The Heat have an effective offseason program — and players such as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry are certainly working on their craft — but Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel questions how much stock should be put into it right now, particularly given the team’s roster situation.
Miami still has a strong core, one that includes Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and others outside of the aforementioned names. However, the team lost starting power forward P.J. Tucker to Philadelphia and hasn’t re-signed forward Markieff Morris, raising questions about who else will start in the frontcourt.
The Heat did re-sign Caleb Martin and have second-year player Haywood Highsmith, but Martin is viewed as an undersized power forward and Highsmith is still in the process of proving himself. Miami can use a starting-caliber forward alongside Butler and Adebayo — and whether it happens may directly impact their level of success this season.
There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Wizards forwards Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija are quietly giving the team hope, Ethan Fuller of BasketballNews.com writes. Washington finished 35-47 last season and missed the playoffs, but if the club fails to make the postseason again, it’ll still have Hachimura and Avdija for the future. Hachimura (24) was the No. 9 pick in 2019, while Avdija (21) was drafted ninth overall in 2020.
- The Celtics‘ biggest concern with a potential Kevin Durant trade could be Jayson Tatum, Sherrod Blakely of Full Court Press writes. If they were to acquire Durant, the Celtics may be taking the ball out of Tatum’s hands more, which would require time to sort through. This type of major addition has succeeded before (ie. LeBron James joining Dwyane Wade in Miami), but it requires time, patience and players willing to sacrifice for the team.