Bam Adebayo, Okaro White to lead Miami Heat in Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues

Bam Adebayo will make his unofficial debut in a Miami Heat uniform Saturday during the Orlando summer league. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

MIAMI – The Heat have announced their summer league roster that will compete in Orlando and Las Vegas in July.

Heat assistant Chris Quinn will coach a roster that includes Okaro White, who played 35 games with Miami last season after being promoted from Sioux Falls of the developmental league, and first-round pick Bam Adebayo, taken 14th overall. They will be joined by eight players who were not among the 60 players taken in Thursday’s draft and three others who went undrafted and have played overseas.

Play starts July 1 in Orlando and July 7 in Las Vegas.

Bam Adebayo, 6-10, 243, PF, Kentucky

The Heat’s lone pick in Thursday’s draft was taken with the 14th overall selection. Adebayo is energetic, whose calling card was shot-blocking, rebounding  and defense, right up the Heat’s alley. Look for him to be a leader during the summer and for the Heat to start working on refining his mid-range jumper.

Zach Auguste, 6-10, 242, C, Turkey

Auguste went undrafted in 2016 after four years at Notre Dame. He played on the Lakers summer league team last summer before playing in the Turkish Super League.

Gian Clavell, 6-4, 185, SG, Colorado State

Clavell was the Mountain West Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American last season as a senior at Colorado Stat. He led the conference in scoring with a 20.4 points per game and average 6.3 rebounds.

Zak Irvin, 6-6, 216, SF, Michigan

Irvin was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2013 and was at Michigan for four years, setting a school record by playing in 142 games. He averaged 13.0 points 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a senior. Irvin is a capable 3-point shooter and has improved his perimeter defense.

Eric Mika, 6-10, 230 pounds, C, BYU

A former lacrosse standout, Mika had an outstanding sophomore season at BYU, after a two-year Mormon mission to Italy. He averaged 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds, both second in the West Coast Conference, and leding the conference with 1.9 blocks per game.

Lamond Murray Jr., 6-5, 200, F, Pepperdine

Murray played four seasons at Pepperdine, appearing in 118 games. He is 13th on the school’s all-time scoring list. Murray averaged 21.4 points and 5.7 rebounds as a senior, while shooting 47.5 percent. He was named All-WAC first team. Murray’s father, Lamond, was a first round pick, 7th overall, by the Clippers in 1994.

Jake Odum, 6-4, 180, G, Germany

Odum has played in Greece and Germany since going undrafted out of Indiana State in 2014. He played in 33 games in Germany last season averaging 15.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

Norvel Pelle, 6-10, 208, PF, Italy

Pelle was undrafted in 2013 after not attending college. He played two years in the D-League and last season in Italy averaging 7.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

London Perrantes, 6-2, 197, PG, Virginia

Perrantes, the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in games and minutes played, was a four-year starter and averaged 12.7 points and 3.8 assists as a senior. Perrantes showed NBA scouts he is capable of running an up-temp offense during his workouts after playing in the Virginia system. He led the Portsmouth Invitational with 8.7 assists per game.

Justin Robinson, 5-8, 175, PG, Monmouth

Robinson played four seasons at Monmouth and was the two-time Metro Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. He averaged 19.7 points and 4.8 assists last season. He is quick and a great playmaker abut very undersized.

Sebastian Saiz, 6-8, 231, PF/C, Mississippi

Saiz completed four years at Ole Miss in which he improved each season and averaged a double-double as a senior with 15.7 points and 11.4 rebounds. He is a two-way player but undersized for a center.

Okaro White, 6-8, 215, Florida State

White joined the Heat last season after spending the first half of the year in Sioux Falls. He was not drafted after coming out of FSU in 2014 and played two years overseas before signing with the Heat last July. He played in 35 games after being promoted, averaging 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. White was in and out of the rotation and even saw action in the fourth quarter of close games.

Matt Williams, 6-5, 220, G, Central Florida

Williams was a rare fifth-year senior for the Knights who dramatically improved as a senior, averaging 15.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. He is UCF’s all-time leader with 274 3-pointers and set a single-game record against USF with 11 three pointers, three shy of the NCAA all-time record.

[Hassan Whiteside left off NBA’s All-Defensive teams; James Johnson didn’t even get one vote]

[Heat’s Rodney McGruder finishes just short of making NBA All-Rookie team]

[A look at each player on the Miami Heat’s roster: Who will be back next season?]

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

 

What Miami Heat players have to say about their schools’ chances in the NCAA tournament

 

 

MIAMI – The interest in the NCAA tournament among Miami Heat players got a head start this year when Kansas State and Wake Forest were paired in a play-in game.

That meant the automatic friendly wager kicked in between players when two of their colleges meet in the tournament.

Rodney McGruder (Kansas State) gladly accepted his winnings from James Johnson (Wake Forest).

“I came in like a man, I gave him my money and shook his hand,” Johnson said. “That was the last I wanted to hear of it.”

Kansas State’s 95-88 victory meant the Wildcats advance as an 11th seed.

McGruder is one of seven players and two coaches whose school is in the 64-team field. The list with the teams’ seeds:

Wayne Ellington, North Carolina: 1.

Josh McRoberts/Justise Winslow, Duke: 2.

Okaro White, Florida State: 3.

Udonis Haslem, Florida: 4.

Chris Quinn, Notre Dame: 5.

Juwan Howard, Michigan: 7.

Rodney McGruder, Kansas St.: 11.

Luke Babbitt, Nevada: 12

None of these teams could meet before a regional final. But we could have Florida and Duke the East final, FSU and Notre Dame in the West final, Nevada and Michigan in the Midwest final and North Carolina and Kansas State in the South final.

Only the truest/most die-hard Heat fan would have those Elite 8 matchups in their bracket.

We caught up with a couple of the players for their assessment on their teams’ chances:

 

Rodney McGruder’s school, Kansas State, defeated James Johnson’s school, Wake Forest, in the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ellington (North Carolina’s opening game is Friday against Texas Southern): “I expect them to go win a championship. In the beginning of the year I wasn’t sure how well our team was going to do. But obviously coach (Roy) Williams has proven to always make his team get better and better as the year goes on. That’s what they did this year.

“We’re ready, man. Jumping in as a No. 1 seed, it’s going to be challenging. But we’re ready to face the challenge.”

White (FSU’s opening game is today against Florida Gulf Coast): “We’re a 3 seed. Should have been a 2 seed. I got all the faith in those guys. Let’s go get us our first national championship. They’re young but they’re long and athletic. Surprising things happen every year.”

I informed Okaro that one analyst said FSU may have two future pros in Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac but they always “screw it up.” He was brutally honest.

“We normally do,” he said. “The years we’re supposed to go. … The year we won the ACC championship (2012) we were supposed to at least get to the Elite 8 and there was Final Four talk. We lost in the round of 32 to Cincinnati (62-56, as a 3 seed). We messed that up. It was kind of set up for us.”

Haslem (Florida’s opening game is today against East Tennessee State): “I’ll always have faith in my guys. I’m going to ride with my guys,” he said. “They got a good team. Talented. They did a great job recruiting. The tradition continues on.”

Haslem said he is also rooting for his hometown team of Miami and South Carolina, coached by his high school coach, Frank Martin.

“I’m keeping my eye on a few teams,” he said.

McGruder (K-State’s next game is Friday against Cincinnati): “I feel like you’re a tougher team playing in that play-in game because you already have that first game under your belt, the butterflies are out,” he said. “You know what it’s like to play in the tournament now. Some people don’t know what it’s like to play in the tournament. They haven’t had a game yet. It’s an advantage.

“You make the tournament that’s an accomplishment any way you look at it play-in game or not. The 11th seed is not like you’re a 16th seed.”

Babbitt (Nevada’s opening game is today against Iowa State): “They have a tough matchup. They’ve been OK in the past. I have them at least going to the Sweet 16 and then they play Kansas.”

[Miami Heat tasted playoffs for about 3 hours; odds looking better to be in postseason]

[If Dwyane Wade gets bad news today from MRI on elbow, could his next game be in a Heat uniform?]

[Q&A: Heat guard Wayne Ellington looks back at his March Madness experience]

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

 

 

 

Shane Battier attends first Heat practice in new front office role

 

 

Shane Battier returns to Miami as the director of basketball development and analytics. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Shane Battier returns to the Miami Heat as the director of basketball development and analytics. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

MIAMI – The table where the Miami Heat’s management team sits to watch practice was overflowing today, the first gathering since returning from the All-Star break.

The usual suspects, President Pat Riley, GM Andy Elisburg and VP Alonzo Mourning were present, along with other executives. And even owner Micky Arison, who checks in whenever possible, was stopped by.

But a new face emerged, at least new to the front office.

Shane Battier attended his first practice as the Heat’s director of basketball development and analytics. Battier, 38, has been at plenty of Erik Spoelstra’s practices as player during his three seasons (2011-2014) but this was his first since being hired Thursday.

“I think it’s great and I think it fits really the history of this franchise since Micky and Pat took over,” Spoelstra said as he team prepared for Friday’s game in Atlanta, which will start a playoff push. Miami (25-32) is two games out of the No. 8 seed.

“There is a lot of diversity on this staff. But what’s really important as you develop a culture is that you have a living, breathing living culture of guys who have been through it. Guys that believe in it. Guys have that proved it.”

Spoelstra cited the Heat’s history of bringing back players in various roles off the court, including Mourning, Tim Hardaway, who spent time as a Heat ambassador; current assistants Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn; and Keith Askins, the director of college and pro scouting and assistant GM for the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce.

And now, Battier.

“With Shane it took us forever to acquire him as a player,” Spoelstra said. “We always wanted him as a player because we thought he was absolutely a Miami Heat, DNA-type, fabric player.  … He can appreciate the way this team plays and how they compete.

“When we’re able to add somebody of Shane’s championship experience, that’s been through this culture it’s very important for teams. We had him three brief years, but incredible success. … And now we get to get to continue it.”

[Mailbag: With trade deadline looming will the Miami Heat be buyers or sellers?]

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

 

 

Sioux Falls coaches making mark with Heat, NBA staffs

 

 

 

Dan Craig led Sioux Falls to the D-League title last season.
Dan Craig led Sioux Falls to the D-League title last season.

Eight former coaches the Sioux Falls Skyforce are coaching in the NBA, including five who were head coaches and three former assistants.

The list includes three members of Erik Spoelstra’s Miami Heat coaching staff; former head coach Dan Craig, who led the Skyforce to the D-League championship last season, along with Chris Quin and Octavio De Le Grana.

Chris Quinn
Chris Quinn

Quinn was a Skyforce assistant in 2014-15 and De La Grana was part of Craig’s staff last year.

Sioux Falls became the Heat’s D-League affiliate starting in 2013.

Dave Joerger is the only former Sioux Falls coach (2004-06) who now is a head coach. He is entering his first year as the coach in Sacramento. Duane Ticknor (Sioux Falls 2010-11) is part of Joerger’s staff.

The last three Skyforce coaches have moved on to the NBA after just one season in Sioux Falls. In addition to Craig, Pat Delany, who coached at Sioux Falls in 2013-14 is on the Hornets staff and Phil Weber, the Sioux Falls coach in 2014-15, is in New Orleans.

Former Sioux Falls head coach Nate Tibbetts (2007-09) is on the Trail Blazers staff.

[Newcomers learn ‘the Miami Heat way’ in training camp crash course]

[Chris Bosh still a topic of discussion at end of Miami Heat training camp]

[Heat starters Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside not worried about knee soreness]

 

 

 

 

Miami Heat to add shooting coach for first time in franchise history

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaks with media during Heat Media Day at AmericanAirlines Arena Monday. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaks with media during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena Monday. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

With the on court changes well document for the Miami Heat, one change off the court with be the addition of a shooting coach for the first time in franchise history.

Rob Fodor, who is known as the “Shooting Guy,” will join coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff. Spoelstra has known Fodor for several years. Fodor has worked as a player-development consultant for Spoelstra and was shooting director of Spoelstra’s basketball academy in 2014. He spent 2015 as an assistant with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.

“He’s as talented as anybody I’ve ever seen in that space,” Spoelstra said. “Really a unique basketball mind.

“I think he’s a great unique addition to our staff. It gives us versatility.”

Heat will put a greater emphasis on outside shooting with the current makeup of the team. Miami will be much more active from beyond the three-point line with several players who have had success shooting the long ball. One player who has been working with Fodor is second-year forward Justise Winslow who is looking to improve his outside shot.

The staff lost assistant David Fizdale, who left to become head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Keith Smart, who joins Fizdale in Memphis.

Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn, two former Heat players, will have greater roles on Spoelstra’s staff. Spoelstra believes both will be head coaches one day.

Dan Craig begins his 14th season in the organization and his first as an assistant coach. Craig started with the Heat as a video intern and last year he was named the NBA Developmental League coach of the year after leading Sioux Falls to the D-League championship.

Octavio De La Grana will be in his first year as an assistant coach/player development. De La Grana is in his 11th year in the organization.

“I feel thankful that we’ve been able to develop these guys that now are stepping in,” Spoelstra said.

[Josh McRoberts limited in first Miami Heat training camp practice due to foot injury]

[Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s ‘heartfelt’ sendoff to Dwyane Wade]

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

 

 

 

What have the Miami Heat done in past drafts with no picks during the Pat Riley era?

Pat Riley and the Heat enter the 2016 draft without a pick. (Getty Images)
Pat Riley and the Heat enter the 2016 draft without a pick. (Getty Images)

For the fourth time during the Pat Riley era, the Heat enter the draft without a pick.

Along with the 2016 draft, Miami also didn’t have a pick in the 2013, 2006 and 1996 drafts. But the Heat still came away from a few of those drafts with a new player. Continue reading “What have the Miami Heat done in past drafts with no picks during the Pat Riley era?”

Report: Heat to lose assistant Keith Smart to Memphis

Heat assistant coach Keith Smart reportedly will join David Fizdale's staff in Memphis. (Getty Images)
Heat assistant coach Keith Smart reportedly will join David Fizdale’s staff in Memphis. (Getty Images)

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will rebuild his coaching staff this summer.

The first departure was longtime assistant David Fizdale, who was hired as the head coach at Memphis. Now it appears Fizdale is taking fellow Miami assistant Keith Smart with him.

ESPN reported Thursday that Smart, who joined the Heat in 2014 after a brief stint as Sacramento’s head coach, is leaving for the same position in Memphis. The only remaining assistant coach for Spoelstra now is 32-year-old Chris Quinn. Spoelstra likely will fill one of the vacancies with Dan Craig, currently the Heat’s D-League head coach.

This was a difficult season for Smart as he battled a rare form of skin cancer and had multiple extended absences for treatment.

“It was a tough year emotionally for this team, starting with Coach Smart,” Spoelstra said at the end of the season. “I’ve never been through anything like that. We were reflecting just now about the meeting in my office when he told the coaching staff. That was a tough blow. Strange things happened in the course of the year. One game I only had two assistant coaches, because of (family) deaths and Keith’s situation.”

[Heat see Hassan Whiteside getting even better once he gets his money]

[2016 NBA free agents: Top five teams for Hassan Whiteside if he leaves the Miami Heat]

[Chris Bosh’s situation complicates Heat’s summer free agency plans]