[The numbers behind why Josh Richardson is playing like one of the NBA’s top defenders]

[Erik Spoelstra on seeing Dwayne Wade in Cavaliers uniform: ‘I hate it’]

 

 

 

Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn wears turnover chain after losing Miami-Notre Dame bet with Udonis Haslem

MIAMI — The Hurricanes won, and so did Udonis Haslem.

Haslem, a Miami native and longtime Hurricanes fan, won his bet with Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn. After Miami’s 41-8 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, Quinn was forced to wear a replica of the turnover chain that the Hurricanes have made famous this season to Tuesday’s practice.

“I wore it with pride,” said Quinn, who played basketball at Notre Dame from 2002-06. “You know, I’m obviously very loyal to the University of Notre Dame, but I also live in Miami now, so I can be happy for their success.” Continue reading “Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn wears turnover chain after losing Miami-Notre Dame bet with Udonis Haslem”

Miami Heat keeping an eye on Goran Dragic as they attempt to limit his workload during training camp

BOCA RATON – The Miami Heat are attempting to save Goran Dragic from himself.

After Dragic led Slovenia to the EuroBasket championship this summer, the Heat are carefully monitoring the point guard’s workload.

But that’s not easy, which is where assistant Chris Quinn comes in.

“I did sneak in a couple of times, Quinny was like a shadow behind me, ‘G, you’re a coach today,’” Dragic said. “I said, c’mon Quinn.’”

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic participating in 5-of-5 drills during the first day of training camp on Monday, (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Dragic’s time will be limited during camp at Florida Atlantic University and throughout the preseason after a seven week stretch with his national team that included playing nine games culminating with the title game Sept. 17.

Dragic did participate in offensive and defensive drills and ran some 5-on-5.

“We held him out more today but he’s still out there,” Spoelstra said. “I had to catch him a couple of times, trying to sneak into the scrimmage.”

Dragic, 31, insists he’s better prepared for an NBA season after a summer of international ball. But he and the Heat are trying to find that fine line of allowing him to recover from such an active summer without losing that edge.

“I’m not expecting being here at training camp and do nothing, sit down and watch,” Dragic said. “That’s not me. I’m still running, I’m still trying to keep in good shape. Coach wants me to do less of contact drills when it’s 5-on-5. It’s enough time.”

As for the preseason, which starts Sunday with a home game against Atlanta, Dragic prefers to play but the Heat undoubtedly will devise a plan to limit his minutes there, too.

“If you ask me I would like to play those games,” Dragic said. “Every athlete wants to play, I enjoy playing. It’s a coaching decision. What’s coach Spo’s plan, I’m going to respect that.”

[Dion Waiters says ankle surgery he decided against would have kept him out 8 to 10 months]

[Mailbag: Why is Dwyane Wade joining LeBron James in Cleveland?]

[Kelly Olynyk draws parallel between early years with Celtics and current Heat team]

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Learning curve has started for Miami Heat rookies Derrick Walton Jr., Matt Williams Jr.

MIAMI – Students from all over Miami-Dade County may have started school today, but  two of the Miami Heat’s newest players have been in the classroom for about a month.

Derrick Walton Jr. and Matt Williams Jr. – along with fellow rookie Bam Adebayo – took part in the Heat’s ‘Back To School’ event this morning, distributing supplies to students at Jesse J. McCrary Jr. Elementary School. But since signing on July 24 these young players have been receiving their education in NBA 101 at the Heat’s facility where they are being taught by basketball professors Udonis Haslem, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson among others.

“They’ve been pretty intense,” Williams said. “We do a lot of running, a lot of conditioning, a lot of shooting.

“In three or four weeks I’ve learned a lot.”

Derrick Walton Jr., shown here at the Heat’s ‘Back To School’ event Monday, is the first Heat player to sign a two-way contract. (Anthony Chiang/Palm Beach Post).

Walton, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Michigan who went undrafted this summer, is the first player in Heat history to sign a two-way deal. Williams, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Central Florida who also went undrafted, signed a deal that could be converted to a two-way contract.

Two-way contracts were added under the new collective-bargaining agreement that took effect on July 1 and allow for NBA teams to keep the rights to two players on their developmental league squads. Players under two-way contracts can spend up to 45 days with their NBA teams and the rest of the time must be spent with the NBA team’s G-League affiliate. Miami’s developmental affiliate is the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The two players will be with the team when camp opens Sept. 26.

Walton, who is the only player in Michigan history to score at least 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds and record 400 assists, says he is in a “unique” situation because of that contract.

“Being able to learn and grow my entire rookie year is all I’m focused on,” he said. “I’m in a unique situation but I’m in a unique situation as far as learning.”

Walton played in four summer league games for the Magic, where he averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. He shot 46.9 percent from the field and 50 percent on 3 pointers.

The Heat then signed him.

“We had a mutual interest in joining each other and making something work out,” he said. “An opportunity presented itself.”

Walton will spend nearly the entire season with the Skyforce. And knowing the Heat’s reputation for developing players, Walton said he was told “just to be ready” when he enters camp.

“It’s been great,” Walton said about his first semester in Miami. “World class organization, great people, and we work. Pretty much everything I’m accustomed to.”

Matt Williams Jr.

Williams set the UCF single-season school and conference records for 3-point field goals made (126) and set the Knights’ single-game record for 3-point field goals made (11).

But he’s looking to prove to the Heat he is more than a long-distance shooter.

“That’s big,” Williams said. “I’ve been working on that a lot. Coaches had me working on my ball handling, working on my conditioning, make sure I’m able to put the ball on the floor, make sure I’m able to go to the basket. Make sure I’m able to be a complete player.”

Williams was with the Heat during summer league but a sprained ankle prevented him from playing in Orlando. He returned to the court in Las Vegas and appeared in eight games, including six starts, and averaged 9.9 points while shooting 38 percent from the field and 39 percent on threes.

“I just wanted to go out and do what coach (Chris) Quinn asked me to do, shoot the ball when I’m open, play hard defense,” Williams said.

[Report: Heat to sign former Celtics forward Jordan Mickey]

[Mailbag: We look at the schedule and if the Heat can avoid another slow start; what players must show most improvement]

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Mailbag: With free agency winding down, where do Miami Heat rank in the East?

The Miami Heat should move ahead of teams who have decided to rebuild, like the Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Even with about 90 players remaining on the market, free agency is winding down.

The Miami Heat lost out on Gordon Hayward, their main target, but Pat Riley re-signed James Johnson and Dion Waiters, picked up Wayne Ellington’s contract and added Kelly Olynyk.

Where does Miami stand in the East? We answer that and more in today’s mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question, send them for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).

From: ChrisHypeTrain: How serious of contender do you see the heat being in the east?

I don’t know if anybody other Cleveland and Boston are contenders, but let’s take the question a bit further and examine where Miami ranks in the East.

The first thing is to look at the teams that finished tied or ahead of Miami last season that the Heat have passed. That list includes Chicago, Indiana and Atlanta. All three teams are in full rebuild mode.

That leaves five teams ahead of Miami from the final standings. To me, the top four – Cleveland, Boston, Toronto and Milwaukee – have the edge. The Cavs remain the team to beat. The Celtics added Hayward, although they took a hit losing Avery Bradley and Olynyk. Toronto and Washington bring back the core of teams that won 51 and 49 games, respectively.

That leaves Milwaukee, which is where I believe the Heat also fall in. The Bucks won one more game than Miami last season. They will be boosted by having Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton (barring further injuries) each for a full season, but are they appreciably better than Miami?

The Heat had the second best record in the NBA the second half of the season and basically return that entire group plus add Olynyk and first-round pick Bam Adebayo.

To me, the Heat enter the season battling the Bucks for the fifth best team in the East. Could they finish in the top 4? It’s possible but barring a major injury to any of the top four teams, that will be difficult.

From @bballin13: How do you think Bam is doing in the SL and do you think it will keep going in the regular season?

The Heat are very pleased with what they have seen so far from the 14th pick in the draft.

Bam turned heads in Orlando with his athleticism and versatility. We knew he was a finisher around the rim, had the ability to block shots and could run the floor. But he has shown intriguing ball handling skills that typically defy most players who are 6-foot-10. It seems like every game we see a clip of Bam clearing a rebound and taking the ball coast-to-coast. Coach Chris Quinn at times even has instructed Bam to take the ball down the court and initiate offense.

As for stats, Bam was fifth in Orlando with 17.5 points per game, second with 8.3 boards and tied for second with 2.3 blocks. He did shoot just 35.2 percent, but that number is skewed by his worst offensive game of the summer when he was 1-of-10 from the floor against the Knicks.

Bam followed that game up with a double-double in the Heat’s first summer league victory in their first game in Las Vegas. He scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds.

As for the regular season. Mid-first round picks typically do not make an immediate impact. Look for Bam to get his minutes but Miami will be patient, especially after adding Olynyk and bringing back Johnson, which gives it nice depth up front.

[Chris Bosh to Miami: ‘You showed me how to stay strong and push through in the toughest moments’]

[Patience and confidence paid off for Dion Waiters: ‘I’ll bet on myself any day’]

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Miami Heat forward Okaro White looking to expand game, be more like James Johnson

Heat forward Okaro White talks with coach Erik Spoelstra during a game in Cleveland last March. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

ORLANDO – Okaro White wants to be like James. …

James Johnson.

The 6-foot-8 power forward is working on his playmaking skills this summer as one of the leaders of the Heat’s summer league team. He played in 35 games for Miami last season, earning his stay after two 10-day contracts, and showed he has skills to at least shoot from the perimeter, making 35.3 percent of his threes.

“The way James Johnson gets us into offense and is able to handle the ball at the forward position, that’s what I’ve been working on and been working on a lot,” White said. “That’s really where I want to improve.”

White has gotten off to a rough start in the Heat’s first two summer league games. He had three turnovers and one assist in Miami’s 81-68 loss to Orlando Sunday, this coming after committing seven turnovers with no assists in Saturday’s loss to Charlotte. White did lead the Heat in scoring in both games with 20 points in the opener and 15 on Sunday, although he is shooting 9-of-28. He has 14 rebounds.

“I was down on myself a little bit,” White said Sunday. “I didn’t think I played up to my ability. I felt some good things as far as pushing it. I just want to stay lower while I’m pushing it against shorter guys. I still want to get into the offense also and try to be a playmaker.”

And there were signs. White did push the ball from end-to-end a couple of times and late in the game he made a nice bounce pass off the dribble from the top of the key to guard London Perrantes on the baseline.

“We’re asking Bam and him to do a lot,” coach Chris Quinn said about first-round pick Bam Adebayo and White. “We’re putting the ball in those guys’ hands and asking them to make plays and asking them to do a lot for us. Those guys’ development is one of our biggest priorities.”

Quinn returned to the bench Sunday after being a part of the Heat contingent that met with free agent forward Gordon Hayward Saturday in Miami. He was not happy with Sunday’s start in which Orlando jumped to a 21—0 lead.

“It’s not the welcome back I wanted, that’s for sure,” Quinn said. “Two games in a row now we’ve gotten off to slow first quarters.”

Adebayo, who has 28 points and 19 rebounds in the two games, said White has counseled him on the speed of the game.

“He just told me it’s very fast, everybody can shoot, everybody can play defense,” Adebayo said. “Everybody is athletic. You have to get your shots off at the right time and don’t double guess yourself. Just go strong.”

White, who averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Heat last season, is the only player on the Heat summer league roster with NBA experience. He signed a partially-guaranteed contract last season that will pay him $1.3 million for 2017-18 if he’s around at the start of the season. He already has been guaranteed $226,000.

White and Adebayo are the only players guaranteed a spot on the training camp roster.

“I had a good amount of time to adjust to the game and adjust to the style of pace and adjust to the way we play as a team,” White said about the difference between this summer and last. “I think a more relaxed player.”

White also is adjusting to being a player looked upon to shoot. With the Heat he was asked to bring energy, defense and rebounding when he entered the game, although he showed at times he could hit a big shot.

The biggest was a game-tying three in the final minute of the Heat’s January victory at Brooklyn in which Miami overcame an 18-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.

“I don’t want to just get out here and jack up shots,” he said. “I know my role and the way I want to play when I get with the big guys. At the same time, I want to get my teammates involved. It’s a little weird. But I’m taking the challenge.”

[The Gordon Hayward free-agent tour moved to Boston on Sunday as the Heat continue to wait on a decision]

[UPDATED: Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra flew to L.A. Saturday to meet with guard Dion Waiters]

[Bitter rivals Pat Riley, Danny Ainge going head-to-head for Gordon Hayward]

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Miami Heat greet free agent Gordon Hayward with huge committee, banner

Gordon Hayward saw this banner as he pulled into AmericanAirlines Arena today to meet with the Miami Heat. (Photo courtesy Miami Herald)

ORLANDO – Gordon Hayward was greeted by Miami Heat players, coaches, officials. … and a banner of his likeness as he pulled into AmericanAirlines Arena early Saturday.

The Heat had the first meeting with one of the biggest names remaining in free agency, hoping to lure the Utah Jazz small forward to South Florida. Involved in the meeting were owner Micky Arison, President Pat Riley, CEO Nick Arison, GM Andy Elisburg, Alonzo Mourning, coach Erik Spoelstra and most of his coaching staff.

Several players also spoke to Hayward including Hassan Whiteside, Udonis Haslem and free agent James Johnson. Hayward and Johnson share the same agent, Chicago-based Mark Bartelstein.

Miami even delayed the arrival of coaches Chris Quinn and Juwan Howard to Orlando for the start of summer league, keeping them back in South Florida for the meeting. Eric Glass coached the Heat in their summer league opener, a 74-67 loss to Charlotte.

The Heat are hoping to land Hayward, who, if he leaves Utah, would be the biggest name to switch teams this summer.

[More sanity to free agency could benefit Miami Heat if they look to bring back both James Johnson, Dion Waiters]

[Blake Griffin to re-sign with Clippers; off the board for Miami Heat]

Hayward, 27, will command a max contract starting at $29.7 million. If he re-signs with Utah he could earn $172.4 million over five years. If he leaves the Jazz the most he can make is $127.8 million over four years, the difference being an 8 percent raise each year compared to 5 percent.

Hayward, though, is thought to be seeking either a three-year deal or a contract with a player option after three years so he can then take advantage of the increased max contract for a 10-year veteran. In that case he would make more money signing with the Heat considering Florida does not have a state income tax.

Hayward also has a meeting set up with Boston on Sunday and Utah on Monday and is expected to make his decision soon after meeting with the Jazz. While the Heat and Celtics appear to be the favorites, Boston was planning to sell Hayward on joining a super team, one that included Paul George.

But after Oklahoma City swooped in and acquired George from Indiana late Friday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was scrambling to put together to Plan B.

If the Heat secure Hayward they will turn to re-signing power forward James Johnson. That would give Miami a lineup of point guard Goran Dragic, possibly Josh Richardson or Tyler Johnson at shooting guard, Hayward, Johnson and Whiteside.

Miami then would have a $4.3 million exception to spend on a lower-level free agent.

If Hayward shuns the Heat the options would be James Johnson and re-signing shooting guard Dion Waiters, which could leave them with $15 to $17 million more to boost the roster. Or the Heat could pursue Rudy Gay, who has never hid his desire to play in South Florida, to play shooting guard.

Either way, the Heat should climb in the Eastern Conference considering how many teams have been weakened through free agency or trades. The Heat tied for the eighth-best record in the East with a 41-41 record and missed out on the playoffs because of a tie-breaker

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Coach Chris Quinn on Miami Heat summer league practices: ‘These guys have brought it every day’

Coach Chris Quinn and the Miami Heat open summer league play Saturday in Orlando.

ORLANDO – Although most eyes will be cast toward free agency and the Heat’s pursuit of Gordon Hayward and others, several members of the coaching staff will be leading a team of young players in the first of two summer leagues in which Miami will participate.

Summer league head coach Chris Quinn and his staff put the 13-man roster through a mini-camp at the team’s facility in Miami that included five practices in three days.

“Camp has gone really well,” Quinn said Friday. “The three days have been highly competitive, a little different than some summer leagues. We only had 13 bodies. Lots of times we have a little bit more, so guys get a little more rest when they’re not playing.

“But these guys have brought it every day. We’re cramming a lot but they’re soaking it all in. And when we’re competitive in practice, everyone was very competitive.”

The rostersis highlighted by first-round pick Bam Adebayo of Kentucky and Okaro White, the only player who has logged minutes with the Heat.

Adebayo, a 6-foot-10 forward/center who was taken 14th overall, makes his unofficial debut in a Heat uniform Saturday when Miami opens play at the Amway Center Practice Court at 11 a.m. against Charlotte.

Quinn said all 13 players will see significant time throughout the next two weeks that includes at least five games in Orlando before Miami moves onto play in the Las Vegas summer league.

“It will be fluid,” Quinn said. “With only 13 guys, everyone’ll get a chance to play. And that’s what we want to see.

“We’ve proven that guys that don’t play the first game end up playing by the end of the week and those are sometimes the guys that last. So everyone will get a chance to show us what they can do.”

Quinn, and his staff of Juwan Howard, Octavio De La Grana and Eric Glass, certainly have stressed the Heat roster is full of players who came though the organization’s summer leagues, including White, Udonis Haslem, Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder and Willie Reed.

“A big part of our development program is not only with the players it’s with the staff,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Many of us have had an opportunity to get through the summer league program and we’ve all benefited from it.”

[Miami Heat among leaders to sign Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka according to Las Vegas book]

[2017 Free Agency Preview:  Is there more pressure than usual on the Heat to get it right this summer?]

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Ready for Miami Heat summer-league basketball? Here’s the full roster and more info to know

MIAMI — With the NBA draft now in the rearview mirror, the start of summer-league basketball is just days away.

And the Heat’s summer-league team should not be overlooked. Tyler Johnson, Okaro White, Udonis Haslem, Rodney McGruder and Willie Reed are all undrafted prospects who went through Miami’s summer-league program before eventually earning a spot on the Heat’s regular-season roster.

This year’s Heat summer-league roster was unveiled Wednesday and it includes one player from the Heat’s season-ending roster — White — and first-round pick Bam Adebayo. Chris Quinn, who entered the NBA as an undrafted free-agent point guard with Miami in 2006, will coach the Heat’s summer-league teams in Orlando and Las Vegas. Continue reading “Ready for Miami Heat summer-league basketball? Here’s the full roster and more info to know”